Whether you and the kids are on the beach, in the backyard or just strolling around under the scorching sun, not using sunscreen under those harmful rays could increase risk of sunburn, potentially doubling your little one's risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
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But according to a recent study, nearly three quarters of products on the market don't work.
For their 12th annual sunscreen guide, researchers at the nonprofit Environmental Working Group evaluated the UV-ray protections, toxic ingredients and other health hazards in approximately 900 sunscreens, 500 SPF-labeled moisturizers and more than 100 lip products.
In 2017, the group found 73 percent of the 880 tested sunscreens either contained “worrisome” ingredients or didn’t work as well as advertised.
Of the products examined that were marketed toward children (using terms such as “baby,” “kids,” “pediatric,” etc.), 46 items scored between 7 and 10, with 10 being the worst score on the 1-10 scale.
The products on the list had multiple strikes against them, EWG researchers said. Many contained toxic ingredients oxybenzone (a hormone disrupter) and retinyl palmitate (a form of Vitamin D with the potential to increase skin cancer risk).
Several also had SPFs above 50 — high SPFs contain more sun-filtering chemicals than others and can lead to other types of sun damage.
Five aerosol sprays on the list, which scientists have long argued negatively impact sensitive lungs and don’t offer coated protection, also earned a strike against them.
- Banana Boat Kids Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 100 (10)
- Banana Boat Kids Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100 (10)
- Coppertone Foaming Lotion Sunscreen Kids Wacky Foam, SPF 70 (7)
- Coppertone Sunscreen Continuous Spray Kids, SPF 70 (7)
- Coppertone Sunscreen Lotion Kids, SPF 70 (7)
- Coppertone Sunscreen Lotion Water Babies, SPF 70+ (7)
- Coppertone Sunscreen Stick Kids, SPF 55 (7)
- Coppertone Sunscreen Stick Water Babies, SPF 55 (7)
- Coppertone Sunscreen Water Babies Foaming Lotion, SPF 70 (7)
- CVS Health Children's Sunstick Sunscreen, SPF 55 (7)
- Equate Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70 (7)
- Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen, SPF 60+ (10)
- Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70+ (7)
- Up & Up Kids Sunscreen Sticks, SPF 55 (7)
More about each product listed and its calculated score at EWG.org.
To read more about EWG.org and its platform to battle chemicals in everyday products, the food you consume and the water you drink, click here.