Most Sunscreens Don't Work As Advertised, Contain Unsafe Chemicals June 15, 2015 09:49

Researchers from the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) analyzed 1,700 sunblocks available in the U.S. and Canada, and found even some baby sunscreens touted to be free of irritating chemicals contain allergens.

The EWG's so-called Sunscreen Hall of Shame called out Neutrogena as the worst culprit because most of its products contain oxybenzone, a hormone-disrupting sunscreen filter, and one-third contain retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A that has been linked in some studies to skin damage, the report says.

Neutrogena's baby sunscreens contain a preservative called methylisothiazolinone, which the European Commission's Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety has deemed unsafe for use in leave-on products. 

Meanwhile, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say most Americans neglect to put on sunscreen. The study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, says only 14% of men regularly put on sunscreen, compared to 30% of women.

"Anyone can get skin cancer, so everyone should take steps to protect themselves from the sun," Dr. Mark Lebwohl said. "The academy recommends everyone choose a sunscreen with a label that states it is broad-spectrum, has a SPF of 30 or higher, and is water-resistant."