Protecting yourself from sun protection

The headlines are everywhere: Not only is the sun hurting you, but your sunscreen is now a partner in crime. Whether you fear nanoparticles, retinoids, or hormone disruptors, it’s easy to spend twenty minutes in the sunscreen aisle drooling in frustration. But you don’t have to fear your children’s sunscreen any longer, thanks to this dandy list: The Environmental Working Group’s 2010 Sunscreen Guide.

As CMP always says, checking with EWG is a good idea when you’re searching for a new product, because their easy rating system tells you exactly how safe the product components are for your body and the earth. But when it comes to sunscreen–including lip balm, make-up, and moisturizer with SPF–they’ve already compiled the ultimate sunscreen list. You can also search for a product, view the Hall of Shame, and read up on surprising sunscreen facts backed by recent research. And you can be sure the recommended sunscreens protect against both UVA and UVB rays and are free from the worst chemicals.

Good ratings go to CMP favorites California Baby and Trukid, with top ratings to a brand called Badger sunblock. Unfortunately, they don’t cover every brand, such as our beloved Supergoop and Little Twig, but you can check the ingredients yourself, armed with EWG knowledge.

Just don’t forget to take the ratings with a grain of salt–some otherwise great products get dinged for having fragrance, which–ahem–some of us like. Still, any tool to keep us cool in the pool with a grin and safe skin is a big ol’ win.

Find the results of the 2010 Sunscreen Guide online through the Environmental Working Group


Senior Associate Editor Delilah S. Dawson puts the chic in geek. Ask her anything about Star Wars. Really.


  • Reply June 23, 2010


    I think the fragrance gets a ding because it sometimes contains pthalates or other fun stuff. Fragrances can include several chemicals but only have to be listed as “fragrance” so you don’t know what’s in there.

  • Reply June 24, 2010


    Actually, Supergoop is covered, listed under “Doctor T’s…”

  • Reply June 24, 2010


    Or to use less chemicals, there are some great sun protective shirts by UV Skinz. My kids LOVE these and they make playing in the sun safe (and they are cute!). With UV Skinz we only need a bit of sunscreen on the kids’ faces and we’re good to go.

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