Shopping for sunscreen? Don't fall for over-hyped products

You know how important it is to wear sunscreen, so let me share a few shopping tips with you from the folks at the Environmental Working Group.

Don't pay more for over-hyped products with super-high SPF numbers above 50.

"The Food and Drug Administration has said that products with SPF values above 50 are inherently misleading and we agree," says the Working Group's Sonya Lunder.

She says you'll pay more and get very little - if any - extra protection from a product with an SPF higher than 50.

The Environmental Working Group recommends that you read the ingredient label and avoid products, including makeup or moisturizers with oxybenzone or Vitamin A, also called retinyl palmitate, because of potential health risks.

Sprays sunscreens are easy to use, but EWG advises against using them. Lunder says you might not get a thick enough coating and you could inhale the stuff.

"And also the aerosols pose a real inhalation hazard if you've even been downwind from someone spraying their children you know that those particles are going everywhere, not necessarily on your skin and potentially in your lungs," says Lunder.

The Environmental Working Group is just out with its 2013 Guide to Sunscreens.


More Info:

Consumer Reports: Sunscreen Buying Guide

FDA: Sunscreens

The Skin Cancer Foundation