PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — On the CBS3 Health Watch, if you depend on sunscreen to protect your skin, you and your children could be getting burned. Lab testing shows some don’t provide the protection they claim.
With the start of summer, many are stocking up on sunscreen. Doctors say it’s the best way to guard against sun damage that can cause cancer. But two new reports say some don’t deliver.
The Environmental Working Group investigated 750 sunscreens and rated them based on three concerns; if they contained potentially harmful ingredients like oxybenzone, had unreliable SPF numbers, or contained aerosol spray dangers.
But there were special concerns with sunscreens for children.
The worst-rated sunscreen for kids included: Banana Boat Kids Max Protect & Play Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100, Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55, CVS Baby Sunstick Sunscreen, SPF 55, and Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70+.
“Sunscreens can only do so much. So we have to have reasonable and realistic expectations about sunscreens,” said Rochelle R. Weiss, M.D.Dermatology Associates.
A statement from Personal Care Products council, regarding the Environmental Work Group report said in part,
“The report contains inaccuracies that can confuse consumers and be potentially harmful to public health…FDA regulates sunscreens, its sunscreen testing requirements are well recognized by experts.”
Consumer reports also did testing on 65 sunscreens, all labeled with SPF’s of 30 or higher. Their investigation found that 43 percent failed to meet the SPF claim on their labels.
“Once you’re above SPF 30, if you’re using it appropriately, you’re getting adequate protection, and those extra numbers give a little bit of extra cushion or buffer if you’re not applying it adequately,” said Dr. Weiss.
She says most people don’t use enough sunscreen and that it’s best to limit sun exposure altogether, stay in the shade. For more information, go to https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/ and http://www.webmd.com/melanoma-skin-cancer/news/20160517/sunscreen-spf-report-2016 .