Sunscreen Update

June 17, 2010

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently released its 2010 sunscreen guide.  The EWG is a not for profit environmental organization that specializes in environmental research and advocacy in the areas of toxic chemicals, agricultural subsidies, public land and corporate accountability.   Among other things, the EWG is working to pass the Kid-Safe Chemical Act which would require that industrial chemicals be safe for infants, kids and other vulnerable groups.  The 2010 sunscreen guide is the 4th such guide the organization has released.  The full report can be found on

After reviewing the evidence, the EWG determined that of all types of sunscreens on the market today, mineral sunscreens have the best safety profile since they are stable in sunlight and do not appear to penetrate the skin. Additionally they offer UVA protection which is often lacking in most of today’s sunscreen products.  Mineral sunscreens are those containing micronized zinc and/or titanium.  See my April 2, 2010 blog post entitled Sunblock For Sensitive Skin for more information on these types of sunscreens. 

An important bit of information the EWG included in their report is a recommendation for children to not use oxybenzone.  There are many products on the market that contain oxybenzone.  Some of those products are specifically marketed for children.  The following is directly from the EWG report: “Scientists have called for parents to avoid using oxybenzone on children due to penetration and toxicity concerns.”

Note: The content of this blog is for informational purposes only and is not meant as specific medical advice for a specific person.   If you have a medical problem, please contact your doctor.


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