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Your Sunscreen Might be Doing More Harm Than Good

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The Environmental Working Group (a non-profit, non-partisan organization) releases an annual guide to sunscreens. Want to know how your sunscreen scored? See the full report here.

Here's what to stay away from:

• Avoid sunscreens that contain oxybenzone, an allergen and a hormone disruptor that soaks through skin and poses a hazard to human health and the environment. Along with retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A that may harm skin, oxybenzone was found in 2/3 of the 650 sunscreens tested by the EWG this year.

• Bigger SPF ratings are not always better. In reality, higher SPF ratings don't necessarily offer greater protection from UV-related skin damage, especially UVA damage, and may lead users to spend too much time in the sun. In 2011, the FDA determined that high SPF claims may be inherently misleading, especially if they claim to be higher than SPF 50.

• Avoid spray-on sunscreens. Despite concerns about effectiveness, there are more of these products on the market than ever. The FDA, along with EWG, is concerned spray-on sunscreens pose an inhalation risk and may not provide a thick and even coating on skin.

Your Sunscreen Might be Doing More Harm Than Good, by Sierra Davis, Powder

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