Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New Sunscreen Guide and Surprising Research about Vitamin A in Sunscreens

I've been anxiously awaiting the 2010 sunscreen guidelines from Environmental Working Group and today, they were live on their site. If you are gearing up for the summer, be sure to check out the newest ratings because manufacturers change their formulations every year (usually for good, but you never know!). I learned that the one I've been using for the boys (pictured here) contains an ingredient (oxtinoxate) that EWG recommends against. Bummer. In hindsight, anything ending in "noxate" should be a big red flag! Luckily our California Baby stick is cleared for safety and effectiveness. See how your favorite products rank and tell me what products you're buying this year. 

Here's a preview from the site: 
EWG’s Sunscreen Guide to 1,400 sunscreens, lip balms and moisturizers tells you what you need to know to find safe and effective sunscreens. EWG’s exclusive scientific analysis helps you avoid red-flag ingredients like vitamin A (retinyl palmitate) and oxybenzone. EWG gives you straight talk about SPF.
What's the brief on Vitamin A in sunscreen? From EWG:
This year, new concerns have arisen about a form of vitamin A called retinyl palmitate, found in 41 percent of sunscreens. The FDA is investigating whether this compound may accelerate skin damage and elevate skin cancer risk when applied to skin exposed to sunlight. FDA data suggest that vitamin A may be photocarcinogenic, meaning that in the presence of the sun’s ultraviolet rays, the compound and skin undergo complex biochemical changes resulting in cancer. The evidence against vitamin A is far from conclusive, but as long as it is suspect, EWG recommends that consumers choose vitamin A-free sunscreens.