We often look at sunscreen as an optional extra in our beauty routines, but if the staggering statistics regarding skin cancer are any indication, we simply have to change our outlook. When we’re not shielding our faces with hats, finding shade or simply avoiding direct sunlight, we should be slathering ourselves in SPF. At the same time, we also realize that not all formulas are created equal. And for that, we have organizations like the Environmental Working Group to thank for steering us toward the safest ones.
Every year, the EWG publishes an extensive sunscreen guide based on in-depth testing of 1,000 sunscreen products across a wide range of categories, including the number of worrisome ingredients and whether or not there’s an adequate balance of UVA and UVB protection. Each product is graded on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best.
This year, less than one-third of the products tested garnered a 1 or 2 rating. And while we’re happy to have that very small pool of options, this also serves as a reminder of the work that still needs to be done. A huge number of products sold stateside continue to include harmful ingredients such as the chemical oxybenzone (an allergen and hormone disruptor) yet claim to help prevent skin cancer — blame our super-lax FDA regulations.
The 1-rated sunscreens on EWG’s list are mostly natural and mineral-based, which means they don’t absorb completely into the skin and literally act like a mirror, reflecting UV rays away from the body. And because we don’t believe sun protection should come at a steep price, we’re highlighting the best under-$20 options ahead.
Originally posted on StyleCaster.