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Environmental working group sunscreen

Updated on July 8, 2013

Best Sunscreen For Face By The Environmental Working Group Sunscreen Guide

The Environmental Working Group Sunscreen guide has been developed to assist you choose the RIGHT broad spectrum sunscreen that will protect your skin from the hazardous UVA and UVB rays.

Do you know that 95% of the ultraviolet ray that reaches the earth is UVA- the rays that is always present no matter the season? The rays that are there in winter, spring, summer and autumn. UVA rays are the rays that penetrate ordinary window glass and even clothing. So even when you are in your own home, you are in danger of exposure to these rays.

This is the very reason the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has been working endlessly to educate and guide the general public towards choosing the proper sunscreen for maximum protection.

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What is Ultraviolet Ray?

The term UV originates from the Latin word "ultra violet" meaning "beyond violet". This signifies that UV light has shorter wavelengths than violet which is the colour of the shortest wavelengths of visible light. Ultraviolet rays are invisible to the human eye.

The Environmental Working Group cites that 1 sunburn in childhood doubles your risk of deadly melanoma!


This is why Environmental Working Group Sunscreen guide will help you choose the proper and best sunscreen for you and your loved ones. But before you run off to pick up the most expensive or high-SPF sunscreen, please take a few minutes to read these important facts.

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Ewg Sunscreen Guide

Due to the increased incidence rate of skin cancer in our society today, the Environmental Working Group went to work six years ago to examine the many sunscreens in our market and their findings were very shocking. Out of the 1,800 labels of sunscreens, moisturisers, makeup and lip products with SPF ratings examined, ONLY 25% met their standards.


This means that a whopping 75% of the sunscreens available for purchase either did not contain active ingredients to confer full protection or had highly toxic ingredients.

As we already know exposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays increase our chances of getting skin cancer and also bring about signs of early ageing.

The EWG recommends sunscreens whose active ingredients contain zinc or titanium as the right choices for a broad spectrum UV protection. In other words, if you want full protection from UV rays without any harzardous chemical considered to be a hormone disruptor, then you would be wise to choose a zinc or titanium sunscreen and AVOID those containing oxybenzone or vitamin A.

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Why Broad spectrum Sunscreen?

Surprisingly a lot of us are ignorant of the fact that a sunscreen does not only protect against sunlight. Perhaps our ignorance is due to the fact that the name sunscreen does not accurately qualify its function.

The reason for a sunscreen is not just to protect against the rays/ heat of the sun on our skin but rather to protect against the UV rays reaching us here on earth which comprise mainly the UVA and UVB rays. These rays are both dangerous to the human skin increasing its risk of early ageing and skin cancer. Mater of fact, on April 13, 2011 Worl Health Organisation (WHO) classified all categories and wavelength of UV radiation as a group 1 carcinogen. This means that UVA and UVB rays have been confirmed to cause cancer in humans.

Important Facts About Our Sunscreens

Do you know that...

Most sunscreen products offer little or no protection from ultraviolet rays and sun damage?

Many more of them contain toxic carcinogenic ingredients that end up causing more harm than good.

Choose From Over 195 products Recommended by EWG

How to Choose the Best Sunscreen

Knowing the Facts above, should you then avoid sunscreens completely?


I say if you know the ones that will offer maximum protection from the harmful rays (both UVA and UVB) with minimal risk to your health, then choosing, buying and using a sunscreen would be a much more pleasant experience.

The EWG recommends that you CHOOSE sunscreens that contain Zinc oxide, Titanium dioxide, Avobenzone or Mexoryl SX and preferably choose sunscreens that come as cream, has broad spectrum protection, is water resistant for beach, pool & exercise.

According to the Environmental Working Group, you must AVOID sunscreens that contain Oxybenzone, Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate) or/and added insect repellent. DO NOT BUY spray or powder sunscreens and stay away from those with SPF above 50+

For a complete guide on the environmental working group sunscreen, you can visit their website

Alternatively you can check below to see if the sunscreen you use is among those recommended for use as a broad spectrum sunscreen.

A total of 195 best beach and sport Sunscreens are recommended and I'm sure you will definitely find one that suits both your skin and pocket.

Readers Reviews - Tell us about Your best Sunscreen

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    • profile image

      oiloflife 5 years ago

      Thank you for the awesome lens! Very informative I loved it

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      Being a mom, this is great info to know.

    • treasuresabound profile image

      treasuresabound 5 years ago

      @Tagarack: Thank you Tagarack, please check to see you are using a safe one and use everyday.

    • Tagarack profile image

      Tagarack 5 years ago

      That's very interesting. I don't go out in the sun much actually (part vampire (grin)), but when I plan to be at the beach or out in the sun for a long time, I never knew really what to look for. I just bought what seemed popular. Will have to look more carefully. I have had sunburn 3 times in my life, once very severe, but I didn't have sunscreen on, so I get what I deserved there. Just hope it doesn't come back to haunt me. Very informative lens.

    • Camden1 profile image

      Camden1 5 years ago

      I use a face lotion with sunscreen on a daily basis - I need to make sure it's on the safe list.