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June 02, 2021

Popular suncreens not all created equal: report

In the spirit of keeping us safe and burn-free this summer, the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention designated last Friday as Don’t Fry Day.

Sun But, before you pile on your favourite goop, have a look at the Environmental Working Group's shrill but well meaning site.

The EWG has just released its annual list of sunscreen rankings, warning again about the bulk of sunscreens “filled with problematic ingredients, unsubstantiated marketing claims and lackluster protection.’’

According to the EWG, only a small number of the hundreds of sunscreens on the market actually protect us like they should. The group claims that only about one in five sunscreens passes muster for safety and efficacy.

To be listed as one of the 128 best beach and sport sunscreens, the product must contain broad spectrum protection against UVA/UVB rays and have fewer hazardous chemicals that can be absorbed into your body via the skin.  Click here to view the EWG’s top picks.

And, for the worst of the worst, check out the EWG’s Hall of Shame.

When choosing a sunscreen, the group suggests stearing clear of of oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate (sometimes listed as vitamin A), choosing creams over sprays, and for sun protection, wearing sunglasses, hats, and protective clothing. Duh ....

The EWG also found that most people don’t apply enough sunscreen, thereby lessening the effectiveness greatly. They recommend buying a lower SPF to avoid the chemical load and making sure you slop on a lot of it.

Do you have a favourite brand? Did it make the list? Or are you more inclined to pick up whatever you can find on sale?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money

* Follow Gordon on Twitter here.



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...