Environmental Working Group's 2009 Shopper's Guide to Sunscreen - Another UPDATE!

I sent an email in response to the release of the 2010 Shopper's Guide to Sunscreen as I was frustrated with the inconsistency between 2009 and 2010 and  I actually received a response!  

Dear Symhomemom,

Thanks for your interest in the work of EWG!  Since the 2009 report, we have changed our methodology for assigning reviews and more research has been conducted on ingredients, such as Vitamin A.  To learn more about our methodology, please visit our sunscreen web site:



Morgan Maurer
Environmental Working Group

UPDATE: Environmental Working Group has released their 2010 Sunscreen Guide.

With Spring upon us, it's a great time to check out the sunscreen that is hanging around your house.  Environmental Working Group has once again proved to be a great resource when it comes to purchasing sunscreen.  You can check out their full report:  Environmental Working Group's 2009 Shopper's Guide to Sunscreen.

Best Easy to Find Sunscreens

California Baby - any sunscreen
Mustela - “Sun Cream” or “Sun Lotion, Bebe”
Mission Skincare - “Face Stick”
Neutrogena - “Pure & Free” or “Sensitive Skin”  

Symhomemom Comment:  The Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby sunscreen is now listed as 7 - AVOID.  As you see in the picture below this is one of the Sunscreens that I purchased.  Fortunately I have not opened one of them yet so I will be returning it.  I am disappointed in EWG's inconsistency between 2009-2010 and what appears to be incomplete reviews of a lot of sunscreens in the 2010 guide. 

Blue Lizard - “Face”, “Baby”, or “Sensitive”
Jason Natural or Earth’s Best - “Mineral Based”
Solar Sense - “Clear Zinc Sport Stick”
CVS - “Sport Sunstick”
Coppertone Water BABIES - “Pure & Simple”

Reading the Labels

SPF 30 or higher for best protection.
At least 7% zinc oxide or titanium dioxide for broad spectrum protection.

Oxybenzone or benzophenone-3:  skin absorption, allergies, hormone problems
Spray and powder sunscreens:  inhaling sunscreens can pose extra risks
Fragrance:  allergies, reproductive problems
Sunscreen with added bug repellent:  you can get too much of the pesticide in your body

Here is what we purchased:

Photo Credit:  About.com and Amy Lloyd

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