According to the 2009 Sunscreen Guide from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), found via Five Flowers, the sunscreen we've been spraying our kids with this summer gets a score of 6, meaning it ranks as a "moderate" sun and health hazard.
Does your child's sunscreen work?
The EWG says "3 of 5 brand-name sunscreens either don't protect skin from sun damage or contain hazardous chemicals - or both." That's why they've put together this sunscreen guide, rating over 1,500 sunscreens.
The EWG site also says, "Five percent of high SPF sunscreens (SPF of at least 30) protect only from sunburn (UVB radiation), and provide poor protection from UVA, the sun rays linked to skin damage and aging, immune system problems, and potentially skin cancer. FDA does not require that sunscreens guard against UVA radiation."
Argh, the two daily face moisturizers with SPF that I use don't make the non-hazardous cut either.
I try to take findings like these with a grain of salt, of course, rather than FREAK OUT, which motherhood tends to make me prone to do. Some protection, especially from sunburns, is still better than no protection. It's just good to educate yourself going forward as best you can.
How does your sunscreen rate?