Most Toxic Sunscreens
Well at Walgreens Sport Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 30, 50, and 90
Well at Walgreens Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 55 and 100
Vichy Capital Soleil Soft Sheer Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 60
up & up Sport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30 and 50
up & up Sport Sunscreen Continuous Spray, SPF 15 and 30
up & up Kids’ Sunscreen Sun Stick, SPF 55
up & up Sport Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 30
up & up Kids’ Sunscreen Continuous Spray, SPF 50
Trader Joe’s Nourish Spray Sunscreen, SPF 50+
RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Daily Moisturizer, SPF 30
Rite Aid Wet Skin Kids Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 70
Rite Aid Ultimate Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen, SPF 55, 70, and 85
Rite Aid Tugaboos Baby Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 50
Rite Aid Renewal Wet Skin Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 30 and 70
Rite Aid Renewal Sport Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 30 and 50
Rite Aid Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 60, plus other Rite Aid sunscreen products
Philosophy miracle worker anti-aging lotion, SPF 50
Neutrogena Wet Skin Spray Sunscreen, SPF 30, 50, and 85+
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Daily Facial Lotion, SPF 15
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen, SPF 55, 70, 85
L’Oreal Invisible Protect Dry Oil Spray Sunscreen, SPF 50+
Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Clear Mist Spray Sunscreen, SPF 15 and 30
Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70+
CVS Age Renewal Firming & Hydrating Moisturizer, SPF 30
Check out EWG’s 2014 Guide to Sunscreens to see a complete list of the safest sunscreens (the lower the number rating, the better) and the most toxic sunscreens (the higher the rating, the more toxic).
Safer Sunscreen Tips: Protect Yourself From Toxic or Ineffective Sunscreen
Avoid spray sunscreen. These popular, aerosolized sunscreens may seem convenient, but they may pose serious inhalation risks.
Don’t trust sky-high SPF claims. SPF stands for “sun protection factor,” referring only to UVB radiation protection. Since UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin, increasing your risk of wrinkles and skin cancer, super-high SPF claims could leave you with a false sense of protection. EWG recommends that consumers avoid products labeled with anything higher than SPF 50 and reapply sunscreen often, regardless of SPF.
Avoid oxybenzone. This chemical messes with your hormones—and not in a good way. It could also trigger allergic reactions. One study even linked oxybenzone to endometriosis in older women!
Don’t rock retinyl palmitate. This anti-aging cream ingredient may react with the sun and speed the development of skin tumors and lesions, according to government studies.
Don’t do double duty. Avoid combined sunscreen/bug repellent products. Since you don’t need to apply bug repellent as often as sunscreen, you could be slathering yourself in unsafe levels of bug-repelling chemicals.
Avoid towelettes and powders. Some online retailers still stock and sell towelette and powder sunscreens despite FDA sunscreen rules barring the sale of these products. Powders increase your risk of lung damage through inhalation, too.
Say “no” to tanning oils. EWG says even if the oils contain sun protection, it’s often inadequate or toxic.