The Skin Cancer Foundation considers sunscreen an “Active” product designed to protect users from extended sun exposure, like during recreational activities or sitting by the pool. Since, products’ marketing claims are going to be a mess until December, when the FDA’s new guidelines kick in, Wang advises consumers simply to read the listed ingredients before buying. “One of the best things consumers can do now is flip the package and look in active ingredients,” he says.
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that consumers look for sunscreens with some combination of the following radiation-blocking ingredients: avobenzone, ecamsule, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, or zinc oxide. These ingredients ensure you’re getting the best and longest-lasting coverage.
However, the Environmental Working Group, a public-health advocacy, notes that certain sunscreen ingredients — namely oxybenzone — are potential hormone disrupters and that some experts advise consumers not to use them on children. Parents are also advised not to use spray sunscreens, whose particles can be inhaled, on kids.
(MORE: Why Are Parents Less Likely to Take Little Girls Outside to Play?)
Active products get the Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Recommendation based on the following criteria:
- Offers UVB protection of SPF 30
- Offers UVA protection with a critical wavelength of 370
- Proves to be water resistant
- Has been tested for contact irritancy and phototoxic reactions
Try this: L’Oreal Sublime Sun Advanced Sunscreen SPF 30 Hydra Lotion Spray, $9.99