Summer is fast approaching, which means protecting your skin (and your family's) against the sun's harmful rays is crucial. But your usual sun care routine may need some updates. Now that the new 2018 Safe Sunscreen Guide from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is out, it's the perfect time to make sure you and your kids are avoiding any unnecessary sun exposure, and keeping yourselves protected when you are outside. As it turns out, there's a lot to learn about sunscreen, even for dedicated SPF fiends like me.
In its 12th annual guide, the EWG presents safety and efficiency ratings for over 1,000 sunscreens, lip balms, and general moisturizers with any kind of stated sun protection. It's an impressive database with a ton of information, and some of the ratings might surprise you. "The majority of sunscreens available in the U.S. aren’t as good as most consumers think they are," said Sonya Lunder, senior research analyst at EWG. By browsing their site you can quickly see that some sunscreens, even expensive ones, are not rated as effective as others. Huge disparities in SPF values, as well as the inclusion of potentially harmful ingredients, can make shopping for sunscreen tricky and confusing.
To help you and your family prepare for more time outside, here are a few of the top-rated sunscreens from the EWG. There are many other brands and formulas with high ratings, too, so feel free to browse their database for more options.
Sunscreen isn't the best or only option when it comes to sun protection, however. Here is some advice about what to look for, as well as what to avoid, in your next sunscreen purchase, as well as some additional sun safety advice. With a little guidance, you and your family can stay safe in the sun all summer long.