Aptly nicknamed the Sunshine State, Florida rays do not discriminate when it comes to burns, sun damage and more.
In fact, there were nearly 5,000 cases of Melanoma reported throughout the state in 2012, according to the Florida Data Cancer System run by the University of Miami School of Medicine.
But it turns out that these cases may have less to do with unsafe sun protection practices, and more to do with unsafe sun protection products.
In their ninth annual Sunscreen Guide, the Environmental Working Group (EWG)—an organization dedicated to protecting public health and the environment –stated that 80 percent of 1,700 products tested “offer inferior sun protection or contain worrisome ingredients.”
Among the brands showing poor results were Banana Boat, Coppertone, and Neutrogena.
Products like Neutrogena’s Fresh Cooling Sunscreen Body Mist tested positive for oxybenzone—a compound that can disrupt the hormone system, and retinyl palmitate—a type of vitamin A that may lead to skin damage.
Other sunscreen lotions claiming to have high Sun Protection Factors (SPF) were also called into question. The Food and Drug Administration has pushed for regulations on labels, saying that any factor over 50 is not necessarily as effective as those between SPF 30 and SPF 50.
Jan Marini Physical Protectant, SPF 45
This product boasts high-absorbency levels, helping it to protect skin from damage over a longer time ($49, janmarini.com).
Luzern Laboratories La Defense Mineral, SPF 30
This sunscreen offers balanced levels of UVA/UVB protection, keeping your skin shielded from both types of rays when applied ($45, luzernlabs.com).
CyberDERM Simply Zinc Sun Whip, SPF 30
With ingredients that pose the lowest health concerns and balanced UVA/UVB protection, this sunscreen is a top choice for protection ($38, thesunscreencompany.com).
SkinCeuticals Physical UV Defense, SPF 30
Again, with high-absorbency levels, this product is more likely to keep protecting your skin even with exposure to sweat and water (- $34, skinceuticals.com).
La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral Tinted, SPF 50
Not only does this product rank among the highest rated by the EWG, but it is tinted, offering you coverage while protecting your skin ($33.50, laroche-posay.us).
For more information and a full list of products, visit ewg.org.