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If you’ve been religiously applying sunscreen like a good Daily Vanity reader, you definitely have to read on. A new study published by Environmental Working Group (EWG)  reveals many sunscreens that they’ve tested appears to be not as effective as they claim – they aren’t protecting you from the sun.

This research looked at 1,700 SPF products, including moisturisers and lip balms with SPF, from a range of brands, and tested their effectiveness.

The researchers also give lower ratings to sunscreens that claim to offer more than SPF50, because according to FDA, the effect of sunscreen maxes out after SPF50. EWG penalises sunscreens that claim more than SPF50 in their ratings, because these sunscreens give users a false sense of security, and end up spending more time under the sun than they otherwise would.

The EWG research accuses brands like Coppertone, Banana Boat, and Neutrogena – brands that are known for their sunscreens – of poor effectiveness in their sunscreens. Note also that according to EWG, Neutrogena’s products contain oxybenzone, a sunscreen filter that disrupts hormones, and retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A linked to skin damage.

But these three brands aren’t the only guilty ones. EWG’s study shows that only 21% of sunscreens they tested are providing sufficient sun protection.

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Sunscreens EWG says don’t work

The examples of sunscreens that EWG tested and said they don’t work include:

  • Banana Boat Clear UltraMist Ultra Defense MAX Skin Protect Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 110
  • Coppertone Sport High Performance AccuSpray Sunscreen, SPF 70
  • CVS Sheer Mist Spray Sunscreen, SPF 70
  • Neutrogena Fresh Cooling Sunscreen Body Mist, SPF 70
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100+
  • Banana Boat Sport Performance Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100
  • Coppertone Sport High Performance Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100
  • CVS Sun Lotion Sunscreen, SPF 100
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sunscreen, SPF 70
  • Banana Boat Clear UltraMist Kids Max Protect & Play Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 110
  • Coppertone Kids Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70
  • Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70+
  • Kroger Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70
  • Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Beach & Pool Sunblock Spray, SPF 70+

See the whole list here.

Most effective sunscreens EWG found

The examples of sunscreens that EWG tested and said they work include:

  • Adorable Baby Clear Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+
  • All Terrain AquaSport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
  • Badger All-Season Face Stick, Unscented, SPF 35
  • California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+
  • Goddess Garden Everyday Natural Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
  • Juice Beauty Sport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
  • MDSolarSciences Mineral Crème Sunscreen, SPF 50
  • Raw Elements USA Eco Formula, SPF 30
  • Seventh Generation Baby Sunscreen, SPF 30
  • The Honest Company Honest Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
  • Tropical Sands All Natural Biodegradable Sunscreen, Coconut Scent, SPF 30
  • True Natural Ultra Protect 50 Antioxidant Sunscreen, Natural Coconut, SPF 50

See full list here.

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