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Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released the results of its 10th annual study of commercially available sunscreens, and results indicate some of the most popular brands of sun protections products are also some of the least effective.

By LOIS SWOBODA The Apalachicola Times

Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released the results of its 10th annual study of commercially available sunscreens, and results indicate some of the most popular brands of sun protections products are also some of the least effective.

EWG annual Guide to Sunscreens found that many of the most popular sunscreen products are not of high quality and make claims that cannot be supported. Almost three fourths of the 750 sunscreens evaluated offer inferior protection or contain ingredients like oxybenzone, a hormone disruptor, or retinyl palmitate, which may harm skin, according to the study.

have been some improvements in sun protection, but there is still a lot to be done to improve the quality of sunscreens, said Sonya Lunder, EWG senior analyst. aren as good as they should be and don offer enough protection against ultraviolet rays. The study includes lists of the best and worst products specifically targeting children.

LINK: EWG 2016 Guide to Sunscreens

EWG interactive online guide rates more than 750 sunscreens based on safety and efficacy and includes information about pricing. Shoppers can find sunscreens that are not only more effective but safer for themselves and their families.

The 2016 guide also includes information on how to read product labels, identify potential hazards and avoid skin damage. Be sure to check out EWG sunscreen label decoder.

The study advises consumers to steer clear of products with SPF higher than 50. Researchers found that many such claims are unsupported so an SPF rating may not be the best way to determine a product value. It also advises avoiding spray on sunscreens because, while they are easy to use, they don provide a uniform coating and inhaling sunscreen sprays is a potential health risk.

The American Melanoma Foundation recommends sunscreens be used daily if you are going to be in the sun for more than 20 minutes. Most people will receive this amount of sun exposure while performing routine activities. There are cosmetic products available that contain sunscreens for daily use. Sunscreen used on a regular basis actually allows some repair of damaged skin.

Sunscreen should be applied even on a cloudy day. Snow skiers beware, ultraviolet radiation increases 4 percent for every 1,000 foot increase in altitude.

Other recommendations from the study are as follows:

Stay away from sunscreens containing vitamin A. Government studies link the use of retinyl palminate, a form of vitamin A, to formation of skin tumors and lesions when it applied to sun exposed skin.

Steer clear of oxybenzone. This widely used UV filtering chemical is a hormone disruptor and can trigger allergic reactions.

Look for mineral based sunscreens containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. They are stable in sunlight and don often contain potentially harmful additives.

Look for a sunscreen that is waterproof or water resistant especially if you will engage in physical activity outdoors.

Never buy sunscreen with an insect repellant built in. Sunscreen should be reapplied every 30 to 120 minutes. Insect repellants should only be applied every three to four hours and are better applied to clothing than to skin if possible.

Don depend on sunscreen for protection. Find some shade or take it along in the form of a beach umbrella and cover up if you will be exposed to direct sunlight for long periods of time. Clothing is the best protection against UV radiation.

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polo swimming trunks Group releases 2016 guide to best