The sun’s harmful rays can increase our risk of developing skin cancer, and proper sun-safe behaviors – like wearing hats, clothing and sunglasses, avoiding the sun when it’s at its peak and choosing a safe and effective sunscreen – are our best defense for protection. Before heading out into the sun, read EWG’s sun safety tips and bring along a recommended sunscreen.
Sunscreen regulations have not been updated since 2011. In 2019, the FDA released a draft monograph, with a goal of updating sunscreen regulations that year. However, due to changes in the way over-the-counter-drugs are regulated, the proposal was withdrawn in the first coronavirus relief bill. The FDA is due to propose new sunscreen regulations this fall.
The FDA’s previous proposal recognized just two ingredients as safe and effective, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. EWG has always recommended that consumers choose sunscreen products made with these ingredients, which meet our standards for effectiveness and safety.
In 2019, the FDA proposed that 12 other active ingredients commonly found in sunscreens, including oxybenzone, need additional data from safety and efficacy tests. Those ingredients are used in about 60 percent of the sunscreens assessed in this year’s guide. The FDA requested the same data for these ingredients that the agency requires for ingredients used elsewhere in the world that companies want to use in U.S. sunscreens.
Enjoy the summer and don’t get burned.
Source: EWG’s Guide to Safer Sunscreens
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