Founding Fathers and Sunscreen

As we all head off to the beach to enjoy The Fourth of July holiday weekend, be forewarned! The Environmental Working Group just released a study that says 4 out of 5 sunscreens don’t adequately protect consumers. In fact, they say that chemicals such as oxybenzone that are found in many popular sunscreens can penetrate skin and pose serious health concerns.

Sadly, I’m hardly shocked. According to The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (which is a project of The Breast Cancer Fund and is funded in part by Overbrook) only 11% of all personal care products are tested for safety. Here in the U.S. only 10 ingredients are banned from cosmetics, in Europe it’s over 1,100. And most frightening – one-third of personal care products contain at least one chemical linked to cancer!

Luckily the folks over at Environmental Working Group have put together a database called Skin Deep, which can be your safety guide to cosmetics and personal care products. It pairs ingredients in more than 25,000 products against 50 definitive toxicity and regulatory databases, making it the largest integrated resources of its kind. Click here to access the guide.

After researching some of the products I use on a daily basis, it looks like I’m going to need a serious overhaul of my cosmetics. I’ll do it as soon as I come back from the beach.