WASHINGTON – Consumers are demanding more information about the sun protection products they are using and the chemicals they are putting on their bodies, as evidenced by the overwhelming response to EWG’s 2015 Guide to Sunscreens.
The guide, released May 19, has logged 1.2 million unique visitors and 4.4 million page views and has been featured on numerous online news sites including Yahoo! Health, CNN.com and TIME Magazine.
EWG’s guide discloses that 80 percent of the 1,700 products analyzed contain harmful ingredients or offer inadequate protection against dangerous ultraviolet radiation – or both.
“This is the most attention our sunscreens guide has received in years,” said Ken Cook, EWG president and co-founder. “It’s clear that consumers are concerned not only about the efficacy of their sunscreens but also their safety, and they want to know how they can better protect themselves from the sun’s harmful rays.”
Consumers and journalists covering the issue have been intensely interested in knowing about top-rated products and also which ones to avoid.
Some 30 products landed on this year’s Sunscreen Hall of Shame because of potentially toxic ingredients, inhalation risks from sprays and excessive SPF claims. This list of the worst sunscreens and lotions on the market went far and wide, reaching millions of people and generating tens of thousands of “likes” and shares on Facebook and Twitter.
“We hope this breakthrough signals a new understanding of the importance of respecting the sun, not worshipping it,” added Cook. “As the U.S. Surgeon General suggested last year, given the growing problem of skin cancer, we need to rewire deep-seated cultural norms and replace sun bathing and tanning as beauty aids with sun safety as an crucial to health.”
In an effort to amplify the importance of sun safety, EWG has partnered with more than 20 sunscreen brands and retailers, including All Terrain, Ava Anderson Non Toxic, Babo Botanicals, Babyganics, Babytime! By Episencial, Badger, Bare Belly Organics, Beautycounter, California Baby, Cyberderm, Elemental Herbs, Goddess Garden Organics, GreenCupboards, Juice Beauty, Keys, MyChelle Dermacuticals, Purple Prairie Botanicals, Raw Elements, Sprouts, Sunology, Suntegrity, The Honest Company, Thinkbaby, True Natural and True Nature Botanicals.
EWG’s message resonated with comedian Conan O’Brien who said in a monologue on May 19, “A new report says that 80 percent of sunscreens either don't work or have questionable ingredients. In a related story, I don’t have long to live.”