Avoid sunscreens with potentially harmful ingredients, group warns

Potential Harmful SunscreensTwenty-five percent of 800 tested sunscreens are effective at protecting your skin without the use of potentially harmful ingredients, according to the 2012 Sunscreen Guide released Wednesday by the Environmental Working Group.

"The results are slightly better than previous years, but it continues to surprise us that we can recommend such few products," said Nneka Leiba, an Environmental Working Grou senior analyst.

To make the watchdog group’s safe list, sunscreens must be free of oxybenzone, retinyl palmitate (a type of vitamin A), not have SPF above 50 and protect against UVA and UVB sunrays.

Toxic ingredients?

The Environmental Working Group says 56% of beach and sport sunscreens contain the chemical oxybenzone. The primary function of oxybenzone is to absorb ultraviolet light, but some research shows oxybenzone can be absorbed through the skin.

Full story of harmful sunscreens at CNN Health

Photos courtesy of and copyright stock.xchng, http://www.sxc.hu/

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Will Savage

Quantum Units Continuing Education provides online CEU training's to licensed professional mental health therapists, counselors, social workers and nurses. Our blog provides updates in the field of news and research related to mental health and substance abuse treatment.