These Sunscreens Could Actually Increase Your Risk of Getting Skin Cancer

Check the labels for these potentially dangerous ingredients.

<a href=http://www.istockphoto.com/photo/woman-applying-suntan-lotion-at-the-beach-gm466724810-59839930?st=_p_sunscreen>boonphotography</a>/iStock


Don’t celebrate right away if you’ve spent a day at the beach without getting burned: Some sunscreens may actually cover up redness, leading the people who use them to spend even more time in the sun, further exposing themselves to cancer-causing UV rays. 

The Environmental Working Group is concerned that anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients in sunscreen may hide a sunburn, the initial signs of skin damage. In a letter to the Food and Drug Administration, the group asked the agency to investigate these ingredients. EWG also called on the FDA to finalize a rule that would cap SPF labels at 50.

Here’s the EWG’s letter. And here’s its list of recommended sunscreens.

 

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  • Jenny Luna

    Jenny Luna is a Ben Bagdikian fellow at Mother Jones. She covers education and immigration and her work has appeared in the Miami Herald, WNYC, and the Wilson Quarterly. Follow her on Twitter @J2theLuna or email her at jluna@motherjones.com.