Parents know that slathering kids up with sunscreen is the only way to have fun in the sun safely, but now the FDA warns that some of the products we’ve been using might not be as safe as we thought. New research finds that chemicals commonly found in popular sunscreens might not be as effective at protecting skin and the FDA proposes new sunscreen regulations on ingredient safety, dosage requirements and SPF guidelines.
FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb explains, “Since the initial evaluation of these products, we know much more about the effects of the sun and about sunscreen’s absorption through the skin.”
The FDA tested 16 chemicals commonly used as main ingredients in sunscreen and found that only two were considered safe. The two winners to look for on your labels? Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Check your medicine cabinet and if you’ve got sunscreens that are mineral-based or called “natural,” you’re probably fine, because these often contain those two safe ingredients. But if there’s a long list of hard-to-pronounce chemicals on your sunscreen, it may contain some of the ones now considered unsafe and you should probably toss it.