Are all Sunscreens Safe? Don’t Let Them Fool You

Sunscreen and False Advertising


Credit: Avery Dierks Even on a boat you have to remember to use a good sunscreen.

With spring finally  here, and summer around the corner, it’s time to go get some sunscreen to protect your skin. You may find yourself having a difficult time at the store trying to figure out which brand to use, what SPF to get, and how much coverage they will actually give you. Shocking new studies have shown that some sunscreen brands give false advertising on how well their sunscreens actually work, and how much coverage they give.

She Knows says, “A new study conducted by researchers at the Environmental Working Group says 80 percent of sunscreen products on the market today aren’t protecting you from the sun the way they should. And yes, that includes many SPF-infused moisturizers and lip balms. Not only that, but several chemicals found in some of the most well-known sunscreen brands could be doing serious harm to your body.”

The false advertising is taken so seriously because in some cases sun exposure can be fatal. Too much exposure can cause skin cancer, or enhance its growth if one already has it. The only protection from it if you are going to be out in the sun and not covered by clothing is sunscreen. So, it is severely important that everyone is truly provided the coverage they seek.


Neutrogena is a popular sunscreen used today, mostly by women because of the advertising promising good coverage and skin benefits.

Also She Knows says, “EWG points fingers at major brands like Coppertone, Banana Boat and CVS, but makes the biggest stink over Neutrogena’s spray sunscreen. This was quite troubling to me, because I totally fell for the advertising that touts it as the “#1 Dermatologist Recommended Suncare Brand.”

The brand’s spray products received the lowest ratings from this organization’s research for many reasons, but especially because of its false advertising. Neutrogena claims to provide super-high SPFs, but according to the FDA, all sun-protecting benefits max out once you hit SPF 50. In 2014, a lawsuit was filled against the corporation for false advertisement.  said, “plaintiffs claim that the company deceptively labels Neutrogena High SPF Sunscreens as providing superior sun protection than lower SPF sunscreens when, in reality, scientific evidence shows that sunscreens with SPF values higher than 50 provide no additional benefit to consumers.”

According to the EWG, “More than 80 percent of Neutrogena’s products contain oxybenzone, a hormone-disrupting sunscreen filter, and one-third contain retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A linked to skin damage.”

Neutrogena is just one of the sunscreen companies that has false advertised. EWG’s research shows that only 21 percent of sunscreens on the market actually do what they claim to and are sufficiently effective at protecting against the sun.

EWG’s 11 Worst Spray Sunscreens: “These sunscreens are aerosol sprays with SPFs above 50+ and the harmful additives oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate.”

Banana Boat Clear UltraMist Ultra Defense MAX Skin Protect Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 110
Coppertone Sport High Performance AccuSpray Sunscreen, SPF 70
Coppertone Sport High Performance Clear Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 100+
CVS Clear Spray Sunscreen, SPF 100
CVS Sheer Mist Spray Sunscreen, SPF 70
CVS Sport Clear Spray Sunscreen, SPF 100+
CVS Wet & Dry Sunscreen Spray, SPF 85
Neutrogena Fresh Cooling Sunscreen Body Mist, SPF 70
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100+
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70
Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunscreen Spray, SPF 85+

EWG’s 12 Worst Sunscreen Lotions: “These sunscreen lotions claim SPFs above 50+ and contain oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate.”

Banana Boat Sport Performance Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100
Coppertone Sport High Performance Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100
Coppertone Sport High Performance Sunscreen, SPF 75
Coppertone Sport Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55
Coppertone Ultra Guard Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70+
CVS Sport Sunstick Sunscreen, SPF 55
CVS Sun Lotion Sunscreen, SPF 100
CVS Sun Lotion Sunscreen, SPF 70
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Daily Liquid Sunscreen, SPF 70
NO-AD Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 60
NO-AD Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 85
Ocean Potion Protect & Nourish Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70

If you now need help on which sunscreen to use you can click here, and the EWG has a list of good  sunscreens to use that work, and that aren’t falsely advertised!