Wearing sunscreen — along with a hat and protective clothing — can protect you from skin damage, cancer, and wrinkling. But some sun-protection products are less effective than you’d think and may do more harm than good.
That’s the latest word from the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG), which has issued a new analysis that found that as many as one in five sunscreens on the market contain a form of vitamin A, known as retinyl palmitate, that may speed development of skin cancer tumors.
EWG’s 2015 Guide to Sunscreens checked 1,700 sun-protection products and found the additive in 19 percent of sunscreens, 17 percent of moisturizers with SPF, and 13 percent of lip products.
It also found 80 percent of sunscreens on the market don’t work as effectively as makers claim or contain other potentially harmful ingredients, such as oxybenzone and methylisothiazolinone, as well as retinyl palmitate.