EWG 2014 Sunscreen Report - The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Response

May 27, 2014 --The EWG’s broad claims regarding the safety and effectiveness of sunscreens are based on informal information gathering, while real laboratory results are the basis of the Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation program. The Foundation’s Photobiology Committee (physician experts in how the sun interacts with skin) determines whether a product meets the Foundation’s criteria for the Seal of Recommendation based on the actual formulations and specific ingredient concentrations for each product submitted.  The Foundation’s criteria includes specific tests -- such as phototoxicity and contact irritancy – which are not even considered by the EWG.  The Seal of Recommendation for sunscreens is designed to help consumers choose a safe and effective product. 

The EWG’s conclusions about various brands are based on product label information, which is analyzed by people who are not experts in the field.  The EWG’s Sunscreen Report uses scare tactics that only serve to confuse the public and potentially deter them from using the quality sunscreen products that are readily accessible. 

Though using sunscreen is a vital sun safety strategy, The Skin Cancer Foundation has always recommended a complete sun protection regimen that includes not only sunscreen use, but also seeking shade, covering up with clothing including a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.