Which Sunscreens Work and Which Don’t?

Aug 06 2015 physical blocker Sunscreen titanium dioxided zinc oxide

There’s been a lot of media coverage this summer about several well-known brands of sunscreen that consumers are saying do not work. Just this week, social media lit up with numerous photos of people with bright red sunburns who claimed they used a particular brand and followed its directions, but still suffered serious sunburn.

Consumers are unhappy and rightly so. Savvy customers today are choosy about the type of sunscreen they purchase and are looking for one that has the least amount of chemicals but still provides effective sun protection. They aren’t turned off by spending a little more on a brand that meets those requirements. But when you spend a little more, you expect the sunscreen to work.

So how can you find out which brands work and which don’t? A good place to start is with the Environmental Working Group (EWG) at www.ewg.org. Earlier this summer, EWG released its 2015 Sunscreen Guide, which reviewed more than 1,700 SPF products like sunscreens, lip balms and moisturizers. The researchers discovered that 80 percent of the products offer “inferior sun protection or contain worrisome ingredients.”

In the guide, EWG also provides a Hall of Shame of products that don’t deliver on their sun protection promises, as well as a database for users to search how protective their particular sun products are—and find one that works. Blue Lizard Sensitive and Baby scored a 1 on EWG’s ratings scale for safety and effectiveness – the lower the score, the safer the product.

But don’t stop there. An even better way to determine which sunscreens work and which don’t is to read customer reviews. Blue Lizard has more than 1,100 customer reviews on our website as well as on Amazon.com, with an average satisfaction rating of 4.5+ out of 5 stars. Real reviews from real customers can give you a true picture of how a product actually works.

Many of the sunscreen products coming under fire are those that claim to be “natural” products that are “mineral-based” with zinc oxide. Customers are angry that the products used to contain a higher percentage of zinc but now use a lower concentration and concluded that is why the product is not working.

But that theory may not be entirely accurate. While the FDA does allow sunscreens to contain up to 25 percent zinc oxide, the effectiveness of the product is not necessarily dependent on the amount of zinc it contains. Most sunscreens contain multiple active ingredients, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, to provide higher SPF protection and to be an effective physical protectant. This type of combination is present in Blue Lizard Sensitive and Baby, a mineral/physical protectant that offers the best in broad-spectrum sun protection.

More than 1,000 positive customer reviews don’t lie – stick with Blue Lizard for the most effective broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection.