Cara Hopkins' Blog

Ladies and gentlemen: Wear sunscreen

The Environmental Working Group’s annual sunscreen guide begins with the provocative question: Does your sunscreen work? It’s something we likely don’t think about very often. SPF 60 should give you twice as much protection as 30, right? And those hard-to-pronounce ingredients are FDA approved, so they’ve gotta be safe… Not necessarily, according to EWG, which investigated 1,559 sunscreens and found that 3 of 5 brand name products “either don’t protect skin from sun damage or contain hazardous chemicals.”

In response to EWG’s guide, the Personal Care Products Council, a Washington, D.C.-based trade association, released a scathing statement denouncing EWG’s findings as “an unscientific and unsubstantiated report” that could “unnecessarily confuse or alarm consumers and even cause them to alter their safe sun habits.”

Regardless of where you and your customers stand on the issue, I am reminded of the 1999 song “Everybody’s free (to wear sunscreen)” by Baz Luhrmann. It’s a musical rendition of a column called "Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young" written by Mary Schmich and published in the Chicago Tribune in 1997. Re-live the memories or hear it for the first time in this YouTube video, and please, whatever you do, wear sunscreen.

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