Thursday, June 8, 2023

EWG Sets a New SPF Standard With the First Verified Sunscreen Initiative


The Environmental Working Group has launched EWG Verified Sunscreens to help consumers better identify clean and safe sunscreen products ahead of the summer season.

The new Environmental Working Group (EWG) Verified Sunscreens platform aims to transform the sunscreen industry and redefine the expectations for sunscreen safety, the EWG says.

“EWG Verified is the leading standard for healthy ingredients in personal care, and we are thrilled to bring it to the sunscreen market,” Ken Cook, President of EWG, said in a statement. “By adding 12 healthy, broad-spectrum SPF products to the expanding list of some 2,260 EWG Verified products, we’re setting a new standard for the sunscreens industry.”

EWG says the Verified Sunscreens, which launches with 12 SPF products from a range of brands, marks a new era in sunscreen safety, providing consumers with peace of mind and empowering them to make informed purchasing decisions. Inaugural products on the list come from brands including Babo Botanicals, Beautycounter, and Attitude.

The partnership between EWG and these brands highlights a shared commitment to providing safer options for consumers. EWG says the products offer effective sun protection while adhering to EWG’s stringent criteria for safety and efficacy.

woman in the sun
Courtesy Hong Nguyen | Unsplash

According to EWG, which is known for its Skin Deep ingredients safety database as well as its annual ‘Dirty Dozen’ and ‘Clean Fifteen’ pesticides on produce lists, the FDA has failed to offer consumers safety standards for sunscreens.

Homer Swei, Ph.D., EWG Senior Vice President of Healthy Living Science, says the organization’s new mark on sunscreen packaging offers consumers “a reliable and convenient way to identify best-performing products that meet EWG’s highest safety and efficacy standards.”

The EWG has been ranking sunscreens since 2006 when it released its first Guide to Sunscreens. Now with its 17th Guide, it says only 25 percent of the products it reviewed offer good broad-spectrum protection without concerning ingredients. EWG says many sunscreens on the market fall short of providing adequate protection against ultraviolet A radiation, misleading consumers with their SPF claims. The launch of EWG Verified Sunscreens addresses these concerns and establishes a gold standard in sunscreen safety.

To qualify for the EWG Verified mark, the sunscreens cannot come in aerosol or powder forms, both of which increase the risk of inhalation. All qualifying sunscreens must also carry an SPF factor between 15 and 50 to provide adequate sun protection. The EWG Verified sunscreens surpass U.S. and European standards; the European Commission recommends that the ratio of measured ultraviolet A, or UVA, protection to SPF be at least one-third. 

babo sunscreen
Courtesy Babo Botanicals

“Today EWG sets a new gold standard in sunscreen safety with the launch of EWG Verified Sunscreens,” said Jocelyn Lyle, EWG’s executive vice president of mission and partnerships. “This revolutionary mark allows busy consumers to choose products that will provide them with the best sun protection.”

“The EWG Verified program is an invaluable resource for consumers and we are beyond excited that the program will now allow them to shop for sunscreens with more peace of mind,” said Adrien Dissous, senior vice president of Babo Botanicals. “It can be daunting for consumers to decipher which SPF is meeting the standards of safety and quality they expect when thousands of options are available on shelves.”

Dissous says the EWG Verified program “rightfully places the burden of proof upon brands and manufacturers” to demonstrate that their products are safe and effective “instead of leaving consumers to do the work,” he added. 

“Our decades of expertise in assessing consumer products for health and safety have led us to introduce this new product category,” said Lyle. “We believe that everyone deserves access to effective sun protection without compromising their health, and this mark ensures just that.”

Shop the complete list of EWG Verified Sunscreens:


 Babo Botanicals


Related on Ethos:


5 Female Clean Beauty Founders Making a Big Difference, One Face at a Time

These five female founders saw the opportunity for their clean beauty brands to be vehicles for social change. 

From Rosemary Shampoo to Oil, Does This TikTok Hair Health Trick Work?

It's been six months since Mielle's Rosemary Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil first went viral on TikTok. And the trend shows no sign of slowing down as products from rosemary shampoo to rosemary oil continue to fly off shelves.

Mushrooms Benefits for Skin? Research Says Yes.

They may not sound super glamorous, but mushrooms' benefits are great for our skin — and the planet too. There's research to back it up.

Credo Beauty’s Clean Beauty Standards Matter (Even If You Shop Elsewhere)

Credo Beauty has become synonymous with natural skincare and cosmetics with a focus on sustainability since its launch in 2015. And even if you've never shopped there, Credo is undoubtedly changing the way you shop for clean beauty. Here's what you need to know.

It’s Not Clean Perfume Unless It’s Ethical, Too: How to Spot the Difference

If you're shopping for clean fragrances, here's how to make sure your perfume is ethical, too.