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The best sunscreens to keep you safe

Saturday - 6/16/2012, 7:49am  ET

Max Smith, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Many people will make the most of this beautiful Father's Day weekend by celebrating outdoors, and now there's a list of the best sunscreens available that can help keep your family safe.

The Environmental Working Group recommends 188 sunscreens, based on the chemicals they include or avoid.

"One of the most important things to look for is broad spectrum protection. Oftentimes that will be on the label," David Andrews, a senior scientist with the Environmental Working Group, says.

The best sunscreens are SPF 30 or higher with zinc oxide and alpha benzone.

"In general, we found that the children's products actually did slightly better overall. There are slightly less concerning ingredients and the overall protection was higher," Andrews says.

"We recommend that consumers avoid sprays and powdered sunscreens due to the risk of inhalation, and we think the best option for consumers is to seek out lotions, especially for use on children."

The group is always worried about the impact chemicals may have on people's bodies, so they exclude sunscreens with Vitamin A or oxybenzone.

The sunscreens on the list are not ranked, but the list does show you roughly how much each one costs, and how safe the group says it is.

Andrews reminds that sunscreen should only be one of the ways you protect yourself from the sun's rays, in addition to wearing protective clothing and staying in the shade as much as possible.

The full list can be found here and a beach sport sunscreen list is here.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)