Every feel overwhelmed by all the brands of sun block there are to choose from? There are approximately 500 different brands available and half of them actually increase the speed at which malignant cells develop and spread skin cancer because they contain vitamin A or its derivatives, according to a new study that came out. Shockingly, only 39 out of 500 products examined were considered safe and effective to use. The report cites these problems with bogus sun protection factors (SPF):

1.) The use of hormone-disrupting chemical oxybenzone, which penetratest the skin and enters the bloodstream.

2.) Overstated claims about performance.

3.) The lack of needed regulations and oversight by the Food and Drug Administration.

The most disturbing disclosure is the use of vitamin A and its derivatives, retinol, retinyl palmitate which may speed up the cancer that sunscreen is suppose to prevent. Vitamin A has been used in sunscreen formulas because its an anti-oxidant that slows skin aging, however, an FDA study of vitamin A's photocarcinogenic properties, may actually cause cancerous tumors when exposed to sunlight.

In a perfect world, the ideal sunscreen would completely block the UV rays that cause sunburn, immune suppression and damaging free radicals. It would remain effective on the skin for several hours and not form harmful ingredients when degraded by UV lights. In the US there is currently no sunscreen that meets all the criteria. When we purchase a 30 or 45 SPF, we think we are getting the best coverage and protection from the sun's rays. However, the new report discovers those numbers are often meaningless and dangerous because products with high SPF ratings sell a false sense of security, encouraging people using them to stay in the sun for long periods of time. "People don't get the high SPF they pay for", the report says. "People apply about a quarter of the recommended amount. So in everyday practice, a product labeled SPF 100 really performs like SPF 3.2 and SPF 30 rating equates to a 2.3 and an SPF 15 translates to 2."

So how do you know which one to purchase? The following are a few of the brands rated the best out of the study:

1.) Badger, Face and Body SPF 30

2.) California Baby Sunblock Stick SPF 30

3.) Loving Naturals SPF 30

4.) Purple Prairie Botanicals, Sun Stuff and Sun Stick SPF 30

5.) UV Natural, Baby Suncreen and Sport Sunscreen SPF 30

6.) All Terrain Aquasport Performance and Kid Sport SPF 30

7.) Kabana Skin Care, Green Screen Organic Sunblock SPF 20

8.) Think Baby and Think Sport Suncreen SPF 30

These are just a few of the top rated choices, reported by this new study. To read the full article, http://www.ewg.org/2010sunscreen/best-beach-sport-sunscreens/