Lululemon: Sunscreen Might be Worse than Sunshine

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The maker of yoga apparel has been criticized for a phrase used on its website and printed on store bags about the use of sunscreen.

It's the middle of the summer, and temperatures are rising all over the country. Many folks are enjoying the sunshine as they spend more time by the pool or at the beach.

With increasing temperatures comes an increasing awareness of the use of sunscreen to prevent skin cancer. You might want to think twice about how much sunscreen you use, according to yoga pants manufacturer Lululemon, which posts this piece of advice as part of a collage on its website:

"Sunscreen absorbed into the skin might be worse for you than sunshine. Get the right amount of sunshine."

Of course, common sense says this is not sound advice at all, and this line of thinking was criticized earlier this month in multiple online reports. Business Insider cited a study by Memorial Sloan-Kettering:

"After reviewing all the evidence, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering researchers conclude that the benefits of sunscreen far outweigh any risks. 'Our research revealed that topical use of sunscreen protects against squamous cell carcinoma, does not cause vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency in practice and has not been demonstrated to adversely affect the health of humans,' they write."

Lululemon, which prints the manifesto on its bags and has on occasion printed the words "WEAR SUNSCREEN" on those bags, gave this response to the Business Insider:

"Thanks for reaching out for clarification. The manifesto design that goes on our bags is a collection of statements that are ever-evolving and intended to spark conversation that is relevant at the time. To clarify, the manifesto design on our webpage is the most up-to-date and has been used on our most recent release of manifesto print bags."

Lululemon is no stranger to controversy. Its founder, Chip Wilson, got in hot water last year for saying his company's yoga pants "don't work for some women's bodies," leading to his resignation as chairman.

Wilson still is on the Lululemon board, however, and he made a bit of a scene at the company's annual shareholders meeting in June, voting against the re-election of two outside directors, The Washington Post reported. Wilson also is working with Goldman Sachs to get leverage back over the company, according to Forbes, which adds Nike and Adidas may want to buy the company.

Lululemon took another publicity hit earlier this month when Deadspin called its new "Runsie" the "ugliest running outfit ever." But hey, for $98, the Runsie does include pockets, so at least you have a safe place to put your sunscreen.

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