People Are Freaking Out Over This Shady Hidden Message on Lululemon Bags

This is honestly not okay.

Product, Font, Material property,
(Image credit: Lululemon)

Two things come to mind when I think of Lululemon: opaque yoga pants that won't show your undies, and those iconic red, quote-covered tote bags that proclaim #truths like "creativity is maximized when you are living in the moment," and "friends are more important than money" (really good friends, at least).

But have you actually stopped to read every single word on the Lululemon tote bag? Welp, one person did, and noticed a phrase that has promptly pissed off the internet.


In a Reddit post on the subReddit r/SkincareAddiction, user paynowork uploaded a pic of the bag with the caption, "Wait, what? Interesting message about sunscreen on my Lululemon bag." In the photo, the following quote is clearly visible: "Sunscreen absorbed into the skin might be worse for you than sunshine. Get the right amount of sunshine." Yup.

Text, Font, Poster,

(Image credit: Reddit / @paynowork)

Within minutes, frantic comments began popping up, with emotionals ranging from the frustrated ("People with influence spreading pseudoscience and misinformation are the worst") to the incredibly annoyed ("Jesus Christ, lululemon; chill the fuck out and stick to manufacturing overpriced spandex"), with the overall sentiment of the thread best summed up in a word: ugh.

Nose, Finger, Hairstyle, Shoulder, Photograph, White, Style, Neck, Beauty, Pattern,

(Image credit: Giphy)

"Are you serious?" asked Yale dermatologist Mona Gohara when I asked for her thoughts on Lululemon's sun advice. "That is actually really scary, because according to the American Academy of Dermatology, there has thus far been no scientific proof that sunscreen is harmful or bad or carcinogenic when applied to the skin."

"There is, on the other hand, ample data that shows how just a few minutes of unprotected sun exposure can lead to skin cancer," she says. "It's like smoking half a cigarette and thinking, 'meh, it's just half.' No, a carcinogen is a carcinogen is a carcinogen, and sun is a carcinogen."


Considering the fact that one in five people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, and one person dies of melanoma every 54 minutes, you can't really blame someone—especially dermatologist someones—for getting pissed off at this unsubstantiated advice from a major wellness brand. Sure, going outside and getting some fresh air to prevent yourself from becoming a cave person is important, but it shouldn't be done without some sunscreen.

So just in case you were planning to get all of your life's advice from a Lululemon tote bag (which, I might add, also incorrectly states that "stress is related to 99-percent of all illnesses" before it suggests you should "visualize your eventual demise") maybe, like, don't? Cool. Glad we had this talk. Now go put on your sunscreen.

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Chloe Metzger
Beauty Editor

Chloe Metzger is the deputy beauty director at Cosmopolitan, overseeing the editorial content and growth strategy of the hair, makeup, and skin space on digital, while also obsessively writing about the best hair products for every hair type (curly girl here; whattup), and the skincare routines that really, truly work (follow her on Instagram to see behind-the-scenes pics of that magazine life). She brings nearly a decade of writing and editing expertise, and her work has appeared in AllureHealthFitnessMarie ClaireStyleCaster, and Parents. She also has an unhealthy adoration for Tom Hanks and would like to please meet him one day, if you could arrange that. Thanks.