With summer upon us, it’s time to stock up on sunscreen for the season. To help navigate the vast selection crowding store shelves and to ensure you’re getting the best protection against, sunburn and skin cancer, Consumer Reports Health has released its list of top-rated sunscreens. And, here are the details from a report on AOL:
Consumer Reports analyzed how well 12 different sprays, lotions and creams blocked both UVA and UVB rays, and tested whether their claimed sun protection factor (SPF) — the measure of UVB protection — held up on volunteers who soaked in water while wearing the sunscreen.
Four of those tied for best overall score:
These four — all sprays — provided “very good” UVA protection, “excellent” UVB protection, and met their SPF claim even after 80 minutes in the water. Plus, the Up & Up sunscreen was rated a CR Best Buy — a tag awarded to products that both perform well and come at a reasonable price.
Beyond those four, however, a remarkable number still managed to received good marks from testing. “This year we have nine that we’re recommending and that’s a lot,” says Gayle Williams, deputy editor for Consumer Reports Health. “Even the one that is last on the list rated good in terms of UVA and UVB protection. So even if you don’t buy the one at the top of our list, you’re still getting a good product.”
Which means consumers have some leeway to select a sunscreen based on personal preferences, says Williams. “Some people don’t like the scent of one, or one feels a little too greasy or not greasy enough or whatever. It’s good because you are putting this on your skin and you’re supposed to be wearing it for a long time. And if you really despise the smell or hate the feel, you’re not going to do it.”
With that in mind, Consumers Report Health also tapped their sensory panelists to evaluate how the 12 sunscreens felt, smelled, and rubbed in or sprayed on. Turns out the top four had floral or citrus scents and left little residue on skin.
The bottom line is, find one you like: Most experts recommend wearing sunscreen every day (even cloudy ones).
I also advise the following:
To see the full list of sunscreen ratings, check out the July 2010 issue of Consumer Reports Health or go online here.