Memorial Day weekend is almost here — and before you start packing your beach bag, you might want to invest in a new sunscreen. Consumer Reports recently tested and rated more than 60 sun tan lotions, sprays and sticks with a 30 or higher SPF and found that 28 of them didn’t meet the SPF claim on their label.
This isn’t terribly surprising considering the backlash against Jessica Alba’s eco-friendly Honest Company’s sunscreen last summer. Angry consumers flooded social media with photos of their sun burns after the non-toxic sunscreen failed to deliver on its SPF promise.
Consumer Reports warns that mineral-based sunscreens containing only titanium dioxide or zinc oxide (frequently referred to as “natural”), are not the best option on the market today — noting that in tests they frequently perform far worse than the chemical-based sunscreens. Though there are some natural sunscreens that performed well in the tests, here are a few:
- Cotz Plus SPF 58 ($20)
- California Baby Super Sensitive SPF 30+ ($19.99)
- Ocean Potion Protect & Nourish SPF 30 (oxybenzone-free, but is a chemical-based sunscreen)($7.99)
For optimum sun protection, Consumer Reports advises consumers to choose a chemical sunscreen with a 40 or higher SPF. These were the best-rated lotions:
- La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk ($36)
- Pure Sun Defense SPF 50 ($6.30)
- Coppertone Water Babies SPF 50 ($10.50)
- Equate Sport Continuous Spray SPF 50 ($7.85)
- No-Ad Sport SPF 50 ($10)
If you prefer spray, here are the top five performers:
- Trader Joe’s Spray SPF 50+ ($6)
- Banana Boat SunComfort Continuous Spray SPF 50+ ($10)
- Neutrogena Beach Defense Water + Sun Protection SPF 70 ($10.50)
- Caribbean Breeze Continuous Tropical Mist SPF 70 ($16.60)
- Equate Sport Continuous Spray SPF 30 ($4.98)
Reapply as frequently as you, and remember to wear a hat and cover up! Sunscreen shouldn’t be your only method of protection against the sun’s UVB rays.
In the future, Consumer Reports hopes that the The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will review its sunscreen requirements. They currently only require manufacturers to test their own products, and don’t routinely conduct their own tests. Consumer Reports has submitted its research from the last four years to the FDA for their review.