Consumer Reports Releases New Warning About Sunscreens Who Have Less SPF Than They Claim

If you’re curious how rigorous the Consumer Report’s testing is, it’s a pretty in-depth process. The accuracy of the SPF claim is top priority since it’s estimated 4.3 million Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year. Consumer Reports measures both how long you’ll be protected by a certain brand as well as how effective its UVA blockers are.

The longevity test is carried out by slathering sunscreen on a participant’s back, have them soak in water, then exposing them to six intensities of UVB light. The UVA test is performed by “globbing paper plates with sunscreen, blasting them with UVA and UVB light, and measuring how much is absorbed.” From there, researchers rank each sunscreen with a rating between 0 and 100. Any brand that scored 81 or higher and received a score of Excellent or Very Good qualified for their recommendation.


Consumer Reports also found that there is no correlation between price and effectiveness. As you’ll see below, however, the top-rated sunscreen is pretty pricey while the runner-up costs just a few bucks.

If you’re wondering why those natural sunscreens ranked so poorly, Consumer Reports‘ sunscreen expert, Trisha Calvo explained: “Chemical sunscreens with active ingredients absorb UV rays, versus deflecting them, which mineral sunscreens do. It’s almost like the UV bounces back on your skin’ when you apply mineral-only sunscreens.”

Two of the sunscreens that were ranked at the bottom of the list are CeraVe’s Body Lotion SPF 50 which relies only on zinc oxide to block UV rays and tested at less than half that SPF. The same was found with Babyganics’s Mineral-based Sunscreen 50+SPF.  So which sunscreens are recommended by Consumer Reports? Take a look…

Watch The Best Sunscreens According To Consumer Reports:

The full list of all 73 sunscreens will be featured in Consumer Reports July issue.

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