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Here Are The Best Sunscreens 2018, According to Consumer Reports

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Consumer Reports has released its annual list of the best sunscreens on the market this year ahead of the upcoming summer season. Here's the full list.  ( Joe Raedle | Getty Images )

Summer is just around the corner, and as the temperatures soar, Consumer Reports has released a list of the best sunscreens this year.

No matter how old a person is or what skin color they have, if they're going to be exposed to the sun longer than five minutes, it is recommended that they use sunscreen to protect themselves from skin cancer.

Consumer Reports Releases List Of Best Sunscreens Of 2018

Luckily for them, Consumer Reports has compiled a list of the best products available in the market for protection from sun exposure. The nonprofit magazine rated 73 different lotions and sprays for effectiveness and also verified whether or not the SPF level printed on the product's label was accurate.

SPF stands for sun protection factor and is a measure of how well a sunscreen guards against the sun's ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, which is the main cause of sunburn, skin damage, and a contributor to skin cancer.

Top Rated Sunscreens And Lotions

According to CR, the top four sunscreen lotions are as follows:

  • La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk
  • Equate (Walmart) Sport Lotion SPF 50
  • BullFrog Land Sport Quik Gel SPF 50
  • Coppertone WaterBabies SPF 50 Lotion

Meanwhile, Trader Joe's SPF 50+, was singled out as the top-rated sunscreen spray by the report.

How Were The Products Tested?

The company tested sunscreens that were labeled SPF 30 or higher and had claims of water resistance for 80 minutes. The tests were carried out by applying the sunscreen on backs of the subjects and then allowing them to soak themselves in a tub of water for a duration of 40 to 80 minutes, depending on the product's water-resistance claim.

The area where the sunscreen was applied was then exposed to UVB light and examined by experts for redness. CR's tests revealed that many of the sunscreens did not actually meet the SPF level printed on the packaged product.

Of course, that does not mean that the sunscreens don't work at all, but consumers may not be getting the degree of protection they're paying for.

Tips On Applying Sunscreen

Consumer Reports recommends applying sunscreen 15 minutes before one heads out so that the skin can absorb it properly before it is exposed to the UV rays.

The report also pointed out that one should use about an ounce of lotion/spray to cover the entire body, including the often-overlooked areas such as the ears, upper back, back of the hands, and the top of the feet. CR also urges people to reapply sunscreen every couple of hours or immediately after swimming or sweating.

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