Experts from Consumer Reports tested sunscreens available in the market to see how effective they are.
Applying sunscreen is not the only practice people must observe to get adequate sun protection. Aside from that, people have to follow the correct way of applying it, as some apply too little or do not reapply sunscreen as needed.
The blame, however, cannot solely be put on human practices. In a recent testing, investigators found that the sun protection factor (SPF) of most sunscreens in the market do not necessarily reflect what's on the label.
That Thing Called SPF
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. This year, Consumer Reports tested over 60 lotions, sticks and sprays, which according to their label, have SPF 30 or higher.
Findings show that 28 products or 43 percent failed to have the SPF level they claim to have. What's more, three of the sunscreens failed significantly as they were found to contain an SPF that is less than 15. Such SPF level can be hazardous to consumers, causing sunburns, skin damage, wrinkles and even cancer.
Considering Consumer Reports' four years of testing experience, the latest sunscreen results are not new. The group has seen this pattern even before - products with SPF below what's printed on the label and a third containing SPF below 30.
Also, nearly half of the sunscreens failed in their declared SPF after being immersed in water.
With these results, experts recommend people to get a sunscreen with SPF 40 or higher as printed on the label. This will give consumers better chances of getting a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30.
"Consumers have a right to receive the level of sun protection they expect," the report reads.
Experts do not really recommend having a separate sunscreen for the face as the active ingredients of both body and face sunscreens are the same. Consumer Reports then tested face sunscreens and found that the top sunscreen lotions give better protection than the best face sunscreen there is.
Some people, however, may opt to use face sunscreens as these are made for different skin types. Also, most of these products are oil-free, so those who have acne-prone, oily skin may find these more favorable.
Topping the list of the best face sunscreens is Avon Sun + Face Lotion SPF 40, followed by Target's Up & Up Ultra Sheer SPF 30.