Healthy Beauty

Consumer Reports Recommends 7 of 20 Sunscreens

May 20, 2014 -- Only 2 of 20 sunscreens tested provide the promised level of SPF protection after being in water, according to Consumer Reports’ annual sunscreen test. Only seven of 20 products earned a recommendation.

"Consumers just need to be careful when they buy sunscreen, that they are looking at the labels and questioning the information they are reading,” says Trisha Calvo, Consumer Reports deputy editor.

Shoppers should remember that ''only three claims are regulated by the FDA -- SPF, broad spectrum, and water resistance,” Calvo says.

The report is published in the July issue of Consumer Reports.

2014 Top Sunscreens

"We tested popular sunscreens from top manufacturers as well as some from small manufacturers," Calvo says. All had to have an SPF claim of at least 30, be broad spectrum (protect against both UVA and UVB rays), and be water-resistant.

UVB rays can cause both sunburn and skin cancer. UVA rays are responsible for aging the skin, and they contribute to skin cancer, including the most deadly form known as melanoma. Experts measured the products' SPF (sun protection factor), or how well it guards against UVB rays, after the testers went in the water.

Top Picks