It's hard to pick a sunscreen. You approach the shelf and are tasked with choosing between at least 20 different tubes. Not only that, each has a different level of protection, a special scent, an application method, and the absence (or presence) of certain ingredients. What are you to do?
Last summer, the Food and Drug Administration tried to arm consumers with the tools to pick the best sunscreen possible. It planned to cap sunscreens at SPF 50, do away with "waterproof" claims, and warn consumers to look for UVA protection.
Yet, it's still confusing out there. But luckily, Consumer Reports has finally stepped in and issued its 2012 Sunscreen Buying Guide. It even rates the best sunscreens on the market. After extensive testing, the following are some of the magazine's top picks:
- No-Ad lotion with aloe & vitamin E, SPF 45
- Walgreens continuous spray sport, SPF 50
- Coppertone oil-free foaming spray, SPF 75+
- All Terrain Aqua Sport lotion, SPF 30
- Banana Boat clear ultra-mist sports performance active dry protect spray, SPF 30
- Coppertone sport high performance ultra sweat-proof spray, SPF 30
- Eco all natural sunscreen body lotion, SPF 30
Even if you choose the best sunscreen for your needs, Consumer Reports warns that you have not fulfilled your sun protection duties. It urges consumers to wear hats and cover-ups, check ingredients, spray carefully and reapply approximately every 2 hours. The sun's rays can cause cancer, so be careful out there this summer.