Consumer Reports: Top Sunscreens - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Consumer Reports: Top Sunscreens

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We count on sunscreens to protect us from the sun's harmful UV rays. The higher 
the SPF the better the protection. Right? Not necessarily. Consumer Reports tested 
a dozen sunscreens both lotions and sprays and finds there is no guarantee you are 
getting the level of protection listed on the label.

In fact, Consumer Report's tests that measures sunburn protection from UVB rays—
what SPF is supposed to tell you—found most of the sunscreens tested provided less 
protection than the SPF listed.

These days you'll also see the words "broad spectrum" on many sunscreens. Broad 
spectrum means sunscreens are supposed to protect not just against UVB rays, but 
UVA rays as well. Both types of rays can cause skin cancer, and UVA rays can wrinkle 
and age your skin.

Consumer Reports' sunscreen tests performed both on people and on test plates 
coated with sunscreen found some products offer better protection than others for both 
UVA and UVB rays. 

Top-rated is a spray from Target, Up and UP Sport broad spectrum SPF 50. Spray 
sunscreens are convenient, but the risks of inhaling them are still being studied. So 
Consumer Reports does not recommend spraying children. And does not recommend 
spraying directly on your face. Also be aware that sprays are flammable. So wait for the 
spray to dry before going near an open flame.

If you prefer a lotion, Consumer Reports named one from Walmart a Best Buy. It's 
Equate Ultra Protection Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50. It offers better protection 
than several sunscreens tested that cost much more.

With any sunscreen, Consumer Reports says that you should apply sunscreen 15 to 30 
minutes before you head into the sun and reapply it after you take a swim or every two 


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