Warning! Your Sunscreen May Not Work as Well as You Think

As a long-time member of the pale and proud club, I know my way around sunscreen. Without it, I sunburn in 10 minutes flat. So imagine my dismay when I learned some sunscreens don’t do their jobs as well as they claim.


A new Consumer Report states of 20 popular sunscreen brands, only two work as they are labelled. The rest either didn’t have as high an SPF as they claimed, or they weren’t “broad spectrum,” despite their labels otherwise.

Based on their findings, Consumer Report named seven sunscreens they would recommend. BullFrog and Coppertone are the only ones that provide the SPF protection the bottle promises, but the other five come close.

  • BullFrog WaterArmor Sport InstaCool SPF 50
  • Coppertone Sensitive Skin SPF 50
  • Banana Boat
  • Equate
  • Neutrogena
  • Up & Up
  • Well

Shape.com spoke with David E. Bank, M.D. about additional measures you can take to make up for your sunscreen not working as promised. Among other things, he recommends making sure your skin is covered if you’re going to be in the sun. (Good thing wide-brimmed hats are in style this season!) Also, if you can, avoid being outside when the sun is strongest, usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Staying hydrated is an important part of summer skin-care, though it often gets overlooked. Drinking water to avoid dehydration is something we all know, and staying hydrated is also a key part of healthy skin.

Taking the best possible care of your skin clearly includes much more than wearing sunscreen, but it’s an important part of your daily regimen if you’re going to be spending time in the sun this summer.

Though some brands may not be all they say they are, there are plenty of other options out there. By finding one that works for you and wearing it, you’re ensuring healthy skin all summer long.

Also Read:

16 Foods for a Clear Complexion and Younger-Looking Skin

DIY Flavor: The Best Herbs to Grow in Your Garden (or Window)

Portland is the Best City for Your Skin; Las Vegas is the Worst

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