Many sunscreens don't meet SPF claims, Consumer Reports warns

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Consumer Reports warns that nearly half of the sunscreen brands it recently tested did not meet the SPF claims on the bottles. (WLS)

Memorial Day Weekend is right around the corner, and for many families, that means time outside in the sun and breaking out that bottle of sunscreen.

But Consumer Reports warns that nearly half of the sunscreen brands it recently tested did not meet the SPF claims on the bottles.

Consumer Reports tested 65 lotions, sprays and sticks marked with an SPF of 30 or higher, and claims 43 percent tested below the advertised SPF level.

"We found that two sunscreens with "kids" in their name claimed an SPF 50+ and in our tests, tested at an SPF of 8. Those were CVS Kids Sun Lotion SPF 50+ and Banana Boat Tear Free, Sting Free Kids Sun Screen Lotion," said Trisha Calvo, Consumer Reports.

Both CVS and Banana Boat reject Consumer Reports' testing methods. CVS said its own FDA-approved testing shows "no indication that our product has an SPF lower than 50." Banana Boat added its product "met the rigorous specifications in our manufacturing and testing process."

Consumer Reports did release its list top brands meeting SPF claims and said chemical-based sunscreens performed better than mineral-based products. It now recommends users look for an SPF label higher than 30, which is recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology.

"If you go for a higher number, you have the best chance of getting at least an SPF of 30," Calvo said.

"The most important thing is that people apply lotion every two hours, and more frequently if you've been in the water or sweat a lot. That's more important than the SPF rating," said Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News Chief Health and Medical Editor.

Consumer Reports said it stands behind its own scientific testing and, along with using sunscreen, recommends wearing hats and staying in the shade as much as possible.
Related Topics:
healthhealthsunscreenchildren's healthu.s. & world
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