Reapplying sunscreen frequently will help ensure that your skin has as much protection as possible.
Photo: Photo courtesy Fotolia/TNS
Photo: Photo courtesy Fotolia/TNS

Nearly half of sunscreens don’t meet the SPF claim on the label

The sunscreen you buy might not be protecting your skin as well as you think. 

The Food and Drug Administration requires sunscreens to live up to the sun protection factor — SPF — listed on the label, but Consumer Reports says some are falling short.  

For its Sunscreen Guide, Consumer Reports looked at more than 60 lotions, sprays and sticks with SPF claims of 30 or higher. But 28 of them – 43 percent – failed to meet the claim on the label.  

Mineral-based sunscreens performed worse than chemical ones, Consumer Reports found.  

The magazine said this year’s results were not a surprise. In fact, it’s a trend. The group has reported similar results for four years straight:

“These results aren’t a fluke. We have seen a similar pattern in the past four years of our sunscreen testing. Of all the sunscreens we’ve tested over that stretch of time, nearly half came in below the SPF number printed on the label, and a third registered below an SPF 30, the minimum level recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology.”

While some sunscreens didn’t do so well in this report, here’s a bright spot. More than a handful of products provided excellent UVA and UVB protection — and for a good price.

For the complete story, and to find out which lotions and sprays were rated best, go to

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