Site Information

 Loading... Please wait...


Nearly Half of All Sunscreens Fail to Meet their SPF Claims

Posted by Laura Lorenzetti from Fortune Health on

Go ahead and opt for the higher SPF because it may not be as strong as you might think.

Be Prepared With Plenty Of eGel

A new study by Consumer Reports found that 43% of the 60 sunscreens tested failed to meet the SPF claim on the label. It's the fourth year in a row that the magazine found that many sunscreens fall short of their touted SPF levels despite the fact that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires all sunscreens to meet labeled SPF levels. Consumer Reports found that "of all the sunscreens we've tested over that stretch of time, fully half came in below the SPF number printed on the label, and a third registered below an SPF 30."

Three of the sunscreens even fell well short of their claims, sporting an actual SPF of less than 15 despite claiming that they had an SPF of 30 or higher, said Consumer Reports. Two examples were Banana Boat Kids Tear-Free, Sting-Free SPF 50 lotion and CVS Kids Sun Lotion SPF 50, which both tested at an SPF 8, according to CBS News. (The full list of sunscreens and their ratings are behind a paywall and require a subscription to determine which passed or failed the magazine's study.) That leaves many consumers at risk of sunburn and potential long-term skin damage even though they think they are properly protected.

Both Banana Boat and CVS told "CBS This Morning" that their SPF claims are correct and meet the FDA's testing requirements when asked about the report.

Mineral products, often called "natural" sunscreens, were particularly poor performers. These include products that contain only titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, or both as active ingredients. Only 26% of the 19 mineral sunscreens tested by the magazine met their SPF claims. For comparison, 58% of the 85 chemical sunscreens met their claims.


A number of sunscreens fell short of SPF claims no matter their stated level of protection, though Consumer Reports found that you have the best chance of choosing an effective sunscreen if you opt for a chemical sunscreen with an SPF of 40 or higher. It will ensure a better chance of getting a product with at least an SPF 30, the minimum level suggested by many dermatologists.

Some of the best performing sunscreens tested by Consumer Reports include:

1. La Roche-Posay Anthellos 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk lotion

2. Pure Sun Defense SPF 50 lotion

3. Banana Boat SunComfort Continuous Spray SPF 50+

4. Aveeno Protect + Hydrate SPF 30

5. No-Ad Sport SPF 50 lotion

6. Equate Sport Continuous Spray SPF 50


The FDA has oversight of all SPF claims but doesn't test the products themselves. All testing is done by the companies themselves and the results are usually kept on hand in case the FDA inquires. Most companies don't have to submit their results, and companies are only required to test when a new product is released or one is reformulated, reported Consumer Reports.

The magazine said it will submit its four-year results to the FDA and encourage the government organization to reevaluate sunscreen requirements and its oversight.

Manage Sun Damage With eGel

View Comments

Watermelon Cakes

This idea couldn't be easier. At the same time it is super fun and actually less mess for the kidos! Make your watermelon cakes and dress them however you like. Here is the basic idea:INGREDIENTS 1 small watermelon2 c. cool whipRainbow nonpareils, for garnishDIRECTIONS Using a chef's knife, slice a small portion of the watermelon rind off. [...]

Read More »

Banana Split Kabobs

INGREDIENTS2 bananas, cut into 1" pieces24 1" pieces pineapple12 large strawberries, rinsed, dried, and halved2 c. chocolate chips1/2 c. peanuts, choppedoptional, add blueberries to make them perfectly patriotic!DIRECTIONSMake kebabs: Thread two pieces each banana, pineapple, and strawberry onto skewer. Repeat process to assemble 23 more skewers. Place all on parchment-lined baking sheet.In a microwave-safe bowl, [...]

Read More »

Try A Healthier Bloody Mary For Dad This Weekend

This great excerpt from Greatist helps highlight some excellent ideas for creating a healthier summer cocktail this summer.Alcoholic drinks can be a sneaky source of calories, sugar, and even salt—but not when you play bartender. Try to get a few healthier alternatives under that (suddenly much looser) belt to impress friends and family and order [...]

Read More »

Natural Mason Jar Candle To Keep Away Mosquitoes!

Everybody loves summer, but not everybody loves the creatures that it brings, specifically the pesky mosquito. There’s nothing more annoying than constantly having to swat away mosquitoes when trying to enjoy the outdoors, and with the recent Zika virus epidemic there is even more reason to ward off these pests.Although commercial bug sprays may be [...]

Read More »

Jicama Slaw w/ Bonus Veganaise Recipe

Jicama Slaw Ingredients:2 C jicama, julienned1 C Red Cabbage, Julienned1 C Carrots, Julienned2 T coarse ground mustard1 T poppy seeds¼ cup green onions1 C Veganaise (soy free)¼ cup olive oil1 T apple cider vinegarJuice of 1 lemonPreparation is EASY 1.Whisk together mustard, poppy seeds, green onions, Veganaise, Olive oil, Vinegar, and lemon juice2.Toss veggies with mustard [...]

Read More »

Butterfly And Grill A Whole Chicken

Purchasing precut chicken breast can be expensive and somewhat questionable. If you can find somewhere that has fresh, organic or farm raised chickens, purchasing a whole chicken can save you money and make you look like a star. Cooking a whole chicken also gives a lot of flavor and options between light and dark meat [...]

Read More »

Salted Paleo Sunbutter Cups Recipe

Salted Paleo Sunbutter Cups RecipeTotal Time: 1 hourServes: Makes 24 mini cupsINGREDIENTS: CHOCOLATE SHELL:3 cups 70% dark chocolate chips1 tablespoon coconut oil1 teaspoon vanillaFILLING:3 tablespoons sunflower seed butter1 teaspoon sea salt1 teaspoon coconut oil¼ cup pitted medjool datesTOPPING:Pink Himalayan salt, to tasteDIRECTIONS: Prepare two standard mini muffin pans with mini muffin liners and set aside.In a double [...]

Read More »

Irresistible Veggie Fries w/ Bonus Honey Mustard Recipe

Baked Vegetable Fries RecipeTotal Time: 45 minutes Serves: 2–4INGREDIENTS:1 cup sliced rutabaga1 cup sliced carrots1 cup sliced red bell pepper1 cup sliced red onion1 cup sliced portabello mushroomsghee or coconut oil2–4 teaspoons sea salt2 teaspoons black pepper2 teaspoons onion powder2 teaspoons garlic powderDIRECTIONS:Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.Cut vegetables into thin long strips.Toss in a bowl [...]

Read More »