6 On Your Side: Consumer Confidence, Choosing the right sunscreen

(ABC 6 News) — The weather is getting warmer, which means its time to start thinking about sunscreen.
There are several ways to make sure you are choosing the best sunscreen to protect you and your family.

Dermatologists say the best sunscreen is the one you’ll actually use. While that may be true, that didn’t stop Consumer Reports from putting a variety of sunscreens from different brands and price points to the test.

“We test sunscreens to see how well they protect against two types of UV rays—UVA, which causes aging and skin cancer, and UVB, which causes sunburn,” said Consumer Reports Health Editor Trisha Calvo.

As part of Consumer Report’s testing, sunscreen is applied to subjects’ backs, and then they soak in a tub for 40 or 80 minutes depending on the product’s water-resistance claim. The area is then exposed to simulated sunlight.
The next day, trained experts examine the area for redness. A top performer that’s also a Consumer Reports best buy is the Equate Ultra Lotion SPF 50.
Consumer Reports also enlists panelists to test sunscreens for scent, feel, and appearance.

“In our tests, we found several sunscreens that absorb quickly into skin, and leave little to no residue on people of a variety of skin tones,” said Calvo.

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Coconut Clear Spray SPF 50 got kudos from the majority of panelists and also tested well in Consumer Report’s overall ratings.
Also, after numerous recalls of some aerosol sunscreens because of contamination with the chemical benzene, CR looked for benzene in all of the aerosol sunscreens it tested.

“The good news is that all the products we tested for benzene came back negative,” said Calvo.

To check if you have a recalled sunscreen spray, click this link. If you do have one, be sure to throw it away.