Report: Some sunscreens don't protect as much as labels claim
(WJLA) - Roxanna Jordan is searching for the right sunblock for her teenage daughter.
"The SPF is what I look at," she said.
But a new study by Consumer Reports shows that SPF listings may be misleading.
The magazine tested a number of sprays and lotions - finding that some of them weren't as effective as the SPF, or sun protection factor, on their label.
"It should be accurate," Jordan said. "In fact, that's why I'm going to do my research to find out what else should be looked at."
One sunscreen singled out in the report - Banana Boat Kids - was found to have an SPF lower than the 50 listed on the label.
Dermatologist Dr. Katherine Lisa Kauffman says SPF is important - but consumers should also look for more when picking out protection.
"You want to look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen," she said. "And that means it has both UVA and UVB protection."
Among those highly ranked are:
• Target's Up and Up brand
• Wal-Mart's Equate brand ultra protection SPF 50
• Bullfrog Water Armore Sport Instacool
• Coppertone Water Babies SPF 50
• Neutrogena Ultimate Sport SPF 70+.
Consumers say it can be confusing picking out an effective sunscreen - especially if they find the labels confusing.
I don't really like that," said consumer Ashley Stone. "I think it needs to say what it is."
"When I buy it I'm assuming that this is what you're providing for me," said consumer Lolita Howard. "So yeah...I don't, based on what their packaging is saying."