Consumer Reports has ranked sunscreens and found that you don’t have to pay big bucks to protect your skin from harsh UV rays.
Here’s what so funny: One of the highest rated sunscreens that got a Best Buy recommendation turned out to be the cheapest one they tested!
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Equate Ultra Protection Sunscreen SPF 50, which is a Walmart storebrand lotion, clinched the Best Buy trophy with a score of 94 out of 100. It costs only 56 cents an ounce, the same price as last year. Active ingredients include Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (13%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (7%), and Oxybenzone (4%).
Two other sunblocks scored higher in the lotion category. They were was Coppertone Water Babies SPF 50 and Vichy Capital Soleil 50 Light Weight Foaming Lotion. They got a 98 and 99, respectively, but you pay a fortune: $1.31 per ounce for the Coppertone and a whopping $5.94 per ounce for the Vichy! Both have near or exactly the same concentration of active ingredients as the Equate.
The historical favorite in this annual tally, NO-AD Sport SPF 50, scored an 88 this year. The cost per ounce is 63 cents, which is the same as last year. Active ingredients include Avobenzone (2.%), Homosalate (15.%), Octisalate (5.%), and Oxybenzone (5.%).
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When it comes to sprays, the Best Buy checkmark went to Equate again. At $1.33 per ounce, Equate Sport Continuous Spray SPF 30 scored an 84. Active ingredients include Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (10%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (2%), and Oxybenzone (4%).
I was talking with a dermatologist last week and she said the real problem is too many people apply sunscreen too sparsely. You need to put gobs of it on your kids. My kids are conditioned to know that it’s a 5-minute ordeal while we slather them up before they can go out into the sun. It’s a necessary precaution. But don’t forget yourself either.
If you’re like me and grew up in the generation when nobody wore sunscreen, we’re a ticking time bomb for skin cancer and melanoma. In many cases, early skin cancer detected is just a little aggravation that’s easily treated. But undetected, it can grow into melanoma and cost you your life.
Whatever sunscreen you get, be sure it says ‘broad spectrum’ on the label for maximum protection.