Tags: sunscreen | consumer | report

Cheap Sunscreens may Offer Best Protection

Thursday, 24 May 2012 11:43 AM

With many Americans planning outdoor Memorial Day activities this weekend, Consumer Reports has published results of a new test of popular sunscreens that found price has little to do with performance and protection.
In fact, some low-cost and store brands fare as well as – or better than -- pricier designer products.
The test, which rated 18 sunscreen products, identified two bargain-priced brands -- “No-Ad with Aloe & Vitamin E SPF 45” and “Walgreens Continuous Spray Sport SPF 50” -- as Consumer Report “Best Buys.”
The magazine’s researchers noted all brands tested offered adequate sun protection. But the results indicated the “No-Ad” brand, costing just 59 cents per ounce, bested one of the highest-priced brands – the non-water-resistant “La Roche-Posey Anthelios 40 with Mexoryl SX SPF 40,” costing $20.59 per ounce.
The report also noted that new U.S. Food and Drug Administration labeling rules require sunscreens claiming broad-spectrum protection, against both UVB and UVA rays, pass a new “critical wavelength” test. The magazine’s researchers tested sunscreens on people — before and after swimming -- and on clear plastic plates to check for critical wavelength. They rated seven “very good” against UVA rays and “excellent” against UVB rays. But two sunscreens, “Alba Botanica Natural Very Emollient Sunblock Sport SPF 45” and “Banana Boat Kids Tear-Free Sting-Free SPF 50+,” failed the critical wavelength test.
“While the SPF [sun protection factor] value indicates a sunscreen's protection from UVB radiation, which causes sunburn, the new FDA requirement means that sunscreens that claim broad-spectrum protection will have to prove that they also protect against UVA radiation, which causes aging of skin and contributes to skin cancer,” said Dr. Karen Rauen, direct of Consumer Reports’ Health and Consumer Science Operation.
To reduce your risk of sun damage and skin cancer, experts recommend the following sunscreen tips:
SPF 30: Use a product with at least SPF 30 that is water resistant. It’s also a good idea to wear a hat and protective clothing.
Spray carefully. Avoid inhaling spray sunscreens and don’t use them on children. Spray sunscreen onto your hands before applying it to your face.
Use enough. Use 2 to 3 tablespoons of lotion on most of your body, or spray as much as can be rubbed in, then repeat. Reapply every 2 hours and after swimming or sweating.
Check ingredients. Oxybenzone may interfere with hormones, and nanoscale zinc and titanium oxides have been linked to reproductive and developmental effects. In skin, retinyl palmitate converts readily to retinoids, associated with a risk of birth defects in people using retinoid-containing acne medications. Pregnant women may want to avoid products with retinyl palmitate.

© HealthDay

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Consumer Reports study finds some low-cost and store brands fare as well as, or better than, pricier products.
Thursday, 24 May 2012 11:43 AM
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