Tags: Cancer | sunscreen | protection | shortcoming | spf | skin | cancer

Half of Sunscreens Overstate Protections: Report

Half of Sunscreens Overstate Protections: Report
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By    |   Friday, 01 July 2016 12:47 PM

Heading to the beach or an outdoor barbecue for the July 4 holiday? You probably know how important it is to pack sunscreen. But picking an effective sun-protection product is a more difficult task than you’d think.

A new Consumer Reports analysis has found nearly half of sunscreen lotions, sprays, and sticks don’t meet the SPF claims on the label.

“Yet again, our sunscreen testing has shown that consumers may not be getting the protection they’re paying for,” said Trisha Calvo, a deputy health editor with Consumer Reports.

“Just because a sunscreen claims to offer a certain level of protection doesn’t mean it does. We create and release these ratings to ensure that consumers are informed about what sunscreens work best so they can protect themselves and their families from damaging sun exposure.”

For the analysis, CR tested 65 water-resistant products with SPF (sun protection factor) claims of 30 or higher. The results indicated that 28 of them — 43 percent — tested below their advertised level.

Two of the sunscreens tested — Banana Boat Kids Tear-Free, Sting Free SPF 50 lotion and CVS Kids Sun Lotion SPF 50 — both tested far below their advertised number, at a startling SPF 8.

The  testing also found that mineral-based, “natural” sunscreens are much more likely than chemical sunscreens to fall short of their advertised SPF value. In fact, 74 percent of the “natural” lotions tested did not meet their claims, compared 42 percent of chemical sunscreens.
In addition, the tests found that protects labelled SPF 40-110 were more likely to test above the recommended SPF 30, whereas those that advertised an SPF of 30-39 were less likely to meet their mark.

“To stay safe in the sun, we encourage consumers to use one of the 17 sunscreens that performed well in our tests,” concluded Calvo.

The list of best sunscreens included the following products:
  • Pure Sun Defense SPF 50 lotion.
  • La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk lotion.
  • Banana Boat SunComfort Continuous Spray SPF 50+.
  • Aveeno Protect + Hydrate SPF 30.
  • Equate Sport Continuous Spray SPF 50.
  • No-Ad Sport SPF 50 lotion.
“If a consumer can’t find one of our recommended sunscreens, their best bet is to use a chemical sunscreen with a claimed SPF of 40 or higher, as it increases the likelihood that it will deliver at least the minimum protection recommended by dermatologists,” Calvo noted.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that seeking protection from the sun by using sunscreen, limiting your time outdoors during afternoon hours, and wearing protective clothing such as long sleeved T-shirts, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.

Experts also advise avoiding products containing vitamin A. The sunscreen industry adds a form of vitamin A to many beach and sport sunscreens, moisturizers, and lip products. But research shows that this antioxidant may trigger the development of skin tumors and lesions in the presence of sunlight. Vitamin A may also be called retinyl palmitate, retinal acetate, retinyl linoleate and retinol.

In addition, you should beware that oxybenzone, commonly used as a UV filter in sunscreen, is a hormone disrupter and can cause allergic reactions.

Also, be selective in choosing between a chemical sunscreen and one based on minerals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. The chemical products may cause allergies and disrupt the body’s hormone system, experts note.

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If you're heading to the beach or an outdoor barbecue this weekend, you probably plan to pack sunscreen. But a new Consumer Reports analysis has found nearly half of sun-protection products don't meet the SPF claims on the label. Here's a guide to picking an effective sunscreen.
sunscreen, protection, shortcoming, spf, skin, cancer
Friday, 01 July 2016 12:47 PM
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