Consumer Reports releases the best sunscreens to buy in 2017

Posted at 9:45 AM, May 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-18 17:07:57-04

Consumer Reports released their list of top sunscreens today, just in time to keep your skin safe all summer long.

The organization's top pick is the La Roche Posay Anthelios Melt-In Sunscreen Milk SPF 60, which retails for $36. The group's second pick is the Trader Joe's brand Spray SPF 50+ which costs $6. Finally, Consumer Report's third choice is the Equate Sport Lotion SPF 50, which retails for $5.

Trisha Calvo, the deputy editor of health and food for Consumer Reports told ABC News that when it comes to sunscreen, "There's really no correlation between price and performance."

Consumer Reports examined sunscreens for their the ultraviolet B (UVB) protection, ultraviolet A (UVA) protection, and then how much that level varied from the SPF, or sun protection factor, that was listed on the packaging. The group also looked at the cost per ounce, the package size, and the price per package.

"Our top rated sunscreens all have excellent UVA and UVB protection," Calvo said.

Consumer Reports said that the SPF numbers listed on containers were not always a reliable indicator of the sunscreen's protection level and that almost a third of the sunscreens that they tested did not match the SPF numbers listed.

"We tested 58 lotions, sprays and sticks and out of those sunscreens twenty of them came in our tests at less than half of the SPF listed on the label," Calvo said.

Dr. Beth Jonas, a chief scientist at the Personal Care Products Council, a trade associated that represents the sunscreen industry told Consumer Reports that the council disagreed with the organization's findings. Jonas noted that Consumer Reports test methods are not the same as those required by the product manufacturers to assign the SPF designation.

Consumer Reports told ABC News that they stand by their report.

Calvo said she recommends for consumers to read the ingredients in a sunscreen before purchasing it.

"We suggest looking for a chemical sunscreen such as one with avobenzone, that has at least an SPF of 40," Calvo said. "In our tests we found that that gives you the best chance of getting a product that actually delivers an SPF of at least 30."

She added that proper application is also very important when it comes to sun protection.

"We found that people wait an average of 3.36 hours before reapplying sunscreen," Calvo said of their surveys. "Sunscreen must be reapplied every 2 hours, no matter what the level of SPF you’re using ... you could be putting your skin at risk."