Consumer Reports Ranks the Best Sunscreens That Actually Work

Sunburn is an undisputedly horrendous feeling. On top of feeling bad, it makes you look like a lobster. It makes everyday tasks painful and awkward. If sunburn was a movie, Rotten Tomatoes would rank it with a shining red, sunburnt 0%. All humor aside, sun exposure can be detrimental because the proper skin care is pertinent to preventing skin cancer and this sunscreen guide is here to help.

Avoiding discomfort and the myriad health complications that can arise from getting sunburnt isn’t that hard with sunscreen products that actually work. Consumer Reports ranked the best sunscreens to keep your summer burn-free that lives up to the sunscreen SPF rating on the label.

Consumer Reports (CR) tested over 60 forms of sun protection for the 2017 list. Lotions, balms, sticks, and sprays were tested and, shockingly, 23 of them were duds. That is to say, 23 sun protectants were less than half as potent as their projected SPF when it comes to UVA protection.

CR notes that the International Consumer Research and Testing, “a global group of consumer organizations,” found that this issue crosses countries. Members of this organization in the U.K. as well and Australia and New Zealand have found similar discrepancies with sunscreen SPFs in their respective countries, too.

That being said, CR discovered which sunscreens live up to their labels. The sunscreens that made their list won’t break the bank, either. You can feel good about purchasing the following sunscreens. Oh, and don’t forget to put them on 15 to 30 minutes before heading outside!

1. Equate Sport Lotion – SPF 50

best-sunscreen
Walmart

Affordable and effective, Equate Sport Lotion is available at a Wal-Mart near you for just $5.

2. Pure Sun Defense Lotion – SPF 50

best-sunscreen
Amazon

Coming in at just $6, Pure Sun Defense Lotion is great for parents and kids alike.

You’ll love the protection your child’s skin gets, and they’ll love the fun selection of characters!

3. Equate Ultra Protection Lotion – SPF 50

best-sunscreen
Walmart

A bit more expensive than the others, the Equate Ultra Protection is $8. For that higher price, you get an incredibly effective, non-greasy, water-resistant lotion.

4. Trader Joe’s Spray – SPF 50+

For just $6, Trader Joe’s diehards can get an easy-to-use spray sunscreen. Feel free to take a picture of it next to your legs the next time you’re at the beach.

5. Equate Sport Continuous Spray – SPF 30

best-sunscreen
Walmart

Keep yourself and your loved ones safely sprayed for just $4.50. That’s right, Equate’s spray solution is only $9 for a two-pack.