Sunscreen May Not Protect Your Skin, Says New Report


With balmy summertime temperatures on the horizon, the season of sunscreen is upon us again. However, a new study conducted by Consumer Reports has discovered that 11 out of 34 tested sunscreens may not properly shield delicate skin from the sun’s harmful rays. According to the study from the nonprofit organization, these sunscreens fail to offer protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

Consumer Reports tested the sunscreens in a lab, and applied sunscreen across the backs of six study participants (referred to as sunscreen panelists). To see if the products were in fact waterproof, the participants were then asked to get into a tub filled with water. The skin was then targeted with simulated UVB light and studied for signs of redness the next day.

As a result of the study, the group discovered that about one third of the tested sunscreens did not meet their requirements. In fact, 11 products had differences in the level of sun protection factor (or SPF) which was stated on the label, and the actual level. These incorrect labels were anywhere from 16 to 70 per cent different from the promised SPF.

For anyone who is hoping to soak up the sun this season, you may not want to rely on just your sunscreen. Consumer Reports also cited the importance of avoiding direct sunlight during peak hours, wearing long sleeves and staying cool with a hat.

While there’s been a big push toward natural and mineral sunscreens over the past several years, the study also discovered that these sunscreens may be less effective. Once again, it’s important to look for a broad spectrum sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection, along with taking other precautions as the sunny temperatures continue to soar.

Photo: iStock 

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