(WSYR-TV) — Consumer Reports sunscreen testing isn’t exactly a day at the beach.
To check a sunscreen’s SPF-which stands for “sun protection factor” and is a measure of
how well a sunscreen protects against sunburn, lotion and spray sunscreens are
applied to the backs of test subjects, who then soak in a tub for 40 or 80 minutes,
depending on the product’s water-resistance claim.
The area is then exposed to simulated sunlight.
The next day, trained experts examine the area for redness.
CR’s top lotion is Equate Walmart Sport Lotion SPF 50 and the top spray is
Hawaiian Tropic Island Sport Spray SPF 30.
Which one is better? It’s really a personal preference, but what really matters is
how you apply the sunscreen.
According to Trisha Calvo from Consumer Reports, “The proper way to use a spray is to hold the nozzle about 4 to 6 inches from your skin and spray until your skin glistens, then rub it in. Smoothing it into the skin increases its protection. Then repeat, just to be safe.”
Also, never spray your face. Instead spray the sunscreen into your hands and rub it
onto your face. Consumer Reports also recommends being careful using a spray on children,
because they are more likely to inhale the mist.
All of CR’s top-rated sunscreens contain chemical active ingredients. But if you
prefer a mineral or natural sunscreen, CR’s tests found California Kids Super
Sensitive Tinted Lotion SPF 30+ provided acceptable protection.