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Are You Really Protected From the Sun?


By Sarah Emily Gilbert

Consumer Reports finds that many sunscreens aren’t doing much screening at all.

Wednesday was National Sunscreen Day, and while popular sunscreen brands like Supergoop were celebrating with soirees in the city and other similar events, Consumer Reports was casting a cloud on the industry with their most recent report. According to their article, “The Best Sun Protection,” many respected sunscreen brands fall short of their SPF claims.

Over a four-year period, Consumer Reports tested and rated more than 60 sunscreens, sprays, and sticks labeled as 30 SPF or higher. They found that 43% didn’t meet their claim to have an SPF of 30, and half failed to meet the SPF labeled on their bottle. Even more shocking, three sunscreens contained an SPF of less than 15.

With the minimum amount of SPF recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology being 30, it’s unsettling to know that we might be unwittingly exposing ourselves to harmful UV rays. These rays can not only speed up the aging process but can also give birth to diseases like skin cancer. While there are solutions for aging such as botox (one can just web search “botox near me” to find a nearby clinic), for the latter, a permanent solution hasn’t yet been achieved. This is why it is important to protect the skin from harmful UV rays.

Hence, applying good quality sunscreen is immensely important, before going out in the sun, especially if you are planning a beach vacation. If you are traveling to a location such as Costa Rica to enjoy a few days off, away from the daily hustle, you would want to put self-care as the priority. You could be planning to stay at a lavish resort such as Si Como No – and spend some time on the beach while sun tanning. In that case, don’t skip the sunscreen. Extensive sun exposure without using sunscreen can lead to burns, redness, and skin damage. So, before going on a vacation this summer, invest in good sunscreen with SPF 40 or more.

Moreover, it’s good to know that certain sunscreens do hold up to their SPF labels, especially when it comes to chemical sunscreens with high SPF. Among Consumer Reports 17 top-rated sunscreens are Trader Joe’s Spray SPF 50+, Neutrogena Beach Defense Water + Sun Protection SPF 70, Le Roche-Posey Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk, and Equate Sport Continuous Spray SPF 50.

If you have been using any of these, congrats, you are in luck. If not, then you might be witnessing some amount of fine lines or wrinkles on your skin. In case this gives you concern, you can check with a dermatologist who can suggest some effective ways to reverse the damage. Depending on your condition, she may suggest botox, laser treatment, or even microneedling denver (if that is where you live). Regardless of whether or not you choose to take a treatment, you still need to apply sunscreen during day time.

That being said, with the approaching of Sunscreen Day, what’s a better way to honor National Sunscreen Day than by stocking up on some tried and tested sunscreen? Below, shop some of the best names in the sun protection industry.


Clarins | Sunscreen For Face Wrinkle Control Cream SPF 50+

• High protection for the face that protects skin from the appearance of wrinkles and sun-induced age spots.
• This lightweight comfortable cream ensures an even, long-lasting tan.

Key Ingredients:

– Multi-Cellular Protection – Protects skin with a multi-filter complex that protects against UVA and UVB rays.
– Phyto-Sunactyl 2 – A combination of 5 plant extracts (senna, pea, plane tree, olive and baobab) help skin to resist the sun’s aggressions.


Kiehl’s Since 1851 | Activated Sun Protector for Face & Body Broad Spectrum SPF 50

Ultra lightweight SPF 50 sunscreen for face and body in a non-greasy, non-pore clogging formulation that is safe enough for the entire family. Formulated for sensitive skin, this 100% mineral formula provides uniform broad spectrum protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Hampton Sun

Hampton Sun | SPF 70 For Kids Continuous Mist Sunscreen

Hampton Sun’s SPF 70 for Kids offers powerful, broad-spectrum sun protection for the whole family. This hypoallergenic and oil-free formula can be applied to wet skin so no need to towel off or wait for skin to dry. A convenient travel twist cap helps avoid accidental spills and sprays.

Lab Series

Lab Series Skincare For Men | Power Protector SPF 50

Lightweight, high performance environmental protection helps visibly brighten and prevent skin discolorations for a younger, healthier appearance. Visibly evens skin tone and texture.

Natura Bisse

Natura Bisse | Diamond White Oil Free Brilliant Protection SPF 50 PA+++

This soothing cream restores and effectively protects the skin from damaging UVA/UVB rays. Able to prevent premature aging, also formulated with de-pigmenting agents such as Ellagic Acid, a component of Pomegranate extract, this powerfully protective cream interferes with the formation of melanin, visibly correcting dark spots on the skin.


Shiseido | Extra Smooth Sun Protection Lotion SPF 38, 3.4 oz.

A highly nourishing cream-formula sunscreen for the face with Broad Spectrum protection that defends against powerful UVA/UVB rays, which cause sunburn, cell damage, dryness, roughness and premature signs of aging such as fine lines. Smooths on easily and maintains vital moisture with no feeling of heaviness.

Laura Mercier

Laura Mercier | Daily Face Shield with SPF 40

This weightless oil-free sunscreen goes on sheer, with no oily residue, to help shield skin from damaging sun rays and seasonal changes. Daily Face Shield SPF 40 helps to create an invisible shield against damaging UVA and UVB rays, preventing visible signs of aging. This daily sunscreen is formulated with Adaptogen technology which may help the skin adapt to seasonal changes.

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