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The Inertia

Sunscreen is in an odd place right now. For years we never really questioned the stuff, slathered it on, and called it a day. Now, sunscreen brands are under much more scrutiny for both the protection they provide as well as the long term effects of other chemical ingredients. Within the next decade, I believe we’ll know much more about sunscreen, but for now, it’s up to you as a consumer to evaluate the balance of protection and potentially harmful chemicals.

One aspect that has come to the forefront of sunscreen issues, is that brands tend to inflate SPF. There was a period of time, maybe 5 years ago or so, when all of the sudden there were dozens of brands selling products with SPF 100 or higher. Before that, it was rare to find a sunscreen over 30, and almost impossible to find one over 50. It didn’t make much sense, and within a year or two, scientists debunked the tactic as SPF inflation.

Now, it appears the sunscreen companies are up to their old tricks. Although fewer brands are advertising ridiculously high SPFs, many are still drastically overstating the SPF of their product. Below are some of the worst offenders according to Consumer Report’s annual sunscreen rankings. The 8 products below state that the SPF of their sunscreen is at least double that of the product’s actual SPF. There are plenty of other offenders, but the sunscreens below are some of the worst.

 

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Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Natural Sunscreen

cucumbers

Claimed SPF: 30

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Actual SPF: 14

 

Vanicream Sunscreen

vcream

Claimed SPF: 50

Actual SPF: 17

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Bare Republic Natural Mineral Sport Sunscreen

bare

Claimed SPF: 50

Actual SPF: 30

 

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Banana Boat Kids

banana

Claimed SPF: 50

Actual SPF: 8

 

CVS Kids Sun Lotion

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CVS

Claimed SPF: 50

Actual SPF: 8

 

Banana Boat Sport Spray

Banana 2

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Claimed SPF: 100

Actual SPF: 36

 

CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion

Cerave

Claimed SPF: 30

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Actual SPF: 15

 

Kiss My Face Baby’s First Kiss

kiss my face

Claimed SPF: 50

Actual SPF: 22

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For more information you can check out the Consumer Report here and the Consumer Report full rankings here. There’s also a handy infographic on Greatist.com with the top 12 worst offenders.

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