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Sunscreen may not be giving you the protection it claims

Some Sunscreen Brands Not Providing Promised SPF

That SPF 20 sunblock you've been slathering on yourself since the start of this warm season might not actually be protecting you as much as it claims.

According to an ABC report, 'In its test of 20 sunscreens, Consumer Reports says it found that only two sunscreens provided the SPF promised on that label."

Additionally, Consumer Reports confirms that 18 of the 20 sunscreens they tested did not provide the exact protection they promised after being exposed to water.

WRC-TV called out the two lowest-performing sunscreens, both of which only offered protection of 15 SPF or below despite claiming numbers at least twice as high.

- Beyond Coastal Natural and
- Banana Boat Kids

The two brands that shined were Coppertone Water Babies SPF 50 and Equate Ultra Protection SPF 50, which is a Walmart brand.

However, the new report wasn't only about SPF. Consumer Reports also set out to debunk common sunscreen myths, including that kids need a special formula. They actually don't, and the entire family can use the same brand.

And another myth: Two times the SPF means twice the sun protection. Also false.

"An SPF of 70 isn't double the protection of an SPF of 35. ... The FDA had considered at one point of capping the claims you can put on the bottle at 50 because it's giving people a false sense of security."

Check out the Consumer Reports website to see how your sunscreen measured up.

Join the discussion

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mrdew67 May 22 2014 at 7:33 AM

I wish that we still had a weekly television show on like "Fight Back With David Horowitz" that ran from 1976 - 1992. He challenged all of these products that claimed to do one thing, but often didn't live up to their expectations.

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gfirealty May 21 2014 at 2:22 PM

More consumer fraud, so what else is new ?

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1 reply
wlh1923 gfirealty May 21 2014 at 9:31 PM

What else is new? I guess the increase in melanoma cancers isn't all that new, but the alarming increase seems to correlate to the general public's reliance on the false labeling scams

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1 reply
What's Shakin T wlh1923 May 22 2014 at 10:24 PM

Start suing

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cathyc13211 May 22 2014 at 7:15 AM

Companies that commit "Fraud" should be arrested and fined for it. If that isn't done it will just continue. There is nothing to stop them.

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2 replies
georgepn cathyc13211 May 22 2014 at 10:14 AM

Yes they must be held accountable. How do you arrest a company? I know that "corporations are people too." Yes they must be held accountable

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nickelmac cathyc13211 May 22 2014 at 3:45 PM

presidents too!

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1 reply
truenature4life nickelmac May 22 2014 at 5:31 PM

You make no sense. what does the president has to do with sun tan lotion sells, and product expectations?
Would you agree to the fact that there are other local agencies that handles these problems; one I'm known for an example, Department of consumers affairs, FDA, and more if you have the time to look them up..
Reagan, Bush Sr, and Bush Jr already sold America to the foreigners; a long time ago. The Unions for the protections of the working Americans were destroyed. Reagan fired every single worker from an airline and replaced them all with Philippians. Corporations merged to get our Americans made products overseas for cheaper labors and better profits. The damage is done and there is no way turning back. You can't blame Obama for this, you can't blame any one for this; it is all a business now. Just don't waste your hard earned dollars on cheap marketing, and products today. Use your $$ wisely or some one will scam you one way or the other.

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crazy ray May 22 2014 at 1:38 PM

We scientists went to the FDA twenty years ago and presented them with a fool-proof method for testing sunscreen SPF. However, these guys love tradition and they said they wanted to keep burning people with standard lamps to measure effectiveness. So guess what? This incompetence doesn't surprise us one iota. And any SPF higher than about 20, is simply fiction.

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1 reply
froggie11861 crazy ray May 22 2014 at 7:26 PM

Agree with you. I went to cosmetology school 33 years ago and one thing I learned from them is that SPF simply can not happen over 25. Your 20 is probably more accurate. I tell my kids today to not waste your money on these products that claim high SPF's. The 20 is just as good as the 50.

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cbcmkting May 22 2014 at 7:24 AM



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2 replies
sadiemae1214 cbcmkting May 22 2014 at 10:54 AM

" The FDA had considered at one point of capping the claims YOU CAN PUT ON THE BOTTLE AT 50 ".
It would be really great if you could read and understand what you're reading (it's called "comprehension"). It has NOTHING to do with lawsuits or money!

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1 reply
abupaul sadiemae1214 May 22 2014 at 8:47 PM

I think he understood that. I think you misunderstood what he was saying.

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Deborah Ewald cbcmkting May 22 2014 at 4:56 PM

I "get it", some folks are so gullible.

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Mikes start page May 22 2014 at 10:08 AM

somewhat good info, but not having the full details, then to be directed to Consumer Reports for the details, and then only available to paid subscribers.. welll that's not cool...

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1 reply
gmcwalker Mikes start page May 22 2014 at 8:25 PM

Get a subscription. It is cheap compared to the money you can save on product reviews and the information you can get from it.

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HELLO SHELDON May 22 2014 at 1:14 PM


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1 reply
gmcwalker HELLO SHELDON May 22 2014 at 8:25 PM

Got to cover that big nose though!

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1 reply
Madeye gmcwalker May 22 2014 at 11:43 PM

Or wear his Smokey hat.

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dfoster May 22 2014 at 1:05 PM

Even if a sunscreen gives you the protection it claims, anything over SPF 15 is a waste. (SPF 15 - the amount of sun you'll get in 15 hours of exposure is the same as you'd get in one hour without protection). Above SPF 15, it's advertising hype.

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Annika May 22 2014 at 5:15 PM

Despite more people using sunscreen skin cancer is up. Read "The China Study" by T. Colin Campbell.

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2 replies
gmcwalker Annika May 22 2014 at 8:31 PM

A study done in Australia about 5 years or so ago found that skin cancer increases in the population corrolated directly with a public awareness campaigns about using sunsreens. Apparently this was due to people getting a false sense of security whan wearing sunscreens and of course not applying it properly or reapplying it during the time of exposure. Also some chemicals used in sun screens are potentially cancerous.

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cat5400 Annika May 23 2014 at 12:08 AM

Sunscreen more than likely causes skin cancer.

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gmcwalker May 22 2014 at 8:22 PM

There are alot of sunscreens out there. Here is a good article on sunscreen hazards, from a few years ago. As nothing has really changed in the sunscreen world it still holds true. http://expatdoctormom.com/2011/06/dangers-of-sunscreen/ The list she is talking about at ewg.org is updated for 2014. Here is the website http://www.ewg.org/2014sunscreen/
I urge you all to read this information as you will be surprised at what you will find about chemicals in sunscreens. Now you will be able to make a better choice. I am surprised Consumer Reports is not on top of this.

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1 reply
gmcwalker gmcwalker May 22 2014 at 9:02 PM

Also the FDA has no regulations for sunscreens.

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