GoodGuide Sunscreen Ratings: the Winners and Losers

Sun protectionWhen it comes to sunscreens, are all products essentially equal? Not by a long shot! Recently, GoodGuide, an online source of information on consumer products, reviewed and rated more than 800 sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or above to find the ones that ranked best -- and worst.

All sunscreens in the survey were reviewed using three factors of increasing importance to consumers: personal health, concern for the environment and social responsibility. Kinesys SPF 30 Sun Protection Stick outscored all the other sunscreens as rated by GoodGuide, while Playtex's BioSun Maximum Sunblock Lotion, SPF 45 was rated worst.

It's GoodGuide's goal to help consumers find healthy, green, ethical products based on scientific ratings, and its experts have rated more than 100,000 consumer goods -- including food, personal care and household products -- based on the health, environment and society factors.The health score measures a product's potential health effects on consumers. The environment score measures a product's environmental impact as well as the company's overall policies and practices. The society score evaluates a company's social impact, which can include treatment of workers, workplace diversity, community involvement and corporate ethics.

GoodGuide's ratings include a brief explanation for each category and allow users to drill down into each score for more detail.

For example, Kinesys Sun Protection Stick's 8.8 rating is based on:
  • A Health score of 10: "This product has no ingredients that raise a health concern."
  • An Environment score of 7.9: "Compared to other companies, this company scores well in reduction of energy use."
  • A Society score of 8.4: "Compared to other companies, this company scores well on commitment to its local community."
Conversely, BioSun Maximum Sunblock Lotion's 3.0 rating was based on:
  • A Health score of 1.0: "This product contains one or more ingredients that raise a high level of health concern."
  • An Environment score of 2.1: "The company that makes this product has one of the lowest scores in recycled materials."
  • A Society score of 3.9: "Compared to other companies, this company receives an average rating on commitment to its local community."
GoodGuide rated 825 sunscreens with an SPF of 15 and above from more than 100 popular brands. Below are the top five best and worst products. In order to avoid repetition of a particular brand, we've skipped ahead to the next best or worst brand.

The Best Sunscreens SPF 15 and Above
The Worst Sunscreens SPF 15 and Above You can view all the top-rated sunscreens (in descending order) here and all the poorly rated sunscreens (in ascending order) here.

Since Consumer Allyteamed up with GoodGuide, we've published the company's ratings of dog food, household cleaners, cars and more.
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