(NEW YORK) — Before your trip to a tropical paradise, you may want to stop at Walmart or Target for the best sunscreen protection.
According to Consumer Reports, the top two sunscreens in their tests were Walmart’s Equate Ultra Protection SPF 50 lotion and Target’s Up & Up Sport SPF 50 spray, both inexpensive brands.
Consumer Reports says sunscreens should block both ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays, and should keep working after you’ve been in the water.
Consumer Reports warns that you can’t always rely on just the SPF number, which is just a measure of UVB ray protection. UVB rays cause sunburn and cancer, while UVA rays tan and age skin, and they contribute to skin cancer as well. The top rated sunscreens protected against both.
Consumer Reports’ sunscreen buying guide notes that top rated sunscreens actually change from year to year. The highest rated one in 2012 came in dead last this year.
“It’s hard to explain the changes but our tests did find that there are better choices,” the buying guide reads. “New labeling and test requirements from the Food and Drug Administration could have led sunscreen makers to tweak ingredients, but several manufacturers told us they hadn’t changed formulations since our last tests.”
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