A startling new report from Consumer Reports finds that some sunscreens are not standing up to their SPF claims. SPF, which stands for sun protection factor, is a measurement that measures how well a sunscreen deflects UVB rays. According to the Mayo Clinic, manufacturers utilize SPF to calculate how long it takes skin treated with SPF versus untreated skin. At a minimum, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends that individuals use at least SPF 30 every day. Continuous use of sunscreens with less than SPF 30, whether it be intentional or unintentional, can lead users to be susceptible to sunburn, or worse, skin cancer.
In their recently released study, Consumer Reports tested 65 water-resistant sunscreen lotions, sprays, and sticks with SPF claims of 30 or higher. Their findings reveal that 43% of the sunscreens tested did not meet their SPF claims. Even more shocking still, is that three of the sunscreens tested with a 30 SPF label revealed that in actuality the sunscreen contained less than 15 SPF. According to Consumer Reports, natural sunscreens (categorized as mineral-only sunscreens) performed far worse than the chemical based sunscreens that were tested.
Perhaps even more shocking is that Consumer Report has been conducting these tests yearly, for the past four years, and each year nearly half the sunscreens fail to meet their labeled SPF when submerged in water. According to Consumer Reports, the Food and Drug Administration does not routinely test sunscreens. Instead, the FDA charges sunscreen manufacturers to test their own products. Consumer Reports has recently submitted their report to the FDA and is calling for stronger examination of sunscreens to protect consumers. Consumer Reports has also submitted its research to the FDA for the past four years. For the sake of consumers, one can only hope that this year’s report will lead to change in the sunscreen industry.
In the meantime, to stay safe from the sun’s rays, Consumer Reports recommends picking a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 40 or higher so that, at a minimum, consumers will receive at least 30 SPF. For individuals still looking to use natural sunscreens, Consumer Reports results indicate that Cotz Plus SPF 58 ($20) and California Baby Super Sensitive SPF 30+ ($19.99) are the best natural options. The best-rated chemical based lotions were: La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk ($36), Pure Sun Defense SPF 50 ($6.30), Coppertone Water Babies SPF 50 ($10.50), Equate Sport Continuous Spray SPF 50 ($7.85), and No-Ad Sport SPF 50 ($10). For users who prefer sprays to lotions, Consumer Reports identified that: Trade Joe’s Spray SPF 50+ ($6), Banana Boat SunComfort Continuous Spray SPF 50+ ($10), Neutrogena Beach Defense Water + Sun Protection SPF 70 ($10.50), Caribbean Breeze Continuous Tropical Mist SPF 70 ($16.60), and Equate Sport Continuous Spray SPF 30 ($4.98), are the best options.
David Rapoport is the founding and managing partner of Rapoport Law Offices. In his over 31 years as a full time trial attorney, he has won numerous multi-million dollar jury verdicts and settlements in personal injury and wrongful death cases. Mr. Rapoport is a member of the invitation only American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), an association of premier trial attorneys who are dedicated to preserving the right to trial by jury. ABOTA's general mission is "to foster improvement in the ethical and technical standards of practice in the field of advocacy to the end that individual litigants may receive more effective representation and the general public be benefited by more efficient administration of justice consistent with time-tested and traditional principles of litigation." For over 20 years Martindale-Hubbell, through its Peer Review RatingsTM program, has consistently ranked David Rapoport as AV® PreeminentTM, its highest professional rating. This is a testament to Mr. Rapoport's abilities as an attorney and commitment to maintaining the highest ethical standards. Mr. Rapoport has also been selected by Thompson Reuters, another prominent legal publisher, as an Illinois “Super Lawyer” every year since the inception of the Super Lawyer program. Super Lawyer designation is limited to the top 5 percent of lawyers in a state in any given year. Since 1990, David Rapoport has been board certified* in Civil Trial Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy ("NBTA"), the oldest and largest not-for-profit American Bar Association accredited trial attorney certification program. Attorneys with NBTA certification have proven ability in their field through specialized written examinations and meeting rigorous criteria for trial experience and ethical ratings. Mr. Rapoport has proven his currency and substantial trial experience through NBTA recertification in 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010. David Rapoport has served as a leader of the movement to encourage board certification for trial lawyers for more than twenty years. Currently he is the President of the National Board of Trial Advocacy and its parent organization the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification. He recently explained: "In this era of Wild West style minimally regulated lawyer advertising, it has never been more important for the public to have easy and reliable means of identifying members of the small fraction of practicing attorneys who truly have substantial experience trying cases. Board certification programs help consumers of legal services make more informed choices. Too many lawyers are out there claiming to have substantial trial experience when in truth they have never tried a case. Board certified trial lawyers have proven their substantial trial experience in ways the public can trust." Mr. Rapoport is a member of the President's Club and Leader's Forum of the American Association for Justice and the state trial lawyer associations in Illinois, Wisconsin and Kentucky. He is also a member of the Economic Club of Chicago. * Board certification is not required to practice law in Illinois and the Illinois Supreme Court does not recognize specialties in the practice of law.