BELMAR - For years, consumers have been told to slather on sunscreen to block harmful UVA and UVB rays, but a new study claims labels continue to be misleading.
Consumer Reports tested 34 sunscreens and found that almost one-third delivered SPF levels below what was advertised on the bottle.
"I mean, it's not fun putting on lotion and running around after kids," said Point Pleasant mother Ann Staats. "So, you want it to last a while, and you want it to be water-resistant, at least I do."
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For example, the study found that the brand Yes to Cucumbers' natural SPF 30 actually came in at SPF 14. Banana Boat's sport spray claimed an SPF of more than 50, but Consumer Reports found that it averaged an SPF of about 24.
Aloe Gator Gel was ranked the worst because it lacked UVA protection, according to Consumer Reports.
The report also found that paying more for a product doesn't necessarily mean consumers are getting more protection.
Low-cost brands such as No-Ad and Walmart's Equate delivered acceptable sunscreens within their product lines, according to the study.
But the top-ranked sunscreen was La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk. It was also the most expensive, sometimes costing $30 or more.