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In this report

Sunscreen: Ratings of Sources

Total of 23 Sources
1. PaulasChoice.com
As of July 2013
by Paula Begoun
Our AssessmentPaula Begoun's retail website -- namely the Beautypedia section -- is an excellent resource for research on nearly every type of cosmetic product, including sunscreen. She rates sunscreens based on ingredients, clinical trials and government resources. Information on common ingredients found in sunscreens is provided. Begoun also discusses effectiveness, possible risks (e.g. skin irritation) and value.
2. ConsumerReports.org
May 2013
by Editors of Consumer Reports
Our AssessmentEditors test the UVA protection levels in 12 sunscreens, as well as stain factor and SPF. Editors say there is a gap between claimed and measured SPF values. Furthermore, at least one formula that has performed well in the past did not perform as well in this year's tests. Each sunscreen is rated from poor to excellent and includes an overall score from 0 to 100. Six of those tested are recommended by editors, who warn that sunscreen sprays are under review by the Food and Drug Administration for safety concerns and should not be used on children.
3. Allure
Not dated
Best of Beauty : 2012 Award Winners
by Editors of Allure magazine
Our AssessmentEditors of Allure test thousands of beauty products and choose 245 winners as the best in their categories. Top-rated sunscreens are listed in several categories, including best in skin care, body and sensitive categories. A facial sunscreen from La Roche-Posay, sprays from Neutrogena and Aveeno and a stick from Neutrogena all make the list of bests. The testing criteria here, however, are not well defined.
4. Health Magazine
Not dated
Health's Beauty Awards 2012
by Editors of Health magazine
Our AssessmentEditors and a panel of dermatologists, test and rate beauty products for their 2012 beauty awards. Thirty-five winners are listed. Only new sunscreens are tested, however, and the judging criteria are unclear; sunscreens that didn't make the cut aren't identified. Two sunscreens make the list -- one for the body and one for the face.
5. Shape magazine
Not dated
The 2012 Shape Beauty Awards
by Amber Kallor
Our AssessmentEditors, readers and professionals test hundreds of beauty products to find the best of the year in conjunction with Shape's annual beauty awards. Fifty-three products make the list, including two sunscreens: Shiseido Urban Environment and Neutrogena Wet Skin. Editors do not disclose what criteria were used in making these picks.
6. InStyle
Not dated
Best Beauty Buys: Body
by Editors of InStyle magazine
Our AssessmentInStyle magazine editors conduct some product testing (though testing methodology isn't clear) for their 2013 beauty awards. Each winning product includes a description of its benefits and often quotes testers' experiences. Products tested include old and new sunscreens, and some of the winners have made the list for multiple consecutive years.
7. Good Housekeeping
Not dated`
The Winners of Good Housekeeping's First Annual Anti-Aging Awards
by Leesa Suzman
Our AssessmentGood Housekeeping spent 18 months testing 90 products with anti-aging claims. Products were both lab- and volunteer-tested on 820 women ages 35 and up. In all 26 products make the list of winners and honorable mentions, including two sunscreens. Banana Boat Ultra Defense SPF 50 Lotion is named the winner in the sunscreen category while Shady Day Daily Sun Protection Wipes earn an honorable mention.
8. Shine.Yahoo.com
May 15, 2012
Choosing the Best Sunscreens - and Avoiding the Worst
by Sarah B. Weir
Our AssessmentEditors discuss the findings of the Environmental Working Group's latest analysis of sunscreens. The group suggests avoiding sunscreens that contain retinyl palmitate (vitamin A) and oxybenzone. They also warn against the dangers of sunscreen sprays and powders as well as formulas rated higher than SPF 50+. The 15 best and most affordable products from their report are listed and include sunscreens from Coppertone, Purple Prairie and Blue Lizard.
9. CEW.org
Not dated
2013 Beauty Awards Entries
by Editors of CEW.org
Our AssessmentIndustry trade group Cosmetic Executive Women lists the 2013 Beauty Award winners. Products are chosen by a group of experts, but specific testing isn't cited. CEW.org says the Beauty award is "the beauty industry's highest honor" and is given to "the most innovative beauty products of the year," but only new products are considered -- and only those that have been submitted by manufacturers for consideration. Elizabeth Arden Prevage Triple Defense Shield Broad Spectrum is the only sunscreen to make the list for 2013.
10. TruthInAging.com
May 16, 2012
Five Best Sunscreens of 2012
by "Marta"
Our AssessmentThe founder of TruthInAging.com lists the five best sunscreens of 2012. Each of them uses mineral sunscreens and have natural components. She suggests using formulas that contain antioxidants or layering antioxidants under your sunscreen for added protection.
11. Self Magazine
Not dated
2013 Healthy Beauty Awards
by April Franzino
Our AssessmentMore than 1,600 readers test the latest beauty products to find the best of 2013. Winners are listed in several categories, including body, face, hair and makeup. One face and one body sunscreen make the list. Testing criteria aren't explained and no comparison information is given.
12. Shape
May 2013
Shape Sun Awards 2013: Sunscreen and SPF Winners
by Melissa Ivy Katz
Our AssessmentIn this video slide show, Shape beauty director Cheryl Kramer Kaye and dermatologist Dr. David E. Bank discuss the winners of Shape magazine's Sun Awards. The list of winners includes sunscreens and SPF-rated moisturizers but testing methods aren't mentioned.
13. Allure
Not dated
The 10 Best Sunscreens for Summer 2013
by Lindsay Colameo
Our AssessmentAllure magazine lists the 10 best bets for sunscreen based on the feel, smell and efficacy of each. Each product is given a brief description but none are rated or compared and it isn't clear if they have been tested.
14. Good Housekeeping
Not dated
The Best Sunscreens for Your Skin Type
by Susan Ince
Our AssessmentGood Housekeeping magazine recommends five sunscreens based on skin type and specific needs. Products from Neutrogena, La Roche-Posay, Coppertone, Kiss My Face and Hawaiian Tropic are included but it isn't clear if any of them were tested and descriptions are very brief.
15. Parents.com
Not dated
7 Safe Sunscreens
by Jessica Hartshorn
Our AssessmentIn this article, Jessica Hartshorn outlines seven mineral sunscreens that are safe for children. All of the formulas listed rely on zinc oxide as a primary active ingredient. Some also use titanium dioxide for added protection. It isn't clear if any of the sunscreens have been tested and they aren't ranked or compared.
16. MakeupAlley.com
As of July 2013
by Contributors to MakeupAlley.com
Our AssessmentThis site invites consumers to rate beauty products, and about 1,000 sunscreens are reviewed by members. Product reviews can be sorted in many ways, making it easy for users to find the highest-rated products, as well as those that are reviewed most often. Some products receive many reviews; others receive only a few. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock receives high ratings from hundreds of reviewers, as does Clarins UV Plus Protective Day Screen.
17. Amazon.com
As of July 2013
Skin Protection
by Contributors to Amazon.com
Our AssessmentMost of the sunscreens sold at Amazon.com get only a handful of customer reviews, but a few bestselling products are reviewed hundreds of times. Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration is reviewed the most often -- more than 900 times. Fallene Cotz SPF 58 for Sensitive Skin, Fallene Total Block SPF 65 and EltaMD UV Clear receive high ratings as well.
18. Drugstore.com
As of July 2013
All Sunscreen
by Contributors to Drugstore.com
Our AssessmentDrugstore.com posts sunscreen reviews written by users. The rankings are a little confusing because some of the higher-rated sunscreens are reviewed only a handful of times. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock is reviewed most often and receives high ratings. Ocean Potion Suncare and Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen also receive high ratings.
19. Walmart.com
As of July 2013
Sun Care
by Contributors to Walmart.com
Our AssessmentMost of the products listed for sale at Walmart.com receive just a handful of reviews. This is still a useful source for reviews on budget-priced sunscreens. No-Ad products are reviewed most often here, with favorable ratings.
20. TotalBeauty.com
As of July 2013
Best Sun Care Products
by Contributors to TotalBeauty.com
Our AssessmentMore than 480 sunscreen products are listed for review at TotalBeauty.com, a beauty blog that allows users to rate and review products, but most receive only a handful of reviews. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch is the only exception, garnering more than 500 reviews and a high overall rating. The user reviews here are helpful for gauging user reaction to other sunscreens, though on a smaller scale.
21. EWG.org
Not dated
EWG's 2013 Guide to Sunscreens
by Editors of EWG.org
Our AssessmentThe Environmental Working Group evaluates sunscreens for efficacy and safety. In this critical guide, the consumer advocate group recommends 184 formulas but finds that many more fall short -- mostly for safety concerns with various ingredients. The EWG suggests that users avoid spray and loose powder formulas as well as products containing oxybenzone and/or retinyl palmitate. Most mainstream formulas are given poor ratings but a few are deemed safe, including Alba Botanica Natural Very Emollient Kids Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30, Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen Sensitive and Kiss My Face Natural Mineral Sunscreen.
22. FDA.gov
May 17, 2012
FDA Sheds Light on Sunscreens
by Editors of FDA.gov
Our AssessmentThe Food and Drug Administration outlines its new guidelines for sunscreen on this site. Products now must undergo standard testing to prove that they provide adequate UVA and UVB protection. Specific products are not discussed or evaluated.
23. Good Housekeeping
Not dated
Keep the Glow, Lose the Wrinkles
by Susan Ince
Our AssessmentGood Housekeeping magazine outlines the new FDA guidelines for sunscreen. The guidelines went in to effect in December 2012 for large companies. Application tips are included but specific products aren't discussed.
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