Sunscreen: Ratings of Sources
Total of 24 Sources
For an explanation of how we rank reviews, see our ratings criteria page.
by Paula Begoun
Our AssessmentThis website is an excellent resource for research on nearly every type of cosmetic product, not just sunscreen. Cosmetics expert Paula Begoun rates sunscreens based on ingredients, clinical trials and government resources. Information on common ingredients found in sunscreens is provided. Begoun discusses effectiveness, possible risks (e.g. skin irritation) and value. Reviews, though not as many, can also be found in Begoun's book "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me" and at her website, CosmeticsCop.com.
by Editors of Consumer Reports
Our AssessmentEditors test the UVA and UVB protection levels in 19 sunscreens, as well as water resistance, stain factor and scents. Most formulas perform adequately, but a few lose efficacy when exposed to water and others don't provide adequate UVA protection. Each sunscreen is rated from poor to excellent and includes an overall score from 0 to 100. Seven 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.
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, including two sunscreens. Banana Boat Ultra Defense SPF50 Lotion is named the winner in the sunscreen category while Shady Day Daily Sun Protection Wipes earn honorable mention.
Best of Beauty 2011: Body
by Editors of Allure magazine
Our AssessmentEditors of Allure test and choose 236 products as the best in their categories. A facial sunscreen from La Roche-Posay, a spray from Neutrogena and lotion from Aveeno for sensitive skin all make the list of bests. The testing criteria here, however, are not well defined.
Health's 2012 Beauty Awards: Body
by Editors of Health magazine
Our AssessmentEditors of Health magazine, along with 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. L'Oreal Paris Sublime Sun Crystal Clear Mist spray SPF 50+ is the only sunscreen to make the list.
Shape of Beauty Awards 2011: Best Body Products
by Editors of Shape magazine
Our AssessmentThis is the eighth year that Shape magazine has rated beauty products. Editors pick the top 56 products that perform best in several categories, including makeup, face, hair and body products. Winning sunscreens include products from Neutrogena and Clarins. Editors do not disclose what criteria were used in making these picks, however.
Best Beauty Buys 2012: Body
by Editors of InStyle magazine
Our AssessmentInStyle magazine editors conduct some product testing (though exactly how much is not clear) for their 17th annual beauty awards. Each winning product includes a description of its benefits and often quotes testers' experiences. Products tested include old and new sunscreens, and many of the winners have made the list for multiple consecutive years. Elta MD UV Broad Spectrum SPF 30+ and Coppertone Sport Continuous Spray SPF 70+ make the list for 2012. Winning sunscreens for 2011 include products from Neutrogena, La Roche-Posay, Dr. Dennis Gross and Badger.
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.
2012 Beauty Awards: Winners
by Editors of Cosmetic Executive Women
Our AssessmentIndustry trade group Cosmetic Executive Women lists the 2012 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. Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunblock Spray SPF 50 is the only sunscreen to make the list for 2012.
by Editors of TruthInAging.com
Our AssessmentEditors review health and beauty products, including sunscreen, on a regular basis and report on the safety and efficacy of products. The ingredients of each sunscreen are evaluated for their effect on the body and the environment. Some of the products mentioned here are not sunscreens but moisturizers with sun protection. Products from Lumixyl, Nutri-Lift and Badger are included, but none of the sunscreens is ranked.
Healthy Beauty Awards 2012: Sun
by Editors of Self
Our AssessmentEditors of Self magazine list the best beauty products of 2012 as chosen by readers. Top products are listed under face, body, makeup, hair and sun categories. Vichy Capital Soleil SPF 60 Soft Sheer Sunscreen Lotion is the only sunscreen for the body to make the list. No comparison information is given.
Sunscreen: Are You Really Covered?
by Ayren Jackson-Cannady
Our AssessmentWebMD.com debunks several commonly held beliefs about sunscreen and explains how to read a sunscreen label. The top product picks of dermatologist Jordana Gilman are also listed. None of the sunscreens is rated.
Summer Skincare: Find Your Perfect Sunscreen
by Editors of InStyle magazine
Our AssessmentEditors of InStyle magazine suggest sunscreen products for various situations. Each product is given a brief description, but it isn't clear if any testing was performed. Products from BareMinerals, Neutrogena, SkinCeuticals, Bull Frog, Coppertone, Hawaiian Tropic, Ocean Potion and Mustela all make the list.
The 21 Most Affordable Natural Sunscreens
by Dan Shapely
Our AssessmentTheDailyGreen.com lists 21 natural sunscreens that are safe and effective. Each of the products listed are among the most affordable of top-rated sunscreens by the Environmental Working Group , which ranks personal care products for the safety of their ingredients. Prices range from just over $2 per ounce to $6 per ounce. Although this is more affordable than many natural sunscreens, it is still quite pricey considering that experts recommend applying a full ounce of sunscreen for maximum protection.
The Best (New) Blocks Under the Sun
by Editors of Health magazine
Our AssessmentThree top new sunscreens are listed, each with a brief description. The discontinued Coppertone NutraShield is recommended because it contains large quantities of antioxidants, while Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch is suggested because of its high SPF and Banana Boat Ultra Defense is recommended because the spray-on formula is easy to apply. The sunscreens aren't rated or compared, however, and it's unclear how they were chosen.
by Contributors to MakeupAlley.com
Our AssessmentThis site invites consumers to rate beauty products, and about 1,000 sunscreens are reviewed by members of this website. 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 Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream.
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 evaluated dozens of times. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch is reviewed the most often -- more than 200 times. Fallene Cotz SPF 58 for Sensitive Skin, Fallene Total Block SPF 65, Badger SPF 30 for Face and Body and Loving Naturals SPF 30 receive high ratings as well.
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, with high ratings. Ocean Potion Suncare and No-Ad sunscreens each receive 5-star ratings from more than 25 reviewers.
by Contributors to Walmart.com
Our AssessmentMost of the products listed for sale at Walmart.com receive just a handful of reviews but it is still a useful source, especially for budget-priced sunscreens. No-Ad products are reviewed most often here, with favorable ratings.
by Contributors to TotalBeauty.com
Our AssessmentMore than 450 sun care 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 still helpful, however, for gauging user reaction to other sunscreens, though on a smaller scale.
Best Sunscreen Overall
Our AssessmentBestcovery.com relies on expert opinion and analyzes user feedback to rate sunscreens and offer product recommendations, but writers don't specify which sources are used. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 55, No-Ad Maximum Sunblock SPF 45, Blue Lizard Australian Suncream SPF 30 Sensitive and Neutrogena Breathable Sunblock SPF 45 are recommended as the best sunscreens overall. A brief description of each is given, but it should be noted that Bestcovery.com also has several other "best" sunscreen lists, including "best sunscreen for swimming," "best waterproof sunscreen overall," and "best kid's sunscreen."
Sunscreen and Melanoma -- Prevention or Cause
Our AssessmentThis article at TruthinAging.com, a consumer-advocacy organization that supports safe cosmetic practices, discusses some of the controversies surrounding sunscreen and sun exposure. Editors suggest following the guidelines of the American Cancer Society by wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen that contains titanium dioxide or Mexoryl SX, as well as wearing a shirt and hat for further protection. New Food and Drug Administration labeling guidelines are also outlined.
The New Recommendations for Sun Exposure
by Leslie Baumann
Our AssessmentLeslie Baumann, a dermatologist and author of "Cosmetic Dermatology: Principles and Practice," recommends getting some sun exposure -- sans sunscreen -- on a regular basis. She points to studies showing that up to three-quarters of the United States population has a vitamin D deficiency. To avoid the risk of skin cancer, Baumann recommends wearing sunscreen on the face, neck and hands but allowing legs and arms to get 10 to 15 minutes of exposure two to three times per week. She says to avoid the most intense midday light, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., however.
Why You Should Wear Sunscreen While Driving
by Amy Wechsler
Our AssessmentMarie Claire's resident dermatologist, Amy Wechsler, says sunscreen is needed even in the shade and while driving. She recommends wearing at least an SPF 30 on a daily basis and reapplying every three hours when you are in direct sunlight.