Sunscreen: Ratings of Sources
Total of 27 Sources
For an explanation of how we rank reviews, see our ratings criteria page.
by Paula Begoun
Our AssessmentPaula Begoun's retail website -- namely the Beautypedia Reviews 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. Because there are more than 50 products all given the same rating of Best, it's impossible to identify just the very highest-rated products.
by Editors of Consumer Reports
Our AssessmentEditors test the UVA protection levels in spray, lotion and ultra-high SPF sunscreen, as well as stain factor and SPF. Editors say there is a gap between claimed and measured SPF values. Each sunscreen is rated from poor to excellent and includes an overall score from 0 to 100. Seven of the 23 tested are recommended by editors.
Best of Beauty: 2013 Award Winners
by Meirav Devash
Our AssessmentEditors of Allure magazine test thousands of beauty products and choose winners as the best in their categories. Top-rated sunscreens are listed in two categories: best in skin care and body. A facial sunscreen from SkinCeuticals and a spray from Neutrogena make the list of bests. The testing criteria here, however, are not well defined.
The Best Sun Protection Products of 2014
by Editors of Shape magazine
Our AssessmentShape editors name the 17 best sun protection products in their list of the best beauty products for 2014. The article says editors tested the products, but testing processes aren't discussed. Though there are 11 categories, many are very niche, like the best sunblock for lips, best for eyes, best for hands and best for dry skin. Editors also name a best sport, baby and natural sunscreen.
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 2014 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.
2013 Anti-Aging Awards: Skin Products
by Nina Judar & Melanie Rud
Our AssessmentGood Housekeeping describes yearlong testing "involving almost 1,000 volunteers, 2,000 questionnaires and 25,000-plus lab measurements." The tests result in the 21 best products to prevent signs of aging.
Healthy Beauty Awards: Practice Safe Sunning (but Still Get That Glow) with These Products
by April Franzino
Our AssessmentMore than 1,600 readers test the latest beauty products to find the best of 2014. Winners are listed in several categories, including sun care. Two face sunscreens and two body sunscreens are listed: one under SPF 30, one over SPF 35. Testing criteria aren't explained and no comparison information is given, though descriptions are pretty detailed and include specific user feedback.
The Best Beauty Buys of the Year
by Editors of Redbook magazine
Our AssessmentRedbook magazine details its annual testing process as follows: "We recruit 24 prestigious beauty experts, throw a crazy testing party, and send them home with even more stuff to try." They name a best sunscreen for body and face.
Best Beach & Sport Sunscreens
by Editors of Environmental Working Group
Our AssessmentEnvironmental Working Group (EWG) provides a detailed resource on sun safety in general, plus a database of sunscreens that are safe for consumers and provide good protection. Nearly 150 sunscreens meet EWG's criteria. Other than approximate price point and safety rating, no additional information is provided.
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. Of those with a substantial number of reviews, many of the highest rated are discontinued. Clarins UV Plus Protective Day Screen SPF 40, La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF 60 Fluide Extreme, Biore UV Perfect Face Milk SPF 50+ and Shiseido Extra Smooth Sun Protection Lotion SPF 33 PA++ all have about 100 reviews or more and average 4 stars or more.
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. EltaMD UV shield SPF 45, 3 Ounce; EltaMD SPF 50 UV Sport Waterproof Sunscreen, 3 Fluid Ounce; Tizo Solar Protection Formula Facial Mineral Fusion SPF 40, 1.5 Ounce; and Cotz Face Natural Skin Tone, SPF 40 receive more than 100 reviews each and average well over 4.5 stars on average. Baby sunscreens are reviewed less often, but Blue Lizard Australian Suncream Baby SPF 30+ 5 Ounce is the highest rated.
Beauty Awards 2013
by Editors of Health magazine
Our AssessmentEditors and a panel of dermatologists test and rate beauty products for their 2013 beauty awards. Twenty-one winners are listed in the face and body categories. 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.
2014 Beauty Awards Entries
by Editors of Cosmetic Executive Women
Our AssessmentIndustry trade group Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) lists its 2014 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. La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra-Light Sunscreen Fluid is the only sunscreen product to make the list for 2014.
9 Best Sunscreens for Kids
by Rachel Morris
Our AssessmentRachel Morris says these sunscreens all have an SPF of 30 or more and block harmful UVA and UVB rays. However, there's no explanation of how the sunscreens are picked, whether they're tested and which competitors were not selected. There is a helpful description of the benefits of each formula, though.
Best Sunscreen SPF 15 and Above Ratings
by Editors of GoodGuide.com
Our AssessmentGoodGuide.com scientists rate more than 1,200 sunscreens based on the "health, environmental and social performance" of each. Several Badger products all receive 8.2 -- the highest rating of any sunscreens.
The Best Sunscreens to Buy This Summer
by Editors of Cosmopolitan
Our AssessmentCosmopolitan editors name several sunscreens the best in various categories, like best for eyes, and best for the pool. Two sport sunscreens are named (one for outdoor sports activities and the other for swimming), a best for body, best for face and best all around. It's not clear how editors made their picks.
The Best Sunscreens We've Found Yet
by Editors of InStyle magazine
Our AssessmentInStyle editors routinely test beauty products and annually name the best. This article, however, is not part of the annual beauty roundup, so it's not clear how products were selected. They name a best sunscreen all around, best for sports, best for face and best for babies.
The Best Sunscreens (and Summer Skin-Care Tips)
by Sally Wadyka
Our AssessmentReal Simple provides instructions for revamping your skin-care routine for summer. In addition to instructions, Wadyka names seven sunscreens the best. She doesn't provide qualifiers about what each is the best for, but she does give a brief description of what makes them good. While Real Simple does routinely test products, it's not clear whether or how these products were tested.
Don't Get Burned
by Emily Furia
Our AssessmentBicycling magazine names the best sunscreens for bicyclists, based on how well they protect, how they feel when applied and even such niche qualifiers as how well they fit in a bicyclist's jersey pocket. Still, most of the recommendations are relevant to all athletes. While testing procedures aren't explained, Furia does refer to testers' feedback, so clearly the products are tested.
The Best Sunscreen Products
by Editors of Womens Health magazine
Our AssessmentEditors of Women's Health magazine round up the seven top sunscreen products, rating them with "best of" titles such as "Best for Gentleness." The products they highlight are generally agreed by other sources to be high-end products, but there is no mention here of testing and the descriptions are extremely brief. There also is no mention of how editors made their picks.
Five Best Sunscreens of 2012
Our AssessmentThe founder of TruthInAging.com lists the five best sunscreens of 2012. Each of them uses mineral sunscreens and has natural ingredients. She suggests using formulas that contain antioxidants or layering antioxidants under your sunscreen for added protection.
Testing 6 "Natural" Sunscreens from Whole Foods
by Christina Han
Our AssessmentEditors test six sunscreens and report on their chalkiness, water-resistance, finish and scent. While each has a main takeaway, it's not actually clear which product the reviewer likes best. Of the six, though, four are almost entirely negative. Beyond Coastal Active Sunscreen SPF 34 and Alba Botanica Natural Hawaiian Sunscreen SPF 45 are the only ones that aren't chalky when applied.
Lotion Up with the Best Sunscreens for Your Face
by Kristen Dold
Our AssessmentIn this article, GQ magazine names the six best sunscreens for face. While all six are given a brief description, it's not clear how Dold selected these products.
The Best Sunscreens for Your Skin Type
by Susan Ince
Our AssessmentGood Housekeeping 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.
by Contributors to Drugstore.com
Our AssessmentDrugstore.com posts sunscreen reviews written by users. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen is reviewed most often and receives high ratings. CoTZ and Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen also receive high ratings.
12 Best Sunscreens -- and the 4 Worst
by Amanda Montell
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. In this article, Montell lists the best- and worst-reviewed products, according to reviewers. She also neatly summarizes the reviews for each. Most of the recommended products are face sunscreens, with La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra-Light Sunscreen Fluid the highest reviewed of these. Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen and Coppertone Sport Spray SPF 30 are the highest-reviewed body and sport sunscreens, respectively.
FDA Sheds Light on Sunscreens
by Editors of FDA.gov
Our AssessmentThe FDA 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.