Top Summer Sunscreens: Expensive Sun Protection is not Better

By  | 
Top Rated Sunscreens

Top Rated Sunscreens According to Consumer Reports

With temperatures soaring to record highs around the United States, it’s a good time to check out and compare sunscreen products.   Protecting your skin against harmful rays is one of the most, if not the most, important thing you can do to keep your skin looking young and healthy.   Many of us may think that investing in expensive name brand sun protections is the way to go, but a new study from Consumer Reports shows that expensive lotions are not the best sunscreens necessarily the best protectors or the most economical.

Surprisingly, some of the best sun protectors can be found at discount stores for relatively low prices.  According to the Consumer Reports study, top scoring sunscreens are available from Target, Walmart and Walgreens.   Up and UP Sports SPF 50 had the highest overall score and is readily available at  Target for just $6.94 US.  The number two rated sunscreen, Equate Ultra Protection Sunscreen SPF 50, can be found at  Walmart.   Number three on the Consumer Reports list is  Coppertone Water Babies 50 which can be found at almost any drugstore as well as many grocery stores with prices ranging from approximately $7.00 to  $10.00.  The number four rated cream is  Continuous Spray Sports SPF 50 available at  Walgreens, Amazon and for approximately $10.99.

So look for these economical and effective products before you head outside this weekend or to July Fourth parties.

“If you can’t find one of the recommended sunscreens, your best option is to buy one that says it’s water resistant, claims broad spectrum and has a claimed SPF of at least 40,”  Karen Rauen, the director of health and consumer sciences operations at Consumer Reports told ABC News. “And remember to reapply every two hours and after swimming or sweating.”

That’s some good common sense advice that can protect your precious skin.  Reapply often and reapply one full ounce of sunscreen for maximum protection.  I had a small skin cancer removed from my chin earlier this year and my dermatologist told me to remember to keep applying my cream and to wear a hat to keep harmful rays off my face.  He also told me to be sure to apply the sunscreen a full 30 minutes before going outdoors.  That’s a good planning tip to remember, because if you don’t apply the cream in advance, it’s simply not as effective no matter what protection level the label says it affords.

I’ve renewed my interest in fashionable hats during when outside and my skin is already thanking me.  What do you do to protect your skin readers?


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.

1 Comment

  1. chris

    July 2, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    GTK about the Target brand. I’ve been using Oil of Olay’s moisturizer SPF15 as well as switching it on and off with Kiehl’s sunscreen SPF50 for face. The Target spray is great for me since I’ve been running outside in the heat. I’m a big fan of Neutrogena’s sport spray too.