Testing shows some sunscreens are not living up to SPF claims

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — In the summer heat staying safe is a top priority — but if you buy your sunscreen based on its SPF rating, you make not be getting the protection you’re expecting.

New testing revealed that not every sunscreen is living up to its SPF claims. Actually, many of these products contain a much lower level of protection than what is promised on their labels, according to new research.

Bailey Peraita said she depends on sunscreen to keep her skin protected from the hot California sun.

“Whole body, everything — anything that the sun is touching, I wear sunscreen on my face everyday. Even my makeup has sunscreen in it,” she explained.

Many people, like Bailey, choose their sunscreen based on the SPF factor.

“I like to aim for 15 to 30, but I prefer a higher number,” said Christin Given.

But according to new testing by Consumer Reports, customers may not be getting the promised protection.

“About one-third of the sunscreens we tested this year did not meet their SPF claims,” said Trisha Calvo, Deputy Editor for Health and Food at Consumer Reports.

SPF measures how well a sunscreen protects skin from harmful ultraviolet rays — and of the 34 sunscreens tested by Consumer Reports, 11 did not meet their SPF claims.

Calvo said the findings could lead to a false sense of security for consumers.

“When you have something that’s an SPF 30, and it tests at below an SPF 15, that’s worrisome because you’re getting less protection than what most dermatologists and experts recommend,” she said.

Consumers who need extra protection should buy products with a high SPF rating, and reapply frequently for proper protection.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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