Lisa Says Gah
SPF of any kind is better than going bare-faced, but it's definitely worth pointing out that not all sunscreens are created equal. In fact, your go-to formula might not be providing as much protection as advertised, leaving your complexion at risk even when you think you're covered.
While compiling data for its annual sunscreen guide, Consumer Reports found that 43% of the 65 formulas tested failed to meet the SPF claim on their labels. That means that there's almost a 50/50 chance your favorite SPF doesn't deliver like it says it does. (As a reminder, SPF 30 is the bare minimum recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology for substantial sun protection.)
Still, you can rest easy knowing that there are plenty of great formulas out there, according to the report's final rankings. In fact, one product managed to earn a perfect score. Drumroll, please…
La Roche-Posay's Anthelios formula nabbed the top spot for the second year in a row, thanks to its broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection and serious staying power. It also uses plant technology to fortify your skin's defense against the sun's rays with antioxidants.
Superficially speaking—because texture is important in a product you wear all day, every day—we love this product for its smooth, lightweight, nongreasy feel. It layers well with makeup (read: your face won't slide off before noon), it's fragrance-free, and doesn't leave behind any chalkiness.
As for how other formulas stacked up, we were pleasantly surprised to see that many affordable options received high marks. The second place slot went to Equate's Sport Lotion ($5) with a score of 99, while the only spray formula to receive a perfect score happens to be Trader Joe's resident product—it's also only $5.
This story was originally published on May 16, 2016, and has been updated with this year's rankings.
Want to see how your go-to formula measured up? Check out the rest of Consumer Reports' rankings.