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The Best Sunscreens to Buy This Summer According to Consumer Reports

Dr. Elizabeth Yuko is the Health & Sex Editor at SheKnows. She is a bioethicist, adjunct professor of ethics at Fordham University and has written for publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Rolling...

Shopping for sunscreen? Here's what Consumer Reports recommends

Now that the temperatures are (finally) starting to feel like spring, it has a lot of us thinking about summer and all the outdoor activities we can do after being cooped up inside for several months. Sure, we remember to slather on the sunscreen when we go to the beach, but given what we know about skin cancer, it's best to put it on whenever you're going to be outside (even if it's just for a short period of time).

But alas, all sunscreens are not created equal. Aside from differences like SPF and being waterproof, they also range from working well to, well, not doing much. Not only that, but of the numerous claims made on the sunscreen bottles, only three are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration: SPF and being "broad-spectrum" and "water-resistant," Consumer Reports reported. Others, like "sport," "dermatologist-recommended," "natural," "reef safe" and "mineral" are not — so sunscreen manufacturers can basically put whatever they want there without being regulated by the FDA.

More: Could a Smartphone App Diagnose Skin Cancer?

Luckily, our friends over at Consumer Reports came out with a new list of the best sunscreens available this year to help you make an informed choice at the drugstore (or online retailer of choice). Here are their top four picks:

  1. La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk, $35.99 at La Roche-Posay
  2. Equate Sport Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50, $4.98 at Walmart
  3. BullFrog Land Sport Quik Gel SPF 50, $12.49 at Walgreens
  4. Coppertone WaterBabies SPF 50 Lotion, $6.38 at Amazon

Yes, a $5 bottle from Walmart beat out every other sunscreen tested (aside from the $36 one), so no excuses not to buy one that works. And if sprays are more your thing, Consumer Reports says Trader Joe's SPF 50+ ($5.99 at Trader Joe's) is the best in that category.

More: 7 Sunscreen Myths You Need to Stop Believing Now

Given how preventable skin cancer is, it makes sense to invest in a fresh new bottle of sunscreen this season to protect yourself and your family — and now you know which ones to buy.

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