Consumer Reports Rates How Well Sunscreens Perform

The magazine tested and rated 65 water-resistant lotions, sprays and sticks with SPF claims of 30 and higher to see how well they protected users.
2:32 | 05/17/16

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Transcript for Consumer Reports Rates How Well Sunscreens Perform
important health alert. Summer is coming and "Consumer reports" is out with their new guide to sunscreens and their tests found popular brands performed significantly below their advertised sun protection levels and Dr. Richard Besser is here with more on this. Surprising to me. Yeah, very surprising. So, "Consumer reports" looked at -- they looked at 65 lotions, sprays and sticks all with an spf of 30 or higher. 43% of them performed lower than what was on the label. This is very concerning. An spf is your sun protection factor and tells you how good this product is at protecting you from the uvb rays which can cause burn and set you up for sunscreen and spf of 30 allows you to stay out in the sun 30 types longer than without anything else without burning and surprising. Some were far below the Numbers. Some of the products they looked at for children that had an spf of 30 or 50 were coming in at the level of 8 and that's way below what you should really see. Not getting close to what you expect there. 15 is what you should be shooting for. If people use them properly it wouldn't be such an issue. 15 minutes before you go outside. Use a full ounce every time you apply and put it on every two hours the spf value becomes much less important but people are using a lot less. For a family of four if you're going to the beach for four hours you're going to have to apply sunscreen twice so over the course of the day your family would use eight ounces. That's an entire bottle. I know people very well who stretch a bottle for an entire season. Hearing about natural sun scream. There's a sense people have that natural is better. But there's no defined way of describing what is natural. And what you're looking for is safer and when it comes to sunscreen safer is preventing burns and preventing sunscreen so I'm not a fan of natural. The fda doesn't have a definition on that and other things T T people are using that aren't necessarily safer are the spray on sunscreens because it's hard to know how much you're putting on. What should parents look for? Something easy to remember. It's a simple slip, slop, slap, wrap. Slip on the shirt. Slop on a sunscreen that's at least a 15, you don't have to go any higher than 50. Slap on a wide hat and put on wrap-on sunglasses. Slip, slop, slap, wrap. We reached out to all the companies that were tested by "Consumer reports" and they said that the ones that got back to us that the "Consumer reports" is not using the fda approved protocol and their products do better with that. Rich Besser thanks, you'll take questions on Twitter. All morning.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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