Is yours protecting you — Sunscreens ranked

But which products are the safest?

The advocacy group compiled a list of best and worst-rated products after examining SPF protection, chemical ingredients, overall safety and effectiveness of several sunscreens. Plus, the sun didn't seem to cause burns on anyone, including Cannon, who wasn't wearing sunscreen. Of the 58 products tested, researchers named 15 that met their standards.

Is SPF 15 protection enough?

How high is too high?

"But instead, they may encourage people to spend more time in the sun, exposing themselves to more, not less, ultraviolet rays".

The initiative is part of the company's "Long Live Skin" campaign. Moisture makes sunscreen less effective. But UVA and UVB protection do not harmonize, and because the FDA caps the number of active ingredients in a product, high SPF sunscreens-which are geared toward protecting against UVB rays-leave very little room for anti-UVA ingredients like zinc oxide and avobenzone. The Environmental Working Group states that, properly applied, SPF 50 sunscreen blocks 98 percent of sunburn rays, while SPF 100 blocks 99 percent. The mom explained that her baby's face was blistered and beet red.

"High SPF is a marketing gimmick", said David Andrews, a senior scientist at EWG. In fact, her daughter began breaking out in a blotchy, red rash, complete with blisters and "second-degree burns" following the sunscreen application, according to Cannon. She recommends sticking to products between SPF 30 and 50.

Kalia recommends finding a sunscreen to protect against UVA as well.

'When it came to having sunscreen on, I thought it was better to have some sunscreen than none at all, ' Cannon said. "And of course don't inhale the sunscreen, or it can be irritating". Inconsistency in coating from the spray mechanism, potential inhalation of the spray by children while applying and flammability have become causes of concern. Some of these chemicals are extremely helpful, but others may have damaging effects. The latter, though, are especially risky because they contain additions like oxybenzone and the Vitamin A-based retinyl palmitate, which are included for anti-aging benefits, but heighten the skin's sensitivity to UV rays and may speed the development of tumors.

Retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A, has been the topic of years of debate and research.

Not everyone is convinced of the claims made in the report.

"We are greatly concerned when any person encounters a reaction using our products", Banana Boat said in a statement.

Sun lovers beware: New test results from Consumer Reports finds not all sunscreens block UV rays as advertised. There are two types of ultraviolet radiation, UVB and UVA.

"It appears that Consumer Reports' testing methods are not consistent with those used by FDA, and therefore are not the same testing as required by the product manufacturers to assign the SPF designation".

Doctors, when asked about which sunscreen to use for young children, generally suggest using titanium dioxide or zinc oxide sunscreen.

Experts say it's important to pick a sunscreen that gives you the best coverage overall.

Davis notes that protective clothing can also play a key role in blocking harmful rays.

  • Audrey Hill