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Protect yourself: Here are the 4 best sunscreens on the market

Summer is right around the corner, and right now is the time that any of us start stocking up on sunscreen.

When it comes to determining which sunscreen is the best fit for you and your family, experts say it’s important to remember just because of sunscreen makes a claim on the bottle, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true.

Claims like sports, natural, or dermatologist recommended are what many of us look for. But there’s no standard on those claims, so any sunscreen brand can print those sayings on the front.

Experts say the most important things to look for are the three claims that must meet government standards to be printed on the label: SPF or sun protection factor, water resistance and broad spectrum protection. 

“The most important thing to look for is a product that’s labeled broad spectrum, meaning it provides proportional protection from both UVA and UVB rays,” says Dr. Mariana Phillips, section chief of the dermatology department at Carilion. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a cream, a stick, a gel, or spray, whatever you are most likely to use is the one you should buy.”

Consumer Reports has released its annual report on the best sunscreens on the market:
-La Roche-Posay 60 SPF melt-in sunscreen milk
-Walmart’s Equate Brand SPF 50 Lotion
-Banana Boat Sun-Comfort Continuous Spray
-Coppertone Kids Sunscreen Stick

Regardless of the SPF, Dr. Phillips says it’s important to make sure you’re applying it adequately. She says when you first put on sunscreen, use that generously. At least two teaspoons should be used to cover the entire body 20 minutes before you go outside. 

It’s also important to make sure you’re re-applying, putting on more sunscreen every two hours or every time you get out of the water or are sweating.

In years past, it was believed that only the sun's UVB rays contributed to skin cancer, but Philip says protecting our skin against UVA rays is just as important.