Revealing sunscreen report and how you can protect yourself

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – As we head into the unofficial start of summer, there is a recent warning out from Consumer Reports about sunscreen. Not all of them actually offer what they promise.

“What consumer reports did, they studied many many sunscreens over the past few year. What they found out is when you put a sunscreen on and you sit in water that’s how the test was so let’s remember that.  When you sit in water for a period of time then you test the efficacy, many of them came in less than what was reported o the sunscreen bottle. The caveat is that these were sunscreens listed as water resistant,” said Dr. Neil Fenske from USF Medical School’s Dermatology department.

“It just makes sense if you’re sitting in the water there is going to be some dilution,” said Dr. Fenske.

Also, the report showed that some sunscreens tend to be more protective than others.

”What surprised me, however, is that the mineral sunscreens, those that contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, those that reflect the sun, as opposed the ones that are chemical sunscreens  that absorb the ultra violet rays, those performed worse than the chemical sunscreens,” said Dr. Fenske.

Dr. Fenske’s recommendations to anyone headed outside this holiday weekend: “the best way to hedge your bet, you want to have at least an SPF 30.My recommendation is if you’re going to be in water that you get one that’s an SPF 40 or 50.”

Dr. Fenske also offering other tips:

  1. Seek shade
  2. Try the sun protective clothing
  3. Don’t put sunscreen on kid 6 months and younger, they shouldn’t be out in the sun
  4. Sunscreen sprays can be flammable, so wait until they dry before they get near a fire or charcoal, they don’t go on evenly, don’t spray on the face


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