Avoiding Sunscreen Scams


Beach season is right around the corner. But before you reach for your favorite sun tan lotion, beware. A new study says the SPF on the label may not be what’s in the bottle. Gerri Willis has more.

It didn’t take a trip to Tahiti to discover some troubling facts about your favorite sun tan lotions. According to consumer reports, nearly one third of sunscreens tested failed to deliver the SPF protection promised on the label. The group examined 34 popular lotions and sprays. In the study they applied them to the backs of test subjects and exposed them to ultra-violet light. Of the products tested 11 “missed the mark” by anywhere from 16 to 70 percent, according to the report.

Siegel says: “It was water protection. They took people who had them lathered with it and they put them in tubs of water for 40 or 80 minutes. They checked them again when they got out of the tub to see if it was still on. Because after all when you’re on the beach you’re going to go in the water. They found that on up to a third of them it washed off. What good is that?”

Some of the worst offenders on the list include Vanicream SPF 50 plus, Yes to Cucumbers Natural SPF 30, and Aloe Gator SPF 40 plus. Sun tan lotions with the best rating – La Roch-Posay Anthelios 60 melt-in-sunscreen milk, Coppertone water babies SPF 50 and L’Oréal quick dry sheer finish 50 plus.

An F-rating doesn’t mean the lotions aren’t protective. It simply means – according to the report – that you may not be getting the protection you think you are.

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