Top 5 Sunscreens

by Alli

Summer has always been my favorite season and the beach, any beach, is my ideal vacation spot.  I guess it’s because I grew up visting the beach every summer.

Back in the day, I shunned sunscreen like it was the plague. I was a baby oil/iodine concoction addict when I was a teen. As a young adult, I had my own tanning bed.  I took tanning seriously.

After seeing several of my friends battle skin cancer, I pulled my head out of the sand, educated myself and became a strong advocate of sunscreen.

I won’t lie, the urge to get a deep, dark tan still exists somewhere in my psyche and I think I look better with a little color.  And what about that vitamin D?  But . . .

What do the experts say?

To help prevent cancer and premature aging, experts recommend that you:

  1. Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen year-round of at least SPF 15 that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
  2. Avoid sun exposure between the peak hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  3. Wear protective clothing, such as a broad-brimmed hat and long sleeves.
  4. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out in the sun and every two hours after while you are exposed. says “The verdict is in:  Sunscreen helps prevent melanoma and other skin cancers!”

These days, you’ll always find sunscreen in my beach AND makeup bags. Are all sunscreens created equal?  No! According to Consumer Reports,  11 out of 34 of the most popular sunscreens failed to deliver the SPF protection promised on their labels.

The top 5 Sunscreens

The 5 Top Sunscreens

1.  La Roch-Posay Anthelios 60 Melt-in Sunscreen

2.  Vichy Capital Soleil 50 Lightweight Foaming Lotion

3.  Coppertone Water Babies SPF 50

4.  Banana Boat SunComfort

5.  (TIE) L’Oreal Quick Dry Sheer Finish 50+

6. (TIE) Equate Ultra Protection SPF 50+

I have to admit that I had never heard of the top 2 sunscreens.  I found the La Roch-Posay at Ulta and it’s pricey – $35.99 for a 5 oz. bottle.  The Vichy Foaming Lotion can be found online for $29.99 (4.97 oz).

I go through a lot of sunscreen and my favorite, Neutrogena Beach Defense, didn’t make the cut. When I purchase new sunscreen for my upcoming beach trip, I think I’ll bypass the top 2 and try one of the others that are more budget friendly.

The Worst

1. Aloe Gator SPF

2.  EltaMD UV Aero SPF 45

3.  Yes to Cucumbers Natural SPF 30

4.  Goddess Garden Organics Sunny Boby Natural 30

5.   Vanicream SPF 50+

What’s your favorite sunscreen?  Did it make the top 5?