Slather on some SPF! Consumer Reports lists top picks for sunscreen

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When it's this hot outside, sunscreen is a must.

But are all sunscreens created equal?

According to Consumer Reports, they're not.

And turns out SPF numbers on the label aren’t always a reliable measure of how much sun protection you’ll get. 

For the fifth year in a row, Consumer Reports testing has shown that some sunscreens failed to provide the level of protection promised on the package. Of the more than 60 lotions, sprays, sticks, and lip balms in our ratings this year, 23 tested at less than half their labeled SPF number.

[RELATED: When it comes sun protection, a multi-layered approach is best]

[SPECIAL SECTION: Extreme heat]

You can go online to see the full list of the sunscreens rated by Consumer Reports.

Here are some of the best "lotion" sunscreens: 

[ To see photo of top-rated sunscreen, click here ]

1. Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Melt-in Sunscreen Milk  ($26.99) 
This sunscreen scored 100 percent. Consumer Reports calls it "excellent in overall performance... a recommended sunscreen that is excellent for UVA and UVB protection."

2. Equate (Walmart) Sport Lotion SPF 50 sunscreen ($5) This lotion comes in a close second with a 99 percent rating. It's affordable at just $5 and can be found at Walmart. Consumer Reports say Excellent for UVA and UVB protection.

3. Pure Sun Defense lotions with SPF 50 ($6) These lotions scored a 98 percent, ranking high on the list of good protection. They include  Disney Frozen Lotion, Star Wars Lotion, Marvel Captain America, Disney Mickey Mouse and Minions Paradise.

Other brands with high scores include Coppertone WaterBabies Lotion SPF 50, and Coppertone Ultra Guard Lotion SPF 70.

Consumer Reports also lists some of the top "spray" sunscreens:

[ To see photo of top-rated spray sunscreen, click here ]

1.Trader Joe's Spray SPF 50+
This spray got a perfect score. It's said to be excellent for UVA and UVB protection. It is described as having a "very slight aroma with classic beachy and minty undertones or notes."

2. Banana Boat Sun Comfort Clear UltraMist Spray SPF 50+ sunscreen
This spray scored 97 percent. Consumer Reports describes it as a "recommended sunscreen that is excellent for UVA and UVB protection. Slight amount of coconut/tropical fruit aroma."

Some lower-rated sunscreens? These all ranked in the teens:

  • babyganicsMineral-Based Lotion SPF 50+ (Scored 16)
  • All Terrain AquaSport Lotion SPF 30 sunscreen (Scored 17)
  • CeraVe Body Lotion SPF 50 sunscreen (Scored 17)

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