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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As we head into summer, there’s a new warning about sunscreens.

A report says consumers may not be as protected as they think.

Before hitting the beach, you may want to think twice about the sunscreen you’re using.

You probably already know that dermatologists recommend a sunscreen SPF 30 or higher.

But a study in Consumer Reports shows nearly half of sunscreen products they tested have a lower SPF than their labels claim.

Two of the worst examples were brands meant for children, both of which claimed to be SPF 50. However Consumer Reports found the actual number to be closer to eight.

The discrepancy could be related to how the sunscreens were tested, Denis reported.

Manufacturers tend to test sunscreen performance on people who are not wet.

Most products claim to be water resistant for up to 80 minutes.

To get the most of your sunscreen the American Academy of Dermatology makes these recommendations:

  • Use an amount of sunscreen roughly equivalent to the size of your palm
  • Apply it all over your body
  • Re-apply every two hours

Consumer Reports also found that in general, mineral products or “natural” sunscreens performed far worse than chemical formulations.

Some of the top performing sunscreens that emerged from the investigation include:

  1. La Roche-Posay Anthellos 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk lotion
  2. Pure Sun Defense SPF 50 lotion
  3. Banana Boat SunComfort Continuous Spray SPF 50+
  4. Aveeno Protect + Hydrate SPF 30
  5. No-Ad Sport SPF 50 lotion
  6. Equate Sport Continuous Spray SPF 50

But even among the best products, Trisha Calvo, Consumer Reports’ deputy content editor of health and food, said the lotion-type sunscreens are better, because the sprays come with some caveats.

“You have to be careful with spray because you can inhale them and it’s also hard to get a complete coverage,” she said. “You don’t get the protection if you don’t… use enough, if you don’t reapply often enough.” For these reasons, Consumer Reports advises that the sprays be used only as “last resort.”

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