Stretch Your Dollar: Save money with the right sunscreen

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- With so many sunscreen options on the market, it's important to know what to look for when protecting your family!

The SPF is a measure of how well a sunscreen shields your skin from UVB rays, which penetrate the top layer of skin and are the chief cause of sunburns.

UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin and can contribute to wrinkles. Both UVA and UVB rays can increase the risk of skin cancer.

In the UVB consumer reports tests, technicians apply sunscreen to panelists' backs and have them soak in a tub for 40 or 80 minutes, depending on the product's water-resistance claim. Then the area is exposed to UVB light. The next day, the test area is examined for redness.

More than 40 percent didn't have the SPF they promised.

To check UVA, technicians pass UVA light through sunscreen samples. Again, some had problems.

But there were some winners!

Among the best:
Pure Sun Defense SPF 50 for about $6
Walmart's brand Equate Ultra protection SPF 50 spray sunscreen for $8
No-Ad Sport SPF 50 for $10

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