Tips for sunscreen shopping you need to know before heading outside

VIRGINIA BEACH Va. - With so many sunscreen options and label claims how do you know what will really protect your family from sunburn and harmful UV rays from the sun?

First check the SPF.

SPF is a measure of how well a sunscreen guards against ultraviolet B rays from the sun - the chief cause of sunburn, and a contributor to skin cancer.

Consumer reports product testing expert Susan Booth found an interesting dilemma when testing sunscreen claims.

"In our sunscreen tests, we found that many sunscreens don't meet the SPF level printed on the package," Booth said.

Consumer Reports recommends buying a chemical sunscreen with an SPF 40 or higher.

They don't have to be the most expensive either, two of CR`s top best buy sunscreens are, Equate Walmart Sport Lotion SPF 50 and Trader Joe`s Spray SPF 50.

Both under $10 dollars.

If you`re looking for a sunscreen containing mineral ingredients, thinking they contain fewer chemicals shop carefully.

"In our sunscreen tests in recent years, we haven`t found a mineral sunscreen that provides both top-notch protection and meets its labeled," Booth said.

As for water resistant sunscreens Trisha Calvo says pay attention as well.

"Don`t make the mistake of thinking that water-resistant means waterproof.  The minute you get into the water or start to sweat, the sunscreen starts to come off. So when you get out of the water, you have to reapply," Calvo said.

To have a great sunburn free summer CR recommends applying sunscreen 15 minutes before you go out.

Be sure to cover often overlooked spots, such as your ears, upper back, the backs of your hands and the tops of your feet. And reapply every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.