Think the best thing about Trader Joe's is its endless array of affordable chocolate chip cookies or frozen burritos? Well, we can't blame you — that shit is delicious. But peruse the beauty section of the store and you'll find yet another hidden gem on its shelves: the sunscreen — damn good sunscreen, for that matter.
In fact, the name-brand Nourish Spray Sunscreen SPF 50+ just earned itself a perfect 100 score on the Consumers Reports test, a trial in which trained researchers put a string of protective lotions, sprays, and sticks through a series of rigorous testing to assess their efficacy. To state the obvious, that's a big deal. TJ's score catapulted the formula to the #1 spot in the "spray" category — an impressive feat given the competition — and for $6, no less.
Of course, Trader Joe's wasn't the only big winner. Among the honorable mentions: Pure Sun's Defense Disney Frozen Lotion SPF 50, which earned a rating of 98 that will certainly please the parents of toddlers everywhere. Rounding out the list were sunscreens from brands Equate, La Roche Posay, and Banana Boat. "It's nice to see many products across different price points that offer high quality protection," says dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner, M.D. Truth.
But perhaps the biggest takeaway from the Consumer Reports results each year? No matter what the label says, not all sunscreens are created equal. Out of the whopping 58 formulas tested by the lab, at least 20 products on the market this year did not deliver on their labeled SPF number — a big bummer you don't want to find out after you're a mile down the beach. A good rule to abide by: "Always choose a sunscreen with broad spectrum protection of at least SPF 30," Zeichner says. "I regularly recommend sunscreens labeled with SPF 50 or even higher, just as a safety net to ensure the highest quality of protection for the longest period of time. Apply thoroughly and don't forget to reapply. If you aren't using it at all, then it obviously won't work."
Now go out there and have fun.