Standing in the sunscreen aisle at any store can be an overwhelming, confusing experience. All those different brands, different SPF’s, and different claims of sun protection can leave your head reeling. How do you know which works best? Or which one is the best for you skin type? And do any of them even work at all?

To add to the confusion, Consumer Reports recently released research that showed that 43% of sunscreen products didn’t live up to the sun protection they promised on the label. In one example, a sunscreen claiming it was SPF 50 only gave the wearer a level of SPF 15 protection! On the whole, Consumer Reports has shown the same results year after year. They also state that chemical sunscreens, those with avobenzone, fair better in their tests than mineral sunscreens, which contain zinc or titanium dioxide.

The main reason for the deceptiveness of sunscreen brands is that the FDA does not always test sunscreens, even though companies are required to do so. Companies only have to provide their results if the FDA asks for them, which means sunscreen brands can often getaway with not living up to the statements and claims made on their products’ labels.

To help you choose the right sunscreen and get the most benefit out of it, below you’ll find some help hints.

The Right Formula

These days, sunscreen comes in a ton of different forms, including creams, lotion, sticks, and spray. If you often forget to apply sunscreen in the morning, those stick and spay ones can come in handy. You can keep them in your purse or bag and apply them throughout the day when you remember. If you love sticking to a routine, then you can make a sunscreen lotion a part of your daily beauty regime, applying it the morning before you do your makeup.

It’s also a good idea to try out these different kinds of sunscreen. The spray sunscreen can dry out your skin, but it’s easy to apply, while sunscreen lotion can have a strong smell, if you’re sensitive to such things. The best thing you can do is tryout different brands to find one that you like and that fits your lifestyle.

When choosing a sunscreen, be sure to look for one that has at least a SPF of 30, if not higher, and one that has the phrase “broad spectrum” on the label. Also, look for a sunscreen that has some water resistant ability so that it will stay on through sweat and any outdoor water activities.

How to Wear Sunscreen

It’s important that you wear sunscreen everyday of the year. Hey, it’s not just during the dogs days of summer that you need sun protection! Make sure to apply your sunscreen at least 15 minutes before you head outside and do so before you get dressed and reapply it every two hours, especially if you’re in the water or sweating a lot.