Temperatures are heating up. The sun is staying in the sky later and later. Summer is just under a month away. And with millions of Americans expected to take to the pool or beach this summer, Consumer Reports tested dozens of sunscreens to find the best and most effective for you to use this summer.

What You Need To Know

  • Consumer Reports tested several sunscreens to find the most effective

  • Coppertone remains their top brand of lotion sunscreen

  • Trader Joe's has the top spray sunscreen brand, if that's more your style

  • Trying to stay all-natural? California Kids wins best mineral sunscreen brand

Sunscreen is considered the best protector against burns and various cancers to the skin. The inexpensive product comes in various forms, so you can pick the best type of sunscreen for you.

Consumer Reports tested and rated various brands and types of sunscreens to determine the best type of sprays and lotions to protect you from ultraviolet A and B rays, while also protecting your skin from aging. This testing also provides insight into what sunscreens bring the best protection from various types of skin cancer.

The best lotion sunscreens

If you're a tried-and-true kind of person, lotion sunscreen could be your go-to. It's been around from the beginning and is still one of the most popular types of sunscreen to use today. 

Sunscreen lotion has been the original choice for millions since the early 1900s. (Spectrum News)
Sunscreen lotion has been the original choice for millions since the early 1900s. (Spectrum News)

With lotion sunscreen, the FDA suggests you apply one teaspoon of sunscreen for your face, neck and head, one teaspoon for each arm, another for each leg, one for your chest and one for your back. If you're wearing a swimsuit, that's about one ounce of sunscreen for the body– approximately enough to fill a shot glass.

The top sunscreen this year remains Coppertone's Water Babies lotion. The inexpensive solution is just as effective on adults, so don't let the name fool you. Waterbabies has a floral scent to the sunscreen, though. If you prefer a fragrance-free sunscreen, the other two don't have any fragrance.

Here are Consumer Reports' top lotion sunscreens:

The best spray sunscreens

If lotion isn't your favorite, maybe you prefer spray sunscreen. It's very easy to use and can give you a near-even application across the body. The best way to use this sunscreen is by holding the nozzle close to your skin and spraying until a gloss appears across your body. 

A Red Sox baseball player applies sunscreen to his face during an MLB game. (AP)
A Red Sox baseball player applies sunscreen to his face during an MLB game. (AP Photo)

After application, rub the sunscreen into your body. Even though some bottles specify "no rub," you should rub anyway, as smoothing it into the skin increases the protection from UVA and UVB rays.

Here are Consumer Reports' top spray sunscreens:

The best mineral sunscreens

While everyone has their own personal favorite, no sunscreen is ever going to be a bad sunscreen. They all provide protection, of course. But if you're looking for something more natural, mineral sunscreen could be the way to go.

Mineral sunscreens contain one of two compounds: zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These ingredients shield your skin from UV rays, forcing them to bounce off your body. These ingredients, which have been extensively studied by the FDA, are considered to be a healthier and more natural option compared to their chemical counterparts.

Here are Consumer Reports' top mineral sunscreens:

Our team of meteorologists dives deep into the science of weather and breaks down timely weather data and information. To view more weather and climate stories, check out our weather blogs section.