Top suncreams ‘fail to provide adequate protection’

Two suncreams from leading brands are failing to provide the protection they claim, according to tests by a British consumer watchdog.

Top suncreams ‘fail to provide adequate protection’

Boots Soltan Protect & Moisturise Lotion SPF30 (200ml) and Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Lotion SPF30 (180ml) both offered only around two thirds of their claimed sun protection factor, Which? said.

The consumer group said the Silk Hydration Lotion was “worryingly” the second Hawaiian Tropic product to fail its tests in two years. It has called the creams “don’t buys” in its investigation, which used British standard tests to check 13 products with a sun protection factor of 30 — a bestseller in the UK — on their sun protection factor and UVA protection.

Piz Buin Ultra Light Dry Touch Sun Fluid SPF30 (150ml) and Hawaiian Tropic Satin Protection Sun Lotion SPF30 (200ml) both failed the tests last year, and Which? said it continued to recommend that consumers avoid these products.

Suncreams are designed to protect skin from UVA and UVB radiation which may increase the risk of developing skin cancer. Sun protection factor indicates the amount of protection sunscreens offer against UVB — the main cause of sunburn.

Which? said effective products did not have to be expensive, finding that “affordable” own-brand lotions from Asda, Morrisons, Tesco, and Sainsbury’s all offered the sun protection factor claimed.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: “We’re very concerned that a further two popular sunscreens have now failed our tests. Consumers must be able to trust and rely on the information provided by manufacturers so it’s disappointing to see well-known brands falling short.

“We want them to take action to ensure their products deliver the promised protection.”

Cancer Research UK health information manager Claire Knight said: “More than eight in 10 skin cancers could be prevented by enjoying the sun safely and not getting sunburnt.

“The sun protection factor and star rating are the two most important things to look out for when choosing sunscreen so, whichever brand you choose, it’s vital you can trust the information given on the bottle. Using sunscreen isn’t the only way to protect your skin from strong sun. Covering up with a shirt, hat and sunglasses and spending time in the shade are the best ways to reduce the risk of sunburn and skin cancer.”

Hawaiian Tropic said all its products, including Silk Hydration Lotion SPF 30 (180ml) and Satin Protection Sun Lotion SPF 30 (200ml), were rigorously tested, meeting all sun protection factor, UVA and EU requirements and regulations.

It said: “Hawaiian Tropic invests considerable resources and research in product development and testing to ensure consumer safety, and guarantees the sun protection factor and UVA claim on all products.

A spokesperson for Boots was quoted as saying: “Customer safety is paramount and we rigorously and independently test our products to ensure the appropriate level of safety and efficacy in compliance with EU regulations.”


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