Consumer group, Which? has issued warnings to those with the intention of using specific sun cream brands during the upcoming heat wave. The consumer watchdog has done tests on some of the most popular brands in Britain, and revealed the names of the ones that have failed.
It has been revealed that some Malibu, Hawaiian Tropic and Piz Buin sun creams offer much lower protection levels than claimed. In each test, the creams were found to have lower Sun Protection Factor (SPF) factors. It claimed to have SPF of 30, but tests indicated levels of 25. A second batch of tests confirmed the initial results.
The sun creams are supposed to offer protection against two ultraviolet radiation types – UVB and UVA. Both these types have been linked to skin cancer, but UVA has been linked to premature aging and UVB to sunburn. According to European Union recommendation, sun creams should offer users UVA protection equivalent to one third of its SPF value.
Passed and Failed
The brands that passed both SPF and UVA protection tests are:
• Superdrug Solait Moisturising Sun Lotion
• Sainsbury’s Sun Protect Lotion
• Nivea Sun Moisturising Sun Lotion
• Morrisons Protect & Nourish Sun Lotion
• M&S Formula Sun Care Lotion
• Garnier Ambre Solaire Moisturising Milk
• Garnier Ambre Solaire Dry Mist
• Calypso Sun Lotion
• Boots Soltan Dry Touch Suncare Lotion
• Avon Sun Clear Spray
• Asda Protect Sun Lotion
• Aldi Lacura Suncare Moisturising Sun Lotion
The brands that failed at least one of the tests are:
• Piz Buin Ultra Light Dry Touch Sun Fluid
• Malibu Protective Lotion
• Hawaiian Tropic Satin Protection Ultra Radiance Sun Lotion
The 200ml Malibu Protective Lotion was the only cream which also failed the protection tests for UVA. It showed a protection factor which was below 10.
It was also found that the more expensive creams did not mean that you were obtaining better protection.
The cheapest product, 250ml Calypso Sun Lotion, costs £1.20 for 100ml, and passed both the British Standard tests. One of the creams which failed the SPF test, Piz Buin Ultra Light Dry Touch Sun Fluid, costs £11.30 for 100ml.
The executive director of Which?, Richard Lloyd, stated that with the huge number of diagnosed skin cancer cases each year, it is critical for users to be able to trust that the sun cream they use offer the protection it states.
He said that three products failed the British Standard tests and the onus should be placed on manufacturers to ensure that their products live up to the claims printed on the packaging.
A spokesperson for the brand, Malibu, said that they stand by their testing methods and are more than willing to have their formula tested by a reputable UK testing organisation. They stated that they have nothing to hide and anyone can view and examine their files.
Image Credit: Phillip