Sun creams ‘fail to provide promised protection’

A healthy tan ' but covering up is best. Picture: Getty/Ingram
A healthy tan ' but covering up is best. Picture: Getty/Ingram
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Two sun creams from leading brands are failing to provide the protection they claim, say tests by a consumer watchdog.

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

“It’s vital you can trust the information given on the bottle”

Dr Claire Knight

The consumer group said the Silk Hydration Lotion was 
“worryingly” the second Hawaiian Tropic product to fail its tests in the last two years.

It has branded the creams as “don’t buys” in its investigation, which used British Standard tests to check 13 products with an SPF of 30 – a bestseller in the UK – on their 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.

Sun creams are designed to protect skin from UVA and UVB radiation which may increase the risk of developing cancer.

SPF indicates the amount of protection sunscreens offer against UV radiation.

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 SPF claimed. Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: “We’re very concerned a further two popular sunscreens have 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 Dr Claire Knight said: “In the UK, more than eight in 10 skin cancers could be prevented by not getting sunburnt.

“The SPF and star rating are the two most important things to look out for when choosing sunscreen so 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 SPF, 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 claim on all products.

“Consumers can fully rely on Hawaiian Tropic products, safe in the knowledge they are protected against the sun to the level they want.”