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Stay away from ‘once-a-day’

For the first time Which? has tested the claims of four ‘once-a-day’ sunscreens and found that they might not provide the cover they claim.

Which? tested the claims of four leading high street brands of ‘once-a-day’ sunscreen and found that after six to eight hours the average sun protection factor (SPF) decreased by 74%. This means that over the course of a day a SPF30 ‘once-a-day’ sunscreen could drop to offer as little protection as SPF8.

Which? also tested 11 widely available regular sunscreens, using strict British Standard tests, to see if they offered the SPF30 they claimed. Nearly all of the sunscreens tested passed the SPF tests. However, Hawaiian Tropic Satin Protection Ultra Radiance Lotion SPF30 (180ml) failed the SPF test twice. It was therefore branded a Which? Don’t Buy because it offered significantly less than its SPF30 claim, meaning you could be exposed to risk in the sun.

Our new research also suggests that even the cheapest sunscreens can provide good protection, such as own-brand sunscreens from Asda, Lidl and Wilko, which all offered the SPF claimed when tested. The cheapest sunscreen we tested and that passed our SPF test was Aldi’s Lacura Suncare Moisturising Sun Spray SPF30 200ml at a cost of just £2.79.

Alex Neill, Which? Director of Policy and Campaigns, said:

“Our testing shows that these sunscreens just don’t live up to their ‘once-a-day’ claims so people should reapply sunscreens regularly to ensure they have protection from the sun.

“With more than 100,000 people diagnosed with skin cancer in the UK each year, some manufacturers need to do more to ensure their sunscreens live up to the claims on the packaging.”

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