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Sunscreen products must live up to their claims

Consumers heading off on holiday this summer need to feel confident that the sunscreen they use lives up to the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) claimed, but a Which? test found one sunscreen failed to do so.

Which? assessed a total of 14 sunscreen products from high-street brands and found that one sunscreen – Avon’s Sun+Multi Protection Moisturising Sun Lotion SPF30 (£10) – did not offer the protection it claimed in its tests. Despite being the most expensive sunscreen tested, the sun lotion didn’t pass the SPF tests and has been labelled a Which? ‘Don’t Buy’.

The other 13 products tested passed the British Standard SPF and UVA tests. This included products from international brands like Hawaiian Tropic and Nivea, as well high street own-brands such as Morrisons and Superdrug.

Which? has been testing sunscreens for years and believes consumers need the reassurance that any product they buy is safe and lives up to its claims. The consumer organisation now wants to see more frequent testing of sunscreens by manufacturers; the addition of a use-by date; as well as the removal of confusing water resistance claims on sunscreens and SPF numbers on make-up products.

Richard Headland, Editor of Which? Magazine, said:

“As the summer holiday season approaches, anyone choosing and applying a sunscreen should be confident that it will help protect them from the sun’s rays. Sunscreens are a key part of sun safety so it’s important to pick a product you can rely on.

“It’s disappointing to see that, although most sunscreens passed our test, one didn’t provide the claimed level of protection. Manufacturers should only be selling products that live up to their claims which is why Which? will continue to monitor and challenge the industry.”

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