Two leading sun creams on sale in Ireland fail to deliver the sun protection claimed, according to tests carried out by consumer watchdog Which?
Boots Soltan Protect & Moisturise Lotion SPF30 (200ml) and Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Lotion SPF30 (180ml) only delivered two-thirds of the claimed protection against UVB radiation, said Which?
The UK consumer group tested 13 sun creams, from popular brands including Nivea, Piz Buin and supermarket ownbrand labels.
The two named products from Boots and Hawaiian Tropic failed the tests twice, so Which? named them "Don't Buys".
"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," said Which? executive director Richard Lloyd.
Boots Ireland stood by the sun protection claim on its Soltan product, which remains on sale.
"At Boots, 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," it said.
"We are confident that all of our sun care products, including Boots Soltan Protect & Moisturise Lotion SPF30, meet the SPF labelling claim and customers can rely on them to provide the level of protection expected."
Hawaiian Tropic said on its website that its own tests indicated that its Silk Hydration Lotion SPF 30 exceeded the label claim, even after 80 minutes in water and it had also earned the Skin Cancer Foundation's seal of recommendation for daily use.
It also posted a statement from the Cosmetic, Toiletry & Perfumery Association which said it was "extremely disappointed" with the Which? view, as the manufacturers had supplied robust data supporting their SPF30 claims, while the Which? claim was based on just one or two test results.
Rosemary Scott of the Irish Cancer Society said it was "worrying" if some sun creams did not offer the protection claimed, as skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in Ireland.
"Sun cream is currently regulated as a cosmetic product in Europe and it might be that it needs to looked at if it should be regulated as a pharmaceutical product, as is the case in some other jurisdictions such as Australia," she said.