Two leading sun creams fail to deliver the sun protection claimed for them 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 which is the main cause of sunburn, Which? said.
The UK consumer group said that it had tested 13 suncreams from popular brands including Nivea, Piz Buin and supermarket own brand labels..
The two named Boots and Hawaiian products had 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.
“We want them to take action to ensure their products deliver the promised protection”.
In a statement to the Irish Independent, Boots Ireland stood by the sun protection claim on the Soltan product.
“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.
“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.”
In a statement on their website Hawaiian Tropic said that its own testing indicated that its Silk Hydration Lotion SPF 30 and Satin Protection Sun Lotion SPF 30 exceeded the label claim, even after 80 minutes in water.
They had also earned the Skin Cancer Foundation’s seal of recommendation for daily use, Hawaiian Tropic said.
It pointed to 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.
CTPA said it was concerned that Which’s claim that the SPF was incorrect was based on one or two test results on a single product when the company had a much more substantial body of evidence to support its claim.
Rosemary Scott of the Irish Cancer Society said it was “worrying” if some suncream did not offer the protection claimed for it.
“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.
Skin cancer was the most common form of cancer in Ireland and with levels predicted to rocket by 2040, it was vital that people took steps to avoid excessive sun exposure including wearing a hat, suitable clothing and seeking shade.
Sun cream was only one element as in practice very few people applied it in the quantity and frequency required to get the full protection claimed, she said.