Expensive sunscreens ‘short on protection’
Expensive mineral-based sunscreens have failed to provide the level of protection claimed on their packaging, according to consumer group Which?
None of the five mineral SPF30 products included in the testing offered the level of protection claimed, the watchdog said.
Tropic Skin Shade Cream, costing £28 for 200ml, co-owned by Lord Sugar and former Apprentice contestant Susan Ma, barely provided a third of its claimed SPF30 and also failed tests for UVA.
However, Which? said it was the only brand that had committed to a full re-testing of its product and had ceased sales while they waited for the results.
All the mineral-based sunscreens in the Which? study performed badly. Clinque Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF30 (125ml) for £26, and Alba Botanica Sensitive Mineral Fragrance Free SPF30 (113g) for £11.99, also failed both the SPF and UVA tests.
But chemical-based suncreams, such as Asda’s Protect Moisturising Sun Lotion SPF30 (200ml) for £2.80, Morrisons’ Sun Protect & Nourish Sun Spray SPF30 (200ml) for £3.50, and Superdrug’s Solait Moisturising Sun Cream spray SPF30 (200ml) for £5.49 were given the thumbs-up.
Which? tested 13 branded and own-label sunscreens and found all eight chemical-based brands from supermarkets and the high street, costing as little as £2.80, matched their protection claims.
Chemical-based sunscreens use ingredients which absorb UV rays, whereas mineral-based creams physically block ultra-violet radiation using ingredients such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.
Clinique said its lotion met the SPF claims and EU guidelines for UVA and had “rigorous testing”. Alba Botanica declined to comment.
Tropic Skincare said: “We have sent all our sunscreen for independent re-testing with multiple labs and have ceased sale for our mineral sunscreens while we await definitive results.”