Three lotions fail the Which? sunscreen testSunscreens may give less protection than you think

29 May 2008

Which? research published today shows that some sunscreens fail to offer the level of  protection claimed on the bottle.

Which? tested 14 sunscreens that claimed to have sun protection factor (SPF) 15. We found three products failed the test twice.

Worst was Marks & Spencer Formula Lotion - its actual SPF of 7.1 was less than half of that stated.

Malibu High Protection Lotion was found to be 10.2, while Tesco Sun Protection Medium Lotion, with an SPF of 12, narrowly missed out on the 12.5 required to pass the industry standard test Which? used.

Marks & Spencer and Tesco told us that the formulations had passed internationally recognised tests, while Malibu was still working on its ‘new formulation’ and was happy with the accuracy of the claim on the lotion currently on sale.

Best Buys

The best sunscreens met or exceeded SPF 15 and also provided a reasonable level of protection from UVA (ultra-violet) radiation.

And the best products don’t have to be expensive. Three of the Best Buys cost £3 or less – Sainsbury’s Sun Protect Lotion, Asda Sun System and Wilkinsons Wilko Sun Protection System Moisturising Sun Lotion.

Jessica Ross, editor of Which? Online, said: ‘Claims made by some sunscreen manufacturers are way off the mark and there are some shockingly bad products out there. Yet protecting yourself from the sun really doesn’t have to cost the earth.’