Which? uses cookies to improve our sites and by continuing you agree to our cookies policy.

Don't Buy sun creams

by Yvette Fletcher

Don't Buy sun creams are the products that failed our SPF or UVA tests. We think you should avoid these sun creams.

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

All of the sun creams we've tested had a claimed SPF of 30, but our tests have uncovered some that don't meet this claim. We don't think you can rely on these sun creams to provide the level of protection you'd expect, so we've named them Don't Buys.

Any sun cream that doesn't offer the protection it claims to could expose you to a greater risk of developing sunburn, as you'll be getting less protection than you think. In addition, many of us aren't applying enough sunscreen, which further reduces the level of protection we're receiving. According to the World Health Organisation, applying a smaller quantity of any sun cream leads to a disproportionate reduction in protection – if the quantity applied is reduced by half, protection may fail by as much as two thirds.

Log in now or sign up for a £1 Which? trial to reveal our full list of Don't Buy sun creams.

Sun creams to avoid

We test sun creams from popular brands and affordable own-brand products from supermarkets and high street chemists. But we've found that some products don't offer the protection they claim.

  • We use British Standard tests to check whether each sun cream offers the SPF claimed on its label. If a product fails our tests, we name it a Don't Buy.
  • We check whether each product also meets the EU recommendation for protection against UVA. We've found that not every sunscreen is up to scratch.
  • We've tested products that are widely available and suit a range of budgets. Products from Asda, Boots, Nivea, Piz Buin, Tesco, Sainsbury's and Superdrug have all been through the Which? test lab.

If you want to pick a sun cream that passed our tests, head straight to our sun cream reviews to compare products.

All recommendations