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Stay away from ‘once-a-day’ sun creams, says Which?

And we reveal which sun cream failed our SPF test

Sun cream on hand

Regularly reapply sun cream to stay protected in the sun

Which? has tested the claims of leading high-street brands of ‘once-a-day’ sunscreens and found that they may not offer the long-lasting protection that they claim. 

We tested the SPF of four products and saw an average 74% decrease in SPF protection after six to eight hours. This means that over the course of a day, a SPF30 ‘once-a-day’ product could drop down to just SPF8. We don’t think you should rely on any sun cream to stay protected for a full day in the sun.

We also tested 11 standard sunscreens, checking whether they meet their SPF30 claim. One sun cream failed our tests, so has been branded a Don’t Buy product to avoid.

Head straight to our full sun cream reviews to discover which sun creams passed our tests or find out more about ‘once a day’ sun creams using our guide.

The sun cream that failed our SPF tests

We used strict British Standard tests to check whether all of the sun creams tested offer the SPF30 they claim. The majority passed, with just one exception – in our tests, Hawaiian Tropic Satin Protection Ultra Radiance Lotion SPF30 (180ml) offered significantly less than its claimed SPF, meaning it could expose you to risk in the sun.

Don't Buy Hawaiian Tropic Satin Protection Lotion SPF30 180ml

Hawaiian Tropic Satin Protection Lotion SPF30 (180ml) failed our SPF test

When we contacted Hawaiian Tropic about our results it told us that it had conducted its own testing and was confident in its own results which indicate the lotion exceeds its claimed SPF.

Alex Neill, Which? director of policy and campaigns, said ‘With more than 100,000 people diagnosed with skin cancer in the UK each year, some manufacturers need to do more to ensure their sunscreens live up to the claims on the packaging.’

Head to our sun cream Don’t Buys page to find out more.

Best Buy sun creams

Looking to pick a sun cream to keep your family protected over the bank holiday weekend? We know that some sun creams make skin feel sticky and greasy and are just a hassle to use. To help you find the best, we assembled a panel of triallists to assess how each sun cream felt, looked and smelled on the skin, as well as testing the SPF and UVA protection of each.

Four sun creams were rated so highly by our panel that we’ve named them sun cream Best Buys. These sun creams not only offer the protection they claim, they’ll feel great on your skin, too. Our tests show that the best products don’t have to be pricey – some of our Best Buys are amongst the cheapest sun creams we tested.

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