Shocking results for big brand sunscreen


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Consumer organisation Which? has been testing sunscreen to see how much protection the big brands offer. It tested 15 of the biggest names on the market that claim to offer SPF 30 - and discovered that three failed to provide the level of protection promised on the packaging.

So which creams failed the test, and which budget brands did well?


Which? used the British Standard test - where the cream was applied and then volunteers laid under a sun lamp. The area which had cream applied was then compared for redness against an area with no cream applied. As a fail-safe, if a cream failed the test, they repeated it on a second batch.

The three that fell short of their promises were Hawaiian Tropic Satin Protection Ultra Radiance Sun Lotion SPF30 200ml, Piz Buin Ultra Light Dry Touch Sun Fluid SPF30 150ml and Malibu Protective Lotion SPF30 200ml.

The Hawaiian Tropic cream and Piz Buin product both failed to score high enough on the SPF test - scoring less than 25. The Malibu product failed on SPF protection, and didn't come up to EU recommendations that UVA protection should be a third of the advertised SPF protection.

The firms were keen to point out to the researchers that they carry out their own strict tests at independent laboratories in compliance with EU legislation, where they met the levels of protection claimed on the packaging, and they stand by the results of their testing.

Malibu added that it would be happy to have its product tested again by any reputable UK testing house. Meanwhile, Piz Buin said that SPF tests were notable in producing varying results at different laboratories and that all of its products are assessed for safety and efficacy in compliance with EU regulations.


The end results revealed that price is not always an indication of a superior product. The Piz Buin product that failed the SPF test was the most expensive one tested - at £11.30 for 100ml. Meanwhile the cheapest was Calypso sun lotion at £1.20 per 100ml, which passed the test - as did the second cheapest, Aldi Lacura Suncare Moisturising Sun Lotion at £1.40 per 100ml.

But what do you think? Do you buy expensive sun creams, or are you happiest with a budget option on the grounds that they do what you need them to at a fraction of the price?

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