The cream of the crop: 'Which?' survey finds some sun creams falling short in the protection stakes

People placing their trust in sun creams to protect them from sunburn during this weekend’s heat wave could find they are not getting the protection they need, according to consumer group Which?.

Some of the best known brands in Britain have failed in tests which have been conducted by the consumer watchdog.

The results, released today, reveal that some Piz Buin, Malibu, and Hawaiian Tropic sun creams provided protection significantly lower than the levels they claimed.

In each case, the creams had results lower than Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 25, despite claiming an SPF of 30, claimed Which?, with a second round of testing confirming the results.

They were among 15 products with an SPF of 30 which were tested.

The sun creams are designed to protect against two types of ultraviolet radiation: UVA and UVB. Both types have been linked to skin cancer, although UVB is the main cause of sunburn and UVA has been linked to premature ageing of the skin.

Sun creams should offer a UVA protection factor that is a third of their SPF value, according to European Union recommendations.

The Malibu Protective Lotion (200ml) was the only sun cream that also failed the UVA protection tests with a UVA protection factor below 10.

The study also found that the more expensive creams did not guarantee better protection.

Calypso Sun Lotion (250ml) – the cheapest product at £1.20 per 100ml - passed both British Standard tests.

And one of those which failed the SPF test - Piz Buin Ultra Light Dry Touch Sun Fluid - was the most expensive product tested at £11.30 per 100ml.

"With thousands of cases of skin cancer diagnosed every year, it's vital you can trust a sun cream to provide the protection it claims,” warned Richard Lloyd, executive director at Which?.

"We've found three products that failed the strict British Standard tests and we want to see manufacturers doing much more to make sure their sun creams live up to the claims on the packaging," he added.

In a statement, a spokesperson for one of the brands, Malibu, said: "We stand by our testing and are willing to have our formula tested again by any reputable UK testing house.” They added: “We have nothing to hide. Our files are open for any legitimate person to come and examine."

Sun creams: The best and the rest

These brands passed both tests for SPF and UVA protection

  • Aldi Lacura Suncare Moisturising Sun Lotion
  • Asda Protect Sun Lotion
  • Avon Sun Clear Spray
  • Boots Soltan Dry Touch Suncare Lotion
  • Calypso Sun Lotion
  • Garnier Ambre Solaire Dry Mist
  • Garnier Ambre Solaire Moisturising Milk
  • M&S Formula Sun Care Lotion
  • Morrisons Protect & Nourish Sun Lotion
  • Nivea Sun Moisturising Sun Lotion
  • Sainsbury’s Sun Protect Lotion
  • Superdrug Solait Moisturising Sun Lotion

These brands failed at least one of the tests:

  • Hawaiian Tropic Satin Protection Ultra Radiance Sun Lotion
  • Malibu Protective Lotion
  • Piz Buin Ultra Light Dry Touch Sun Fluid
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Account Manager - South West

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

    Recruitment Genius: Administrator - IT - Fixed Term, Part Time

    £17340 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Come and join one of the UK's leading ca...

    Recruitment Genius: Property Sales Consultant - Chinese Speaking - OTE £70,000

    £18000 - £70000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Opportunity for a Fluent Chines...

    Recruitment Genius: AV Installation Engineer

    £27000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to business growth, this is...

    Day In a Page

    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
    Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

    Why are we addicted to theme parks?

    Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
    Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

    Iran is opening up again to tourists

    After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
    10 best PS4 games

    10 best PS4 games

    Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
    Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

    Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

    Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent