Three Popular Sunscreens Found to Provide Less Protection Than Claimed, Reports Which?

In recent spot checks on 26 sunscreens, including budget options from supermarkets Aldi and Lidl, consumer organization Which? revealed that products from Calypso Sun, Bondi Sands, and Asda did not meet all their advertised protection standards.

Asda disputed the validity of Which?’s tests, citing independent tests on the same batch confirming the lotion met labeled protection levels. Calypso Sun affirmed that all its products adhere to EU standards after independent testing.

Products that failed Which?’s tests include Calypso Sun Press & Protect Sun Lotion SPF30, Asda Protect Moisturising Sun Lotion SPF 30 High, and Bondi Sands SPF 50+ Face Sunscreen Lotion. However, successfully tested options included Lidl Cien Sun Spray SPF 30, Aldi Lacura SPF 30 Sun Lotion, Nivea Sun Protect & Moisture Lotion SPF 30, Boots Soltan Protect & Moisture Spray SPF 30, and Garnier Ambre Solaire Kids Water Resistant Sun Cream Spray SPF 50.

Natalie Hitchins of Which? expressed concern over major brands failing to deliver promised protection levels but highlighted the availability of effective, affordable sunscreens in supermarkets.

Which? conducted tests measuring the energy required to redden volunteers’ skin under UV lamps with and without sunscreen, and assessed light filtration on glass plates. Tests were conducted in 2023 and 2024.

An Asda spokesperson contested Which?’s findings, noting their lotion’s retest results met SPF 31.5, questioning the test validity. Calypso Sun reiterated their commitment to safety and EU compliance, while Bondi Sands did not respond to BBC News inquiries.

Dr. Emma Meredith from the Cosmetic Toiletry and Perfumery Association emphasized the rigorous testing behind sunscreen development to ensure advertised protection levels.

Prof. Dorothy Bennet underscored the importance of reliable sunscreen protection against UV exposure, highlighting NHS advice to combine sunscreen with suitable clothing and shade avoidance during peak sun hours.