The popular suncreams which have failed safety tests by UK consumer group

People enjoying the sunny weather on Bournemouth Beach in Dorset.
Sunbathers enjoying the heat on Bournemouth beach. Credit: PA

Three popular sunscreen products offer less protection than they claim to, according to Which?

The consumer group tested 26 of the most popular sun tan lotions for their SPF and UVA levels.

They found that three lotions from Asda, Calypso Sun and Bondi Sands did not pass all the tests.

However, cheaper alternatives from supermarket brands, like Aldi and Lidl, did pass.

Asda said it did not recognise the results, while Calypso said its product passed European Union (EU) standards and regulations in independent testing.

A list of the products which failed some of the tests by Which?

  • Asda Protect Moisturising Sun Lotion SPF30 High

  • Calypso Press & Protect Sun Lotion SPF30

  • Bondi Sands SPF 50+ Fragrance Free Face Sunscreen Lotion

Each of these products failed the watchdog’s tests to assess their SPF and UVA protection.

Which? said the Calypso’s Press & Protect lotion, costing £8 for 200ml, “barely mustered” two-thirds of its claimed SPF30 in both tests.

Asda Protect Moisturising Lotion SPF30 200ml which failed the watchdog's tests. Credit: Which?

Asda’s Protect Moisturising lotion failed both rounds of testing, the watchdog said.

Which? tested face-specific sunscreens for the first time this year, finding that the Bondi Sands SPF50+ product costing £7.99 for 75ml “did not come close” to the claimed SPF and did not reach the minimum required UVA protection.

However, Lidl’s Cien Sun Spray SPF30, costing £3.29 for 200ml, “triumphed” in the testing and did an “all-round excellent job” of protecting skin.

Another budget brand, Aldi’s Lacura SPF30 Sun Lotion costing just £2.49 for 200ml, also passed the SPF and UVA tests.

Aldi Lacura Moisturising Lotion SPF30 200ml which passed the SPF and UVA tests. Credit: Which?

Lidl’s Cien Kids Sensitive Sunscreen Spray 50+ (£3.29 for 200ml) also proved to meet its SPF and UVA protection claims.

Natalie Hitchins, Which? head of home products and services, said: “It is incredibly concerning that some big brands failed our tests and did not offer the level of sun protection claimed on the packaging.

“However, it is great to see cheaper top quality sunscreen options available on the high street and in supermarkets at a time when shoppers need affordable options.

“Our results prove that there’s no need to splash out to keep you and your loved ones safe in the sun this summer and that many of the supermarket own-brand products can do a good job.”

Lidl’s Cien Sun Spray SPF30 'triumphed' in testing. Credit: Which?

An Asda spokesman said: “We recently had our Asda Protect Moisturising Sun Lotion SPF 30 High re-tested by a leading external provider using internationally recognised testing methods.

"These test results confirmed that this product has a sun protection factor of 31.5, and therefore we do not recognise the test results Which? has published.

“When Which? reviewed this same product in 2022, they awarded it ‘Great Value’ at that time and it passed their SPF test.”

Calypso Sun said: “All products are carefully and independently tested and have passed EU standards and regulations.”

A spokesperson from Bondi Sands said it works with a product safety company to ensure all its SPF products meet EU regulations.

They said the suncream mentioned in the Which? article was reviewed in line with their normal process and met the necessary requirements for safety.

"All of our products undergo rigorous testing processes to ensure they meet and exceed industry standards and requirements", the spokesperson said.

"Bondi Sands will work with Which to better understand testing results", they added.

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