Popular sunscreens fail safety test - as £2.49 rival passes with flying colours

21 June 2024, 07:20 | Updated: 21 June 2024, 13:13

Some of the UK's most popular sunscreens have failed safety tests - but cheaper alternatives from Aldi and Lidl passed with flying colours.

Which? examined the SPF and UVA protection offered by products on supermarket shelves, and warned three in particular fell short:

• Asda Protect Moisturising Sun Lotion SPF 30 High
• Calypso Press & Protect Sun Lotion SPF 30
• Bondi Sands SPF 50+ Fragrance Free Face Sunscreen Lotion

The consumer watchdog tested face-specific sunscreens for the first time this year, and Asda's lotion failed both rounds of testing.

Calypso's sunscreen - which costs £8 for 200ml - "barely mustered" offering two-thirds of the protection it claims to offer on the bottle.

And the Bondi Sands product, at £7.99 for 75ml, "did not come close" to the claimed SPF, with the research suggesting it also lacked the minimum UVA protection that's required.

By contrast, Lidl's Cien Sun Spray SPF 30 - which costs £3.29 for 200ml - "triumphed" in both tests and did an "all-round excellent job" protecting skin.

Aldi's Lacura SPF 30 Sun Lotion, priced at just £2.49 for 200ml, also passed.

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Which? head of home products Natalie Hitchins said it is "incredibly concerning that some big brands failed our tests" - but it is encouraging to see affordable options on the high street.

"Our results prove 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," she added.

Asda said it does not recognise these results - and recent tests by an external provider had confirmed its product had a sun protection factor of 31.5.

"When Which? reviewed this same product in 2022, they awarded it 'Great Value' at that time and it passed their SPF test," a spokesman added.

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

Bondi Sands also questioned the findings, and said its tests had shown its product meets international standards and had an SPF of 61.5 - far beyond the 50+ on the bottle - and also offers UVA protection.

"All of our products undergo rigorous testing processes to ensure they meet and exceed industry standards and requirements. Bondi Sands will work with Which to better understand testing results," a statement added.