A cheap supermarket own-brand sunscreen has triumphed in safety testing, according to consumer group Which?
Asda succeeded in the testing, with several of its products passing sun protection tests while also costing relatively little.
Asda Protect Moisturising Sun Lotion SPF30 at £3 for 200ml contained all the UVA and UVB sun protection claimed while absorbing easily, according to the testing and panellists’ feedback.
Among slightly more expensive spray products, Which? testers found Asda’s Protect Refreshing Clear Sun Spray at £4 for 200ml was easy to apply and did not leave any visible residue after application while containing the required SPF and UVA protection.
Which? said Asda “outshone” premium £22 product Ultrasun Family SPF30.
Although both were “highly effective” against UV, Ultrasun was not as easily absorbed and left more of a visible residue.
Boots’ own-brand Soltan Protect & Moisturise Lotion SPF30 at £4 for 200ml also “comfortably met” SPF testing for UVB and UVA.
Asda’s Kids Sun Lotion Spray at £3.60 topped the SPF50 category for children, while Which? also named Boots Soltan Kids Protect & Moisturise Lotion at £4 as another “great value” option.
In contrast, one lotion from cosmetics juggernaut Avon was labelled a “Don’t Buy”.
Two rounds of testing by the watchdog found Avon’s Refreshing 3-in-1 Face and Body Sun Lotion SPF30, costing £5.75 for 150ml, “did not come close to hitting its claimed SPF30”.
Which? advised consumers to avoid the product, saying it did not offer adequate sun protection.
In a statement, Avon said: “The safety of our customers is our priority and that’s why our expert skincare team produces the most effective sun care formulas.
“Upon hearing from Which? Avon has engaged its Quality and Research and Development teams to investigate the specific batch of product that Which? tested.
“Avon stands behind its data and that of the independent labs which conduct our testing.”
Louise Scott, chief scientific officer for Avon, added: “SPF testing by its nature is variable and whilst the Which? testing found this product to have a 26 SPF rating, we categorically dispute that people are putting themselves at risk by using this product.”
Natalie Hitchins, Which? head of home products and services, said: “It is great to see cheaper sunscreen options available on the high street and in supermarkets at a time where consumers need affordable options.
“However, it’s a concern to find a big brand product on the market that has failed our testing and did not offer the level of protection claimed on the packaging.
“Our advice is to stick to a tried and tested suncream. Do not be fooled into thinking that paying a higher price will definitely mean a better or safer product as our testing proved a supermarket own brand product can do the job well.”