Consumer watchdog CHOICE recently conducted tests on six popular sunscreens with a SPF rating of 50+. Surprisingly, only two brands actually met the claimed protection rating, with the others ranging between SPF42 and SPF29. This infographic names and shames the products that failed to deliver on their promise.
Sunscreen picture from Shutterstock
With skin cancer a major concern in Australia, you'd be forgiven for thinking a sunscreen's SPF rating could be completely trusted. This is not the case, according to a new CHOICE study. The organisation independently tested six SPF 50+ sunscreens via a lamp that simulates the ultraviolet spectrum of the sun. It found that four products failed to meet the stated sun protection factor (SPF) claims on the pack.
Banana Boat Baby Finger Spray SPF50+, Banana Boat Sport 50+, Ombra (Aldi) Kids SPF50+and Ego SunSense Sport 50+ all failed to meet the stated SPF50+ claim on pack. Instead, they returned an SPF result of 42, 42, 36 and 29, respectively. (Cancer Council Classic 50+ and Nivea Sun Kids SPF50+, meanwhile, both met the 50+ claim.)
So are these sunscreen companies purposely duping the public? Not necessarily. According to CHOICE, the discrepancy could be the result of poor consistency between batches, sub par storage conditions or differences between the prototype and post-production products. Whatever the cause, the aforementioned brands do not provide the advertised level of protection.
You can see the results in the infographic below.
Naturally, any sunscreen is better than none but if you're specifically after 50+, the four brands above should definitely be treated with caution.