Which? Latest sunscreen safety report in the spotlight

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Which? Latest sunscreen safety report in the spotlight
Following a report from Which?, a consumer magazine, into several aspects of sun protection products, the CTPA has released a response to emphasise the ‘sound science’ behind the category.

“CTPA welcomes Which?’s messages promoting the important role that sunscreens play as part of sun protection, however we have concerns that the negative claims could cause consumers to avoid sunscreens and put their health at risk,” the Cosmetics Toiletries and Perfumeries Association states.

“Sunscreens are highly regulated and rigorously, repeatedly scientifically tested. They are a critical part of a safe sun regimen, helping protect the skin against the harmful effects of the sun’s rays, including skin cancer.”

Cancer: sun damage third biggest contributor

The trade association for the beauty industry notes that recent research from Cancer Research UK points to the fact that UV radiation is the third biggest contributor to cancer cases in the UK.

It also notes that leading authorities, including  Cancer Research UK​, the Department of Health​ and the British Association of Dermatologists​, recommend the use of sunscreens as part of 'sun safe' behaviour.   

Dr Emma Meredith, a pharmacist and Director-General of CTPA, says: “Sun protection is a subject very close to my heart and, like Which? and the sunscreen industry, I want to promote sunsafe behaviour.

“Sunscreens are covered by strict safety laws and are developed and tested by scientists with expert suncare knowledge. The rigorous development process and repeat testing that companies undertake mean we can be confident that the sunscreen we use will deliver the expected protection, while of course always taking care to follow the instructions on the label.

We can trust in the SPF and UVA protection on the pack​.”  

Meredith also asserts that alongside sunscreen use, seeking shade during the sun’s peak hours and covering exposed skin with clothing are all crucial in protecting skin against the impact of sun damage.

Sunscreen should never be used to spend more time in the sun, and the SPF number should never be used to ‘calculate’ how long we can stay in the sun without burning. NHS England and Cancer Research UK share CTPA’s advice on this,​” she warns.

The CTPA has released a full list of its responses to specific inaccuracies in the Which? article on the subject of sun protection and sun care products science, and this can be accessed here​.

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