Published: 03 March 2020  (Updated: 03 March 2020)

Claims Focus – Sunscreen Claims

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) recently issued and upheld a ruling on claims stating that products with SPF50 only provide 1% more UVB protection vs products with SPF30, therefore suggesting that it is irrelevant to use products providing SPF50 or SPF50+.  While the information provided in the advert about the percentage of UV rays absorbed by SPF 30 and SPF 50 products was factually accurate, the ASA disagreed that a SPF50 sunscreen would provide an insignificantly greater level of protection than a SPF30 sunscreen, especially when real-life application and usage is considered.

CTPA would like to bring to the attention of members the importance of making claims that are based on sound science and which do not mislead the consumer.  This is applicable to all cosmetic claims, however companies should be extra careful when the claim refers to specific product categories, like sunscreens, which play a big part on the protection of human health.  Sun protection is crucial to consumer safety, providing protection against the damaging effect of UV rays; considering the consumer understanding of a claim and the consequences of that is therefore even more essential in this context.  Consumers may misunderstand certain claims on sunscreen products, perhaps expecting a certain level of protection, therefore potentially exposing themselves to the sun thinking they are protected when in fact it may not be the case.  For CTPA advice on sunscreen claims, please visit the CTPA Claims Reference Zone.

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