Spain wants sunscreens from shelves with incorrectly declared SPF

by Lorraine Williamson
SPF not always what it seems

MADRID – Last Tuesday, the Spanish drug agency AEMPS requested voluntary removal of 14 different sunscreens sold with a sun protection factor (SPF) lower than what is stated on the label. 

The AEMPS, which is under the responsibility of the Ministry of Health, has conducted research in recent months on the actual protection factor of sunscreens for sale in Spain. Thereafter, it was then compared with the statement on the label. However, only sun products with a protection factor of 50 or more were examined, especially the ‘lighter’ variants such as light creams, sprays and ‘mists’. 

Voluntary product recall request 

As such, 19 products from various manufacturers from different countries and from different price categories were examined. Of these, only 5 turned out to actually live up to the label’s promise. Meanwhile, in 5 others, the true protection factor was even lower than 29.9. Therefore, manufacturers of these products have been asked to voluntarily withdraw them from the Spanish trade with immediate effect. 

It concerns;

nederlandse orthopeed
  • Abelay Protector Solar SPF50 from Ab7 cosmetics
  • Mussvita photoprotector spray aerosol ultra light 50+ from Peroxfarma
  • Eucerin sun protection sensitive protect sun spray transparent dry touch SPF 50 from Beiersdorf AG
  • Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Bruma Solar air soft SPF 50+ from Wilkinson Sword
  • Australian gold SPF Botanical SPF 50 continuous spray from Biorius.

So far, however, no serious burns have been reported at the Sistema Español de Cosmetovigilancia (Cosmetic Products Control System) using these products. 

SPF lower than indicated on label

Furthermore, in another 9 sunscreen protection products the protection factor was even lower than indicated. Here the actual protection factor was between 30 and 49.9. Althought that is still considered a high and effective protection against sunburn. Nevertheless, the manufacturers of these products have also been asked to withdraw the investigated batches. Moreover, a new sample of other batches should show whether these also do not comply with the information on the label. 

These 9 are;

  • Les Cosmetiques sun ultimate sensitive SPF 50+ spray solar pieles sensibels from Centros Comerciales Carrefour
  • Belle&Sun bruma solar invisible FPS 50 by Perseida Belleza
  • Isdin fotoprotector fusion water SPF 50, Fotoprotector facial de uso diario from ISDIN
  • Farline spray solar SPF 50+ 200 ml Protección muy alta from Farline
  • Babaria solar bruma protectora SPF 50 from Berioska
  • Seesee spray solar transparent SPF 50+ from Cosmetrade
  • Piz Buin hydro infusión crema solar and gel SPF 50 Protección alta by Johnson&Johnson
  • Lavidal piel sensible FPS 50+ from STADA Arzneimittel AG
  • Lancaster sun sensitive luminous tan crema confort SPF 50+ from Coty. 

The Ministry of Consumption, which is responsible for transferring these research results to consumers, has already discussed the matter with the autonomous regions. Furthermore, they must investigate possible illegal advertising and unfair practices by manufacturers and, if necessary, impose sanctions. 

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