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Supermarket's bargain £3 suncream beats big brand rivals to be named best in tests

The best suncream for Britons has been named as a cheap supermarket brand.

Rigorous safety and quality testing was carried out on a number of sunscreens, from budget own-brands to expensive luxury, to see if they passed the British standard for UVA and UVB protection. One was even branded a 'Don't Buy' by the reviewers at Which?

Sunseekers may be pleased to know it’s not necessarily a case of ‘getting what you pay for’ when it comes to UV protection.

A number of products in Asda's range came out on top, passing tests for UVA and UVB protection, easy absorption and cost.

Its Protect Moisturising Sun Lotion with an SPF30 costs just £3 for 200ml making it a budget-friendly but excellent-value product.

In its slightly more expensive spray range, Asda's Protect Refreshing Clear Sun Spray, which costs £4 for 200ml, was found to be easy to apply, wasn't tacky to touch and didn't leave a visible residue. It also contained its stated SPF and UVA protection.

Boots' own-brand Soltan was also praised. Its £4 Protect & Moisturise Lotion SPF30 also "comfortably met" SPF testing for UVB and UVA.

Asda's range "outshone" the Ultrasun Family SPF30, which costs £26 for 150ml, as it was not easily absorbed and left a visible residue. However, just like Asda's sunscreen, it was described as "highly effective" against UV.

When it came to children's suncream, Asda and Boots again came out on top.

Asda's Kids Sun Lotion Spray, costing £3.60, was crowned winner of the SPF50 category for children. Boots' Soltan Kids Protect and Moisturise Lotion was commended as a "great value" option at £4.

Asda and Boots' Soltan both earned Which? Great Value badges.

"Don't buy"

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Avon's Refreshing 3-in-1 Face and Body Sun Lotion SPF30 failed Which?'s SPF testing. In fact, the £5.75 cream "did not come close to hitting its claimed SPF30", Which? said.

It told shoppers to avoid the product saying "people using them could unwittingly put themselves at risk".

Avon said its skincare team produces "the most effective sun care formulas" and has since ordered its research teams to investigate the batch Which? tested.

Louise Scott, chief scientific officer for Avon, said: "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."

Avon’s Sun Body Cream SPF30, which costs £5 for 150ml, did pass Which?’s testing.

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."

Which suncreams passed the test?

SPF30 Passes

  • Asda Protect Moisturising Sun Lotion SPF30, £3/200ml
  • Asda Protect Refreshing Clear Sun Spray SPF30, £4/200ml
  • Avon Sun Body Cream SPF30, £5/150ml
  • Boots Soltan Protect & Moisturise Lotion, SPF30, £4/200ml
  • Boots Soltan Protect & Moisturise Spray SPF30, £4.50/200ml
  • Calypso Press & Protect Sun Lotion SPF30, £5/200ml
  • Nivea Sun Protect & Moisture SPF30 lotion, £6/200ml
  • Piz Buin Allergy Sun Sensitive Skin Lotion SPF30, £8/200ml
  • Superdrug Solait Moisturising Sun Cream Lotion SPF30, £4.99/200ml
  • Superdrug Solait Moisturising Sun Cream Spray SPF30 High, £5.49/200ml
  • Ultrasun Family SPF30, £22/200ml

SPF50+ passes

  • Asda Kids Sun Lotion Spray SPF 50+ High, £4/200ml
  • Boots Soltan Kids Protect & Moisturise Lotion, SPF50+, £4/200ml
  • Childs Farm 50+ SPF Sun Lotion Spray, £12/100ml
  • Childs Farm SPF50+ Kids Roll-on Sun Lotion, £10/50ml
  • Nivea Sun Kids Protect & Care SPF50+ Spray, £6.50/200ml
  • Sainsbury's Sun Protect By Sainsburys Kids Lotion Sun Spray SPF50+, £5.00/200ml
  • Superdrug Solait Kids SPF 50+ Roll-on Sun Lotion, £3.49/100ml


  • Avon’s Refreshing 3-in-1 Face and Body Sun Lotion SPF30, £5.75/150ml

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Helen Barnett

Helen is a journalist, editor and copywriter with 15 years' experience writing across print and digital publications. She previously edited the Daily Express website and has won awards as a reporter. Read more here.


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