PCPC Blasts Consumer Reports' Test Methods For Assessing SPF Claims
This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet
Eleven of 34 sunscreens tested by Consumer Reports fell short of SPF levels promised on product labels, according to the nonprofit. The Personal Care Products Council takes issue with CR’s testing methods, which deviated from FDA requirements for manufacturers.
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The annual bad marks given to sunscreen brands from Consumer Reports for their SPF claims could be due to CR's nonconformity with FDA-prescribed test guidelines or could signal testing failures or other compliance problems in the industry. In any event, companies are hurrying to retest sunscreen formulas and validate their claims.
The Environmental Working Group renews its call for a cap on SPF values at 50+, asking FDA to investigate whether anti-inflammatory ingredients added to sunscreen formulations are boosting SPFs without providing meaningful protection against UV damage. The NGO also recommends changes to the agency’s SPF testing requirements to improve the accuracy of labeled SPF claims.
Of the 20 allegedly water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreens Consumer Reports tested, two provide the full SPF promised after subjects soaked in water, and two fell short of the critical wavelength required by FDA for products marketed as defending against UVB and UVA light. Industry trade groups contend the report is inaccurate and lacks crucial details about how tests were conducted.