...to think that if a company markets a product as SPF30 they should be able to back that claim up?(67 Posts)
Recently found a mineral powder marketed as SPF30. Initially I thought, great, but then wondered how much I'd need to use to give me that protection. After all, there's a recommended amount of cream products people should use to acheive the SPF marketed, so surely there would be with this? There was nothing on their website to advise. So I thought I'd ask them and find out. After all, surely they would have done tests so they knew their product was SPF30, and they'd be able to tell me how they acheived that, right? Nope! Here are extracts of my email correspondence with the company (I'm happy to tell people which company it is if they PM me but don't want to get into hot water by putting it here).
Me: I asked 3 questions including, "...How much product would I need to use to achieve the SPF30?..."
Company: answered the questions except the one asking how much product to use.
Me: "...how much product is required to give SPF30? Lotion sun screens will say how many tablespoons per body/how much for certain body parts as a guide so users will apply the right amount (apparently most people don't apply enough). Having not used mineral sun protection I'm finding it hard getting an idea."
Company: "Oh yes well you will need to apply this if being exposed to the sun as a recommend time of every 30 minutes, however this will be dependent on the strength of the sun and should be used with caution when exposed to the elements".
Me: "What I meant was how much product, i.e. what weight/amount/volume would I need to put on my face, say initially, to give SPF30 coverage?"
Company: "There is no set rules for this and as long as the area has an adequate amount covered then this will be ok, so this is mainly the advice we would provide".
Me: "OK, but "an adequate amount" is subjective; it will vary from person to person. I'm asking for an objective answer so I don't inadvertently use too little of the product and put my skin at risk. Surely to market it as "SPF30" it was tested in some way, showing results that "using x amount of product over x area would give SPF30 for x amount of time"?"
Company: "Yes you are correct , this will vary from person to person depending on the skin type and tolerance, also this is tested for the sun protection factor, and is to be used mainly on the face and as long as this is covered with a good amount of the products for your own preference. I understand this is very vague, but is different from a sunscreen cream where you could be advised to apply a tablespoon amount".
And that's how it's been left. None the wiser to how they came up with the "SPF30" figure or how much I need to use!
They seem to be very Good at dodging questions.
I wwould have thought there is a legal requirement to have tested a product before labeling it as SPF.
"I would have thought there is a legal requirement to have tested a product before labeling it as SPF"
My thoughts exactly, otherwise the customer thinks they're protecting their skin when they're not and risking skin cancer. So I'm thinking either they just plucked a figure out of thin air, thinking the customer would be impressed
and hopefully not ask questions or they know that to get that SPF you'd have to use a crazy amount of product which would put the customer off. Either way them dodging the question is pretty telling.
Shall I carry on asking them? It's quite fun
I completely agree with you.
Carry on, carry on!
Which? magazine does good annual surveys of sunscreens and which ones fall short of the legal strengths.
I see if they have info on the 'amount you need to apply to get the proper SPF effect'
I hope you keep on asking the company, until the question you actually ask haven answered. I wonder if it would do any good if you asked for the email to be passed to the relevant department, as customer services are continually fobbing you off. Copy to someone senior.
There will be a loop hole, because it is a cosmetic product. It's shit how this stuff works. It's main function isn't as an spf and so won't have the same regulations.
All make up artists I know never pay attention to it and suggest wearing an spf underneath as well, as you would need to keep reapplying all day.
Its total bollocks but they don't want to admit it. Personally I only wear make up if I am going to be inside or on a night out. During the day, if I am spending a lot of time outside, I skip make up and just use an spf regularly.
You could report them to the Advertising Standards Authority.
I know there was a case where a night cream, which marketed itself as "anti-ageing" on the basis of containing an SPF had to change its marketing. (A cream you would use during the day containing an SPF would be "anti-ageing", as the sun does damage and "age" the skin, but there is no sun at night!)
This company is making a claim they cannot back up (ie, that it contains SPF30, which has a specific definition).
OK, I'll keep asking. She probably thinks I've disappeared but oh no, I'm back. What do you all reckon I should write?
"I wonder if it would do any good if you asked for the email to be passed to the relevant department, as customer services are continually fobbing you off"
Good idea. Looking at their website there isn't a way to get through to [what department would it be...R&D?] so will have to go via customer services again
"Its total bollocks but they don't want to admit it. Personally I only wear make up if I am going to be inside or on a night out. During the day, if I am spending a lot of time outside, I skip make up and just use an spf regularly"
Same here. I just use a proper sun block rather than anything with added SPF. I have a huge distrust of the beauty industry so tend to like delving beneath their claims.
"You could report them to the Advertising Standards Authority"
That's my plan. I'll give them a couple more chances to answer the question straight then that's it.
I agree keep on asking.
If it's marketed as SPF30, then they should have done tests. Ask to see the test results.
Loreal were fab when I asked about their mouisteriser. They said the SPF was like any other in that it needed to be reapplied for adaquate protection and if I wanted all day protection than it would be best to consider a 12h spf lotion.
They also recommended using the same coverage as sun lotion.
That seemed a random post, sorry. I just mean other companies are capable of addressing the question adaqUtely.
It annoys me because it's really misleading.
I know people who say 'oh, I never wear sunscreen on my face - I don't need to, because my foundation has an SPF in it'.
Yeah, great - as long as you're willing to layer on half a teaspoon (minimum) of foundation on your face and the same again on your neck, every day.
The point with any makeup product with an SPF in, as Koala says, is that you will never ever be able to wear enough of it to get that full force SPF.
That's why all the skincare experts don't really bother about the SPF bit of a product, because they all adviseva separate Spf cream first.
Does anyone know which magazine's top recommended sunscreens?
Did I read that wrong or did they suggest applying it every thirty minutes if you're in the sun?!
"Did I read that wrong or did they suggest applying it every thirty minutes if you're in the sun?!"
Seems so RightSide, which is crazy. I could understand if it was a chemical sunscreen and she said "apply 30 minutes before going out in the sun" but she seems to be saying reapply every 30 mins
Great links Carol, thanks Funny enough that's the mineral sunscreen I'm on about, and as you say, that little £25 pot would only last 3 applications. They're a big company too...full of the usual marketing bullshit, and evidently very good at dodging awkward questions. I shall definitely pursue this.
Which? is behind a paywall.
Thus BBC report of its findings said that own brands from Asda, Tesco, Sainsburys and Morrisons all provide the claimed SPF. Presumably others did as well (as only, two were found to fall well short) but those supermarket ones are best VFM.
Just sent them another email...
Me: "You mentioned it was tested for the sun protection factor. Can I see the test results please?
Also, can you clarify something you said earlier:
"you will need to apply this if being exposed to the sun as a recommend time of every 30 minutes", are you saying the product needs to be reapplied every 30 minutes? So I will need to keep adding to it every 30 minutes?"
Let's see what she writes back
Well, just got a reply from my last message...
Company: "Thank you for your reply. In relation to the testing I was referring to ingredient used for the SPF, so this will be tested for this purpose of protection and then added to the products accordingly. So as previous a recommended application would be every 30 minutes, however this will depend on exposure to the sun and the amount applied and skin tone as we are all different, so this is a guide.
I hope this helps".
Err, no it doesn't, you're still evading the question!
What do you think I should write in reply? I want specifics from this company.
So this is a mineral powder, like makeup?
I admire your tenacity and am enjoying reading the email exchange and definitely you should keep at it! I would have thought though that you'd need quite a bit more and thicker coverage than many people would put on their faces with powder IYSWIM. So I suspect the claim is bollocks and that worries me as people will be misled into thinking a quick brush of powder is going to do the job.
Does anyone know if the face creams - daily moisturisers which claim SPF are any good? I have very fair skin and like to protect it and have just got one of these, it's a lot thinner though than a suncream the same factor would be IYSWIM.
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