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PUBLIC RESPONSE TO WHICH? BEST BUYS

We’re pleased to say that Skin Shade is back in stock for orders.

Despite Which?’s claims, we have now received full definitive results from two external labs that confirm its SPF rating and contradict claims made by Which?.

The labs rigorously tested the SPF amount in this product, each coming back with results ranking over SPF 30 (31 and 33 respectively) and we are confident that these results are conclusive and correct and there has been zero error in our formulation, manufacturing and testing processes. On top of this, Skin Shade also passed its UVA claims in both labs too, confirming it offers optimal broad-spectrum protection.

We pride ourselves on our formulations’ integrity, and we went above and beyond to test and re-test our sun care so we could be sure the claims we make are transparent and that they’re safe and effective for customer use. The results we’ve received from these tests mean we’re more than confident in this product’s protective qualities, so have made the decision to bring back this beloved range of sun care for customer orders.

As it stands, we are still waiting for Which? to share with us their testing methodology and how they received the results they did. Currently they are still refusing to reveal this information.

Thank you for your continued support and belief in us and our products!

For more information, please read the following:

Which? recently published a 'Don't Buy' review of our Skin Shade SPF 30 sun cream. The safety of our customers and the integrity of our formulations are our highest priority, and we take them incredibly seriously. Transparency as a business is also of huge importance to us, which is why we’re more than happy to share with you our manufacturing and testing process of this SPF and our experience with Which?. 

The following message from Susie, our Founder and CEO, explains all. 


Our Skin Shade SPF30 contains over 20% mineral zinc oxide, which requires specific considerations during testing. Our sunscreens are also tested periodically, with the last one being independently tested by a specialist lab with over 30 years' experience of global sunscreen testing in August 2021, achieving an SPF rating of 32.5 – hence we declared it SPF30. 
 
Which? contacted us about a month ago to let us know their findings on our Skin Shade SPF 30 and asked how we’d like to respond. Naturally, we were in disbelief, as all our products are clinically and independently tested to the highest standards, especially our sunscreens. So, we requested Which? to share their test report and the lab they used. SPF is tested by using a finger to spread the sunscreen onto someone’s back in a small patch, and then shining UVB rays on to the patch. Due to the nature of the test, there needs to be strict protocols followed to ensure accuracy. This is especially significant for mineral sunscreens, which in contrast to chemical sunscreens, contains solid mineral particles to deflect UV rays from the skin. 
 
In our Skin Shade SPF30, we use non-nano mineral zinc oxide for SPF protection – this is a very sticky powder, and could be stuck to the applicator/finger for example if there’s insufficient care during the application process that represents a real life scenario. Please note that all mineral sunscreens in the report have performed badly in Which?’s tests, with all the chemical sunscreens (which can be patch tested much more accurately) coming out on top. 
 
Frustratingly, Which? refused to share their test report with us, so we were unable to get their methods validated with our chemists or external agencies. They also refused to send us a sample of the sunscreen they tested so we could not validate their test result. Nor would they share the name of the lab they tested our sunscreen with. 
 
To be sure of the integrity of our Skin Shade SPF30 and the safety of our customers, we took the following measures: 

1. We revisited all our GMP and ISO accredited internal records to recheck the methodology of manufacturing of the batch in question. We also re-measured the viscosity, specific gravity, pH, transparency and centrifuge stability of various samples across the batch.

2. We sent off dozens of samples from our packing shelf of the same batch to check for the mineral zinc oxide content (we expect this to be at least 20%) – which would help us determine the SPF value. 

3. We sent off the raw material sunscreen ingredient for testing to check the zinc oxide content too – we needed to verify this to ensure there was nothing wrong with our sunscreen ingredient, and that the correct amount of zinc oxide was in it.
 

4. We sent this batch off to two other large independent labs (different from the original lab we used), as well as all our other sunscreens for re-testing, to determine definitively the SPF result.
 

5. As we awaited test results, we’d pulled our Skin Shade and all formulations that use the same mineral sunscreen ingredient off the market. Our customer’s health is our priority and these measures were taken as an extra precaution despite our utmost confidence in our product.
 
 
We are extremely pleased to say that we have since received the following results for our Skin Shade SPF30 batch: 
 
1. All manufacturing methods validated and all parameters were within specifications. 

2. All zinc oxide levels across various samples in the batch in question are confirmed to have more than 20% present – this is exactly in line with what it should be in our formula, and this high concentration of zinc oxide should yield an SPF 30 result. (this was tested externally by an independent lab)
 

3. The raw material sunscreen ingredient – which is an ingredient called Xperse from Everzinc is a non-nano zinc oxide powder dispersion in a coconut emollient. The correct concentration of zinc oxide across various batches of this ingredient was also confirmed. This was validated both by an external independent lab as well as the manufacturer, Everzinc.
 

4. Finally and most importantly, preliminary results from two global leaders in sunscreen testing show SPF 32.3 (Advance Science Labs) and SPF 31 (Princeton Consumer Research) – exactly in line with our claim. This test will continue for another week as they test on more test subjects and take the average. We will be able to share these definitive results in a full report as soon as we receive them due on the 23rd of June.
 
 
As it stands, there is nothing more that we could have possibly done to ensure the safety of our sunscreens. Each has been tested and manufactured in accordance to the strictest GMP and ISO accredited standards. Our sunscreens have now not only been validated by 3 external independent labs, but they have also been verified by our team of internal scientists who have over 100 years of experience between them. 
 
Looking at the evidence, we strongly disagree with Which?’s findings. These additional tests have also cost us over £50,000 to conduct – it shows not only our commitment in ensuring the integrity of our formulas but the high cost of SPF testing due to the complexity of its methodology. Since Which? cannot share their test results or reveal the lab that test our sunscreen, we believe that some testing methods were not correctly adhered to – which lead to the failure of every mineral sunscreen they tested. 
 
It's important to note that the Which? test report refers only to our Skin Shade SPF30. And do not apply to any of our sunscreen products, including our chemical sunscreens – our Great Barrier range, Sun Stick and Lip Shade, as well as any of our makeup that contain SPF. 
 
As always, we’re so appreciative for the continued support of our customers and Ambassadors and welcome anyone to get in touch should they have any further questions. Thank you.  

References - https://www.cosmeticsandtoiletries.com/testing/sun-protection/article/21836565/adapting-spf-testing-methods-for-mineral-sunscreen-density

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