French sun-blockers may not be worth the price, tests show

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French sun-blockers may not be worth the price, tests show

Sun-blocking creams by French cosmetics brands Clarins and L’Occitane have been found to offer less resistance to harmful UV rays than is stated on their packaging. The brands are five to seven times more expensive than their domestic counterparts.

Consumers Korea, a nonprofit organization, released its test results of 34 sunscreens on Sunday. It tested their sun protection factor (SPF), the protection grade of ultraviolet-A (PA), and the amount of whitening components used.

The SPF and PA levels of Clarins’ UV+HP Day Screen High Protection and L’Occitane’s Brightening Shield and Sunscreen products were lower than were indicated on the packaging.

One of Clarins’ products that boasted an SPF factor of 40 was found to have one below 18, while its proclaimed three-star PA rating only tested as a two-star grade, the agency said.

L’Occitane’s SPF 40 sunscreen tested at a level of 22, it added. Despite this, a 50-milliliter (1.69-ounce) bottle of Clarins’ sunscreen sells here for 71,000 won ($62), while a 30-milliliter bottle of L’Occitane’s sunscreen retails for 63,000 won, the consumers group said.

In contrast, a 70-milliliter bottle of local brand Misha’s Mild Essence Sun Milk cost just 19,800 won. Its UV blocking effect proved similar to the aforementioned Clarins and L’Occitane products during testing.

“Just because they are more expensive does not mean they are good quality,” Consumers Korea said of the French products.

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