Sunscreen brand Purito has found itself at the centre of a testing scandal after tests on its Centella Green Level Unscented Sun SPF50+ found its SPF levels were four times less than advertised.
The product, which claims to offer protection of SPF84.5, came under scrutiny from InciDecoder, a skin care decoding website, and was sent for independent testing.
In vitro and in vivo results from two independent European labs determined the sunscreen’s SPF was in fact around 19.
“Looking at the formula, and seeing only two filters, I raised my eyebrows,” said Judit Racz, InciDecoder’s founder.
Filters in sunscreens are active ingredients that help prevent UV rays from getting through the skin; some only protect against UVA, while others block out UVB rays.
“Having doubts, I asked our sunscreen formulator’s opinion specifically on the Purito Centella Unscented Sun and how he thinks it might be possible to achieve SPF50+ with these two filters at these low amounts.
“He answered me pointing to false SPF ratings in the past, essentially saying that it is highly doubtful that the SPF claim on the Purito product is realistic.”
However, in an Instagram post responding to disgruntled consumers, the South Korean beauty brand was quick to shift blame onto manufacturers.
The lengthy post began by explaining how Purito develops its sunscreens: “When developing a product as an ODM (original design manufacturing) system several parties are involved such as the manufacturing company, the brand, KFDA, and the testing lab.
“As a brand we have requested the manufacturer to develop an exclusive product for PURITO, for which we received the formulation.
“However, recently, we have received a significant amount of inquiries on clarification of the SPF and PA index of the product, that’s when we decided to verify once again the manufacturer's registration with the KFDA and the authenticity of the registered documents, we have assured that there was no problem.”
Purito added that it has requested in vitro and in vivo tests for all three of its sunscreen products.
“We acknowledge the fact that as [a] brand Purito we have put our trust in the manufacturing company, and accept the issue it has resulted.
“We will take this situation as a lesson, and check the details with more parties during the process of product development.”