SINGAPORE: A random test of 20 sunscreen products in Singapore showed that the concentrations of three common ultraviolet (UV) filters were within "permissible limits", the Consumer Association of Singapore (CASE) said in a media release on Wednesday (Jan 24).
The consumer watchdog said it commissioned the test for homosalate, oxybenzone and octocrylene as it was concerned about the impact of UV filters on consumers.
In excessive amounts, UV filters have been associated with skin allergies and other health problems, CASE said.
The three substances were selected because they are common UV filters used by the industry, and their permitted concentrations - as stipulated in the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive administered by the Health Sciences Authority - is 10 per cent, it added.
The 20 samples were selected by random sampling and purchased from departmental stores, beauty and pharmaceutical stores as well as online shopping platforms.
Homosalate, oxybenzone or octocrylene was not detected in 10 samples, and were within the permitted concentrations for the other 10, according to CASE.
"The test results suggest that despite the presence of UV filters as ingredients in sunscreens, the amounts of such substances (if any) are generally within the safety threshold for consumer use," it concluded.
CASE said that notwithstanding the test results it encouraged consumers to purchase sunscreens from reliable and reputable sources and follow the instructions for use. Consumers should also be vigilant when purchasing products from online shopping platforms, where the products sold may not satisfy local safety requirements, it added.
In addition, it advised consumers using a product for the first time to check for allergic reactions by applying it on a small area on their skin. If there is any adverse reaction after using a product, consumers should stop using it immediately and seek medical attention, it said.