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Lookfantastic removes VAT cost from core SPF products as part of new campaign

Sophie Smith
09 May 2024

Lookfantastic has become the latest beauty retailer to cut the VAT cost on SPF products as it prioritises skin health amid rising pressure on the UK Government to remove the tax on all sun protection products.

The online beauty retailer has introduced a 20% reduction across its core SPF products of factor 30 or above, which is the minimum sun protection factor recommended by the British Skin Foundation.

Running until the end of August, this includes dermatologist-recommended brands such as La Roche-Posay, Heliocare, Murad and CeraVe, as well as customer favourites like Sol de Janeiro, Garnier and Supergoop.

Keely Gough, Managing Director for Lookfantastic, said: "At Lookfantastic, we believe that sun protection is not a luxury but essential for healthy skin and the wellbeing of our customers.

"Therefore, as advocates for sun safety and daily UV protection, we are proud to offer an in-built 20% saving across our core suncare range this summer. By taking this significant step to support our customers, we hope to make our suncare range more accessible and affordable for everyone."

The price reduction follows a recent survey by Melanoma Focus, which found that 50% of people in the UK believe that suncream is too expensive and 67% agree that they would use it more if it was 20% cheaper.

It forms part of the retailer's 'What The SPF?!' campaign, which shares that sun protection should be considered a daily skincare essential exempt from taxation, rather than a cosmetic product subject to a 20% tax rate.

It marks Lookfantastic's first campaign as a British Beauty Council Patron, as the retailer strives to change attitudes towards sun and skin health by making its SPF line more accessible and affordable this summer and educate consumers on the importance of SPF.

Victoria Brownlie, Chief Policy Officer of the British Beauty Council, said: "Sun safety is a basic need and should be treated as such by Government, industry and the public alike. Challenging misconceptions around the necessity for sun protection and its role in preventing cancer and reducing the burden on our health service is paramount.

"However, making products accessible and most importantly affordable for all must also be a priority. The British Beauty Council therefore supports charity and industry wide calls for better education around sun safety and the reclassification of SPF30+ sunscreen as an essential rather than cosmetic product by HMRC, thereby removing VAT."

The news comes as suncare continues to be a hot topic, with both Superdrug and Face the Future introducing price reductions in recent months.

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