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Superdrug removes VAT cost from own-brand suncare

Sophie Smith
03 April 2024

Superdrug has once again removed the VAT cost from its own-brand suncare range, Solait, as it believes the category should be deemed a healthcare essential and not a beauty product.

The health and beauty retailer has reduced the price of the collection by 20% amid rising pressure on the UK Government to remove the VAT on all sun protection products.

The 20% saving means families will be able to protect both adults and children with SPF50 for just over £6, with the Solait Sun Cream SPF50 (200ml) reduced to £3.59 and the Solait Kid’s Roll-on Sun Cream SPF50+ (75ml) reduced to £2.79.

It comes as requests for donations of suncare products have risen, with some people even having to forego it altogether. The reduction is expected to save consumers £1 million on SPF.

Jamie Archer, Own Brand Director at Superdrug, said: "Suncream is currently classed as a cosmetic product and therefore carries the VAT associated with it, making it unaffordable for some people.

"We believe that everyone should have access to the products that protect their health and wellbeing and at an affordable price. Therefore, we're proud to support our customers by removing 20% from our suncare range for a second year."

The news comes as suncare continues to be a hot topic, with online beauty retailer Face the Future last month revealing its mission to "revolutionise attitudes towards sun and skin safety" by cutting VAT on SPF products as part of a new campaign.

The campaign launched following a YouGov survey of over 2,000 participants, highlighting that the UK population is not adhering to SPF guidelines, thus putting their skin health at risk.

Shiseido also recently unveiled a new suncare innovation - SynchroShieldRepair - to strengthen protection against UV rays by making its SPF products more resistant to harmful factors such as water, heat, and various forms of friction while preserving skin's youthful appearance with 60% active skincare ingredients.

Meanwhile, Sol de Janeiro entered the category for the first time last week with a three-piece Rio Radiance SPF 50 collection and campaign fronted by model Sofia Richie Grainge.

The collection includes a Rio Radiance SPF 50 Body Lotion, Rio Radiance SPF 50 Body Spray, and Rio Radiance SPF 50 Body Oil, which will be available in the UK on 19 April.

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