A consumer fraud class action suit has been filed against Edgewood Personal Care, which owns Playtex—the parent company of the Banana Boat sunscreen maker. Banana Boat specializes in making sunscreens and is a staple sunblock brand. The plaintiff that filed the suit alleges that he purchased a bottle of Banana Boat Kids SPF 50 after seeing a Consumer Reports study that stated that Banana Boat’s—among other brands— products were overstating the amount of SPF contained. He sent the tube to a testing facility in North Carolina which reported that the sunscreen contained little over 12 SPF despite being labeled at 50 SPF. Generally, the price of sunscreens is higher when the SPF is higher. An SPF of 12 provides almost no sun protection and dermatologists recommend wearing SPF 30 when spending time outside. The lawsuit, filed in New York, alleges that the mislabeling has forced consumers to “overpay for the sunscreen based on false, inflated SPF.”
Similarly, actress Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company is also facing a suit claiming that its sunscreen is ineffective and that the Company “should have known its representations regarding Honest Sunscreen’s sun protection characteristics were untrue and misleading.” In that suit, the plaintiffs allege that the Company removed over half of the zinc oxide in the product, causing consumers severe sunburns as a result. The Honest Company is being sued for an injunction, general and punitive damages as well as court costs.