Review: Purito Centella Green Level Unscented Sun SPF50+ PA++++

As I mentioned in a previous post, I bought into the hype revolving around Purito. One of the main products that had a ton of popularity was their Centella Green Level Unscented Sun SPF50+ PA++++. For those that are curious, SPF stands for “sun protection factor.” The number represents how well the product protects against sunburns caused by UVB radiation. In some countries, a PA rating is also used. The plus signs indicate how well the product protects against UVA radiation. UVA rays penetrate deep into the layers of skin and are responsible for causing skin to darken or hyperpigment. In addition to these features, the general purpose of sunscreen is to prevent skin cancer from occurring.

A water-based sunscreen formulated with centella extracts helps protect your skin from UV rays & harmful environments without stickiness or white residue left on the skin. It does not contain any essential oils or artificial fragrance.

Product description from Purito’s website, at time of use (Summer 2020)

As with the Deep Sea Pure Water Cream, I found there were few likable qualities about this product. The product’s texture is anyone’s dream for a sunscreen. It’s lightweight and disappears into the skin. Any positivity about it ends there.

Despite being formulated and marketed for customers with sensitive skin, I felt the same unpleasant sensation that I described in my Deep Sea Pure Water Cream review, but the sensation with this one is not as strong. I suspect this might have made me break out. It’s not often that I end up with breakouts caused by products. Two pimples: a pustule on my chin and a small cyst next to my ear. Such fun. I don’t normally have adverse reactions to chemical sunscreens, so this was a surprise.

But does it effectively protect skin from UV rays? Even before all the bad press and controversy, my answer still would have been no. I reapplied 4 times one day and still wound up with a very mild burn. At first I thought, did they make a bad batch? Was I just unfortunate enough to end up with an off product? Or is it counterfeit product? Shortly thereafter, a barrage of information regarding this specific product and how the brand did not properly test it to ensure their label claims were accurate. Long story short: The true SPF of this product has long been speculated. It was sent to be tested at multiple labs by Judit of INCI Decoder. The results ranged from 15.8 to 28.4, which clearly isn’t anywhere near SPF 50+. Purito has since halted sales of all of their sunscreens.

I’ll admit I felt validated by the test results but I also felt quite dismayed. Brands should be going above and beyond to ensure that their claims are accurate. We use sunscreen as a precaution so we entrust these brands to keep us safe. The responsible thing to do would be to have multiple labs test their sunscreens prior to releasing them to the public. Purito is hardly the only brand that has misled their customers in some way. In fact, there were many other sunscreens by several brands that tested lower than their advertised SPF during this period. (One of these was Krave Beauty’s Beet the Sun/The Beet Shield, of which I had similar results in terms of lack of sun protection. At least Krave took it upon themselves to do more testing and is offering refunds.) It took outside sources to determine this information.

In light of all of this, let’s hope that this is the beginning of some much needed change to the skincare industry.

Further Reading and Viewing

INCI Decoder: Purito Contoversy (see also: their Instagram highlight on this subject)

Purito’s Statement

Lab Muffin Beauty Science: How Do Sunscreens Work? The Science

Lab Muffin Beauty Science: Purito Sunscreen and All About SPF Testing

Science.org.au: What does the SPF rating really mean?

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