Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Lying SPF

This is the No.6 most searched keyword on Yahoo China today.

On July 1st, China started to implement the new regulations on cosmetics, one of the new rules was related to the labeling of products with SPF. Under the new rule, the maximum SPF number that the label can show is 30, even when the actual SPF of the product is over 30.

However, many products, including big imported brands, continue to have product labels that show very high SPF numbers. They either don't know about the new regulations, or they are choosing to ignore it. I think the latter is more likely.

In China, and most other parts of Asia, products with SPF are extremely important, to both the consumers and cosmetic companies. Not because people are very into protection against photo-aging, but because fair and flawless skin is, and has always been, the ultimate beauty goal. $$$ for cosmetic companies, both big and small.

(Read this CNN report)

So how is it a surprise when manufacturers are continuing to ignore regulations on labeling and advertising? The fines are such small peanuts compared to the profits and rises in stock prices.

In fact, lying SPF is really a tiny issue, the worst comes to the worst you get a little tanned and sunburned. In China, there are millions of lying labels on food, drugs, health products, and they can cause consequences a lot worse then dark skin.

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