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CANSA withdraws Smart Choice Seal from two sunscreens

13 November 2023 – CANSA announces that it is withdrawing its Smart Choice Seal from the Kool-a-Chem range of sunscreens currently carrying the CANSA trademark, as of November 2023. This is due to non-compliance and contravention of the license agreement, following random laboratory tests carried out by CANSA.

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“As part of our good governance and risk management, we test products that carry the Smart Choice trademark from time to time, to ensure that compliance is still being adhered to post any agreements entered with third parties. Recently, we conducted tests on the Kool-a-Chem SPF 40 and Reef Safe SPF 50 sunscreens and found the results to be concerning,” said Professor Michael Herbst, Health Specialist at CANSA.

Results indicated that there was diminished antimicrobial effectiveness and a high count of mould which are below standard, non-compliant and pose a quality risk. Based on these outcomes, CANSA elected to withdraw the Seal. Before withdrawing the Seal, CANSA invited Kool-a-Chem to produce tests to prove to the satisfaction of CANSA that the questioned products complied with the agreed standards. Kool-a-Chem failed to do so.

Additionally, Kool-a-Chem sub-contracted the Seal to several suppliers.  Sub-contracting the Seal violated the agreement with Kool-a-Chem.

Prof Herbst further added, “We engaged with the manufacturer to inform them that we are withdrawing the Seal and cancelling our agreement and that they need to withdraw all those products from the market.”

CANSA also requests anyone who is using the Seal under a subcontract with Kool-a-Chem should forthwith desist from doing so.

As part of its responsibility to the public and maintaining trust, CANSA ensures that all products are granted the CANSA Seal only once all requirements are met. This includes testing at an independent laboratory, that complies with the National Standards (SANS) or similar International Standards (ISO), as well as the stringent evidence-based requirements for each category as set out by CANSA. All sunscreens bearing the CANSA Smart Choice Seal must be free of all recognised toxins, hormones, and/or endocrine-disrupting agents. Sunscreen must have a broad spectrum (UVA and UVB), have a sun protection factor of at least 20, meet all government regulatory requirements, and be dermatologically tested for product irritancy.

“Our priority remains educating consumers when it comes to lowering cancer risk and ensuring the best possible protection. Furthermore, we remind the public about SunSmart measures such as using an approved sunscreen with a minimum SPF 20 or above and according to skin type and reapply often, avoid direct sunlight between 10am and 4pm and stay in the shade.”

A list of all approved sunscreens can be found at

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