A product “fit for purpose” means just that in terms of the Consumer Protection Act. In example, if a manufacturer advertises a sunscreen product it means that if one uses the product whilst standing in sun, the product must protect you against the harmful UV rays, -subject of course to you using the product with the correct protection rating. If you did so correctly but still suffer effects of sunburn it simply means that you have been using an advertised product which does not conform to its supposedly advertised benefits. If you suffer any harmful results you may take legal redress for the resultant consequences, i.e. skin damage / cancer.
In terms of the CPA, when a cosmetic product is not “fit for its purpose” and can be legally substantiated, the act provides the consumer with “simplified redress mechanisms as no-fault liability is introduced.”
According to the CPA, the packaging and circumstances surrounding the marketing of a product must be truthful in “plain and understandable language” and clarify what the product’s intended purpose is. Words such as “healthy” or “reduces scarring” etc. on packaging may be interpreted as representations of medicinal use. Claims of “reducing wrinkles,” “revitalises skin,” “lightens skin” or “reduces cellulite,” could be indicators of purpose. So if products are found to be unfit for their purpose they can be returned within 6 months for a full refund at the seller’s risk. If a product is unsuitable, i.e. wrong pigmentation, allergic reaction etc the consumer has the right to return the product, even if opened, for a full refund within 10 days!