In Consumer NZ’s first round of sunscreen testing for summer, six products met their SPF and broad-spectrum label claims. Three products didn’t meet their claimed SPF protection – all repeat offenders from last year. Two of the three also didn’t meet broad-spectrum requirements.
“Our sunscreen test programme is still ongoing. Covid-19 lockdowns have affected the overseas labs we use. We’re expecting more results, including popular brands and children’s products, in February,” Consumer NZ senior writer Belinda Castles said.
The test assessed whether the sunscreens met their SPF (sun protection factor), and broad-spectrum protection claims. Both are important – a sunscreen’s SPF measures protection against UVB rays, and its broad-spectrum provides protection against UVA and UVB rays.
Sunscreens that met their SPF label claim and requirements for broad-spectrum protection are:
The sunscreens that didn’t meet their SPF label claim are:
“We’re pleased that the majority of sunscreens met their claims in Consumer NZ’s first round of sunscreen testing. It’s important that New Zealanders can make informed choices this summer and trust label claims. The Australian and New Zealand sunscreen standard is voluntary in New Zealand, which means products sold here could meet other standards – such as those in the US or EU – or may not have been tested at all,” Castles said.
Sunscreens that did not meet claims in Consumer NZ's independent testing
Banana Boat Daily Protect Sunscreen Lotion SPF50+ got a result of 34.2 (high protection) in Consumer NZ’s test and failed to meet broad-spectrum requirements. When we tested the sunscreen last year, it didn’t meet its SPF50+ label claim (SPF 40.4). Its distributor, Edgewell Personal Care, told Consumer NZ it had 10-person test results from Eurofins Dermatest in Australia to back up its label claim. However, the company declined to provide the report. It said Consumer NZ’s test highlights the expected variability that exists when testing SPF and, in its view, this is not unusual and doesn’t invalidate on-pack SPF claims.
After failing Consumer NZ sunscreen testing in 2020, Sukin and Natural Instinct retested their sunscreens this year at UK lab PCR Corp. The 10-subject test report each company provided support the SPF30 claims.
Sun safety tips
Read more about Consumer NZ’s sunscreen testing here.
Consumer NZ raised $55,000 through crowdfunding courtesy of 1177 generous donors who contributed to our crowdfunding campaign to test more sunscreens. This summer we will test 11 more sunscreens than our usual test programme, including popular brands and children’s products with more test results landing in the new year.