Whether you’re considering hitting the slopes or going for a tropical winter holiday, it’s important to ensure you’ve got the right sun protection. Consumer NZ’s results are in for the final four sunscreens in its latest round of testing. Only one – Smart365 Sunscreen Lotion SPF50+ – met its claimed SPF protection.
The remaining three failed to meet their claims.
Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration SPF50+ only achieved an SPF of 29.2 (moderate protection) in Consumer’s test. Its distributor, Edgewell Personal Care, told Consumer all its sunscreens adhere to the Australian and New Zealand sunscreen standard and its independent test results show this sunscreen not only meets but exceeds its SPF50+ claim.
Neutrogena Beach Defence Sunscreen Lotion SPF50 (tested SPF 38.5) provided high protection but didn’t meet its SPF50 label claim. Manufacturer Johnson & Johnson Pacific told Consumer it rejects the findings and stands confidently by its SPF50 label claim. The company said every Neutrogena sunscreen sold in New Zealand has been tested against and complies with the requirements of the Australian and New Zealand standard.
Oasis Sun Healthy Family Sunscreen SPF30 (tested SPF 25.6) only provided moderate protection, not the high protection claimed. It also failed to meet the requirements for broad-spectrum protection. Its parent company, Moa’s Ark Group, said it believes the product meets its label claims.
“There is still a need for sunscreen manufacturers to be held accountable and be subject to regular testing,” Consumer researcher Belinda Castles said.
“Our latest round of sunscreen testing looked at 21 sunscreens, of which only eight met their SPF label claim and the requirements for broad-spectrum protection.
“With the highest rates of melanoma in the world, New Zealanders deserve to shop with confidence. We’ll be lodging a complaint with the Commerce Commission about our findings.”
The NZDSI said a sunscreen is only one part of your defence against UV radiation and shouldn’t be used on its own. You should also cover up with suitable clothing (preferably UPF50+), a broad-brimmed hat and UV-protective sunglasses, and seek shade.
Limit your time outside when the sun’s rays are most intense – between 10am and 4pm from September to April, or when the ultraviolet index (UVI) is greater than three. It’s also important to be sun smart when you’re at the snow, because snow is highly reflective.