Safer sunscreens

Join our mission for a mandatory sunscreen standard and regular product testing.

We’re all vulnerable to NZ’s harsh sun. However, with no mandatory sunscreen testing, you can’t always trust what’s on the label. That’s why we’re working hard to test more sunscreens and let you know which products don’t meet their label claims.

Join our mission for

  • A mandatory sunscreen standard.

    Unlike Australia, there’s no mandatory standard for sunscreens in New Zealand. When 500 Kiwis are dying from skin cancer every year (more than our road toll), that’s not good enough.

  • Labels you can trust.

    We’ve been working hard, testing sunscreens for more than a decade and routinely find products that don’t measure up. In 2020, more than half failed to meet their SPF claims.

  • More sunscreen testing this summer.

    Sunscreen testing is expensive, and we’re a non-profit charity. We need your help to fund more independent tests that you can trust, and keep these companies honest.

In 2021 we raised $55,423 in eight weeks to test more sunscreens. Our heartfelt thanks to all who donated. We’ll publish the results free for all from December 2021.

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Keep up with regular updates on the changes happening in the sunscreen industry. We'll also keep you up-to-date with our latest news, investigations and invitations to take part in surveys.

Watch John’s story

“It’s surprising that we’re not taking this as seriously as we should as a nation.”

Hear John’s thoughts on a life spent in the sun.

How we test sunscreens

With no mandatory sunscreen testing in New Zealand, we’re the only ones doing regular, independent tests so you can trust what’s on the label.

Each year our researchers select a sample of the 100+ sunscreens on the market and send them "blind" to independent accredited labs. Following the methods in the Australian and New Zealand standard AS/NZS 2604, we test a sunscreen’s SPF (sun protection factor) which measures protection against UVB rays, and its broad-spectrum protection (against UVA and UVB rays). The standard requires SPF testing to be conducted on humans and it can take up to 3 months to receive a result.

Our annual sunscreen tests are funded by the Ministry of Health. But because sunscreen testing is expensive, and we’re a non-profit charity, we’re only able to test a small number of the 100+ sunscreens on shop shelves each year.

For more detailed information and the full 2020 test results, visit Why sunscreens should be regulated