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Cancer Society investigating complaints about its sunscreen products - 'It's as concerning to us as it is to anyone'

The Cancer Society has had five complaints this season about its sunscreen which are being dealt with in a formal process.

But, Cancer Society chief executive Mike Kernaghan said he has confidence in the brand's products.

"We are supremely confident in our products and the claims on the labels, but things happen from time to time," Mr Kernaghan said.

The organisation encouraged anyone dissatisfied with their products to go through the formal process which looks at the batch number, the expiry date and understanding the factors that went into the day, including who applied the sunscreen, when, and the UV rating of the day.

Mr Kernaghan said the organsation had about 60 people complaints each season. This season 30 people have complained so far which which was on par with previous years - with five of these going to a formal process.

"This process aims to understand how the sunscreen was applied, how often and how much," Mr Kernaghan said. "This process ensures our products are working as they should.

Sunburn
Two days later, this man's sunburn is still severe and has affected his ability to sleep. Source: 1 NEWS

"All of our products are SPF50+ and manufactured in Australia so we're really confident ... in Australia sunscreen is classed as medicine and follow strict protocols."

Mr Kernaghan said he did not know which type of Cancer Society sunscreens were taken to the formal complaint process, but said the Cancer Society had distributed more than 424,000 units since the season began on October 18.

He confirmed two of the complaints were from those who spoke to 1 NEWS earlier this week.

An Auckland mum called out a Cancer Society brand sunscreen after her eight-and-a-half-month-old baby was burnt last week - despite being lathered in the Cancer Society Kids Pure SPF50+ sunscreen product.

It was tragic that the girl had been burnt and the mum was "beside herself", Mr Kernaghan said.

"We take sun protection very seriously and know the damage the sun can do to New Zealanders," he said.

The mum, who asked 1 NEWS not to be named, said her daughter was left "beetroot red" while the family was camping at Cooks Beach in the Coromandel last week - especially after the steps she took to make sure her baby was protected.

The complaint came after another New Zealand couple last week called out the brand. The couple used the Cancer Society SPF50+ Everyday sunscreen and got badly sunburnt.

The man, who wished to remain anonymous, had to take days of work and struggled to sleep, he said.

Mr Kernaghan said he had not heard back from the couple after reaching out, but wanted to reiterate sun safety was about more than just using sunscreen.

He encouraged people to check the UV rating (which above three was high), as well as making sure to cover up in clothing, hats and sunglasses, and seeking shade when spending time outside - especially between the hours of 10am and 4.30pm.

"We're not going to challenge their beliefs at this point. We're being really open," Mr Kernaghan said.

"It's as concerning to us [to get complaints] as it is to anyone."