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'I felt like a terrible mother' - woman feels guilty her daughter was badly burnt after using Cancer Society sunscreen

An Auckland mum is among the latest to call out Cancer Society brand sunscreen after her baby was burnt last week - despite being lathered in the sunscreen product.

The mum, who asked 1 NEWS not to be named, said she felt guilty but was also appalled at the company after her eight-and-a-half-month-old 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 comes after another New Zealand couple last week called out the brand, accusing it of being ineffective.

The mum told 1 NEWS she "liberally applied" the Cancer Society Kids Pure SPF50+ sunscreen to her daughter about 30 minutes before she went into the sun while at the beach on Thursday.

Because it was windy, the family was mostly sheltered by the trees in the shade, she said.

"She wouldn't have spent longer than 15 minutes in direct sun, on and off," the mum said.

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

After noticing her daughter's skin become inflamed later in the day, she said she assumed it was a reaction and washed the sunscreen off.

However, her baby's eyes and nose were puffy and "it just got progressively worse", she said.

After taking her daughter to a doctor, she was diagnosed with sunburn to both arms and her face.

"I was so shocked," she said. "The main way I felt was like a terrible mother and extremely guilty for letting her get burnt."

However, she's not the only consumer to have recently fallen victim to sunburn whilst trying to do the right thing.

Following the 1 NEWS Now story about a couple who used Cancer Society SPF 50+ everyday sunscreen and got badly sunburnt, several others came forward on social media to complain about their experiences with the brand, and others.

One woman posted about her experience with third-degree burns on her legs, with others complaining of bad burns whilst using sun protection and avoiding the rays.

"I use the exact same one as the couple, and was in the sun for two hours max, reapplied every half hour coz I kept saying I felt like I was burning ... Needless to say I was right," said one commenter, referring to the couple featured in the 1 NEWS story.

"That's an awful sunscreen and I would never suggest it to anyone again."

Another added: "I have olive skin. Only time I burnt in the sun was when I applied Cancer Society sunblock."

The mum whose daughter was burnt at Cooks Beach emailed a complaint to the Cancer Society at the weekend but is yet to hear back.

Mike Kernaghan, CEO of Cancer Society New Zealand, previously said his organisation will be following up the complaint, when approached about Saturday's story.

"The Cancer Society take sun protection very seriously."

However, the Cancer Society is not the only brand coming under fire.

study by Consumer New Zealand earlier this month found six of 10 sunscreen products investigated did not give the SPF protection claimed – with one product only giving low protection, despite claiming a high protection of SPF30.

Coola Classic Body Sunscreen Plumeria SPF30 only gave an SPF of 6, despite claiming to be SPF30, the consumer organisation said.

Consumer NZ Chief Executive Sue Chetwin said last month that "while these SPF ratings mean the sunscreens still provide moderate or high protection, our testing found they don’t provide the protection claimed on the label".

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of skin cancer and melanoma in the world, but the sunscreen standard remains voluntary," she pointed out.