'Not good enough' - Two more sunscreens fail to meet label claims, Consumer NZ say

Consumer NZ is calling for manufacturers to regularly test their sunscreens after two more failed to meet the claims on their labels, a new survey found.


Consumer NZ's latest test found two further sunscreens had failed to meet its claims, including Neutrogena Beach Defence Water + Sun Barrier Lotion Sunscreen, which failed to meet its SPF claim and the requirements needed to make a broad-spectrum claim. A second bottle of the sunscreen was sent to a second accredited lab by Consumer NZ, which also found it failed to meet its SPF claim.

Hamilton Active Family Sunscreen SPF50+ also failed to meet its SPF claim, returning an SPF of 50, which is below the SPF 60 required to make a 50+ claim. Testing of a second bottle of the sunscreen at a second lab also found it failed to meet its claim.

Johnson & Johnson Pacific, which markets Neutrogena, said its sunscreens complied with the Australian and New Zealand sunscreen standard. The company provided test reports from 2012 to support its SPF and broad-spectrum claims.

Consumer NZ has previously lodged a complaint with the Commerce Commission as a result of another Neutrogena sunscreen failing to meet SPF claims. In December 2017, Johnson & Johnson New Zealand signed court-enforceable undertakings with the commission, agreeing that its sunscreens sold in Aotearoa would meet the standard.  

Key Pharmaceuticals, which owns the Hamilton brand, provided Consumer NZ with 2018 test results from a US lab to support its SPF50+ claim. The company said it had “no reason to doubt the integrity” of the results.  

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Half the products failed to meet their SPF claims, the watchdog organisation found. Source: 1 NEWS

In 2020, Consumer NZ found only five of the 10 sunscreens tested were up to standard. 

The sunscreens which met its SPF label claim and broad spectrum claim include Cancer Society Everyday SPF50+, Cetaphil Sun Kids Liposomal Lotion SPF50+, Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face Superscreen SPF50+, Skinnies Conquer with Manuka Oil Sports Sunscreen SPF50+ and Nivea Sun Sensitive Protect SPF50. 

Banana Boat Daily Protect Sunscreen Lotion SPF50+, Natural Instinct Invisible Natural Sunscreen SPF30 and Sukin Suncare Sheer Touch Facial Sunscreen Untinted SPF30 failed to meet SPF claims, but met broad-spectrum claims. 

Le Tan Coconut Lotion SPF50+ and Ecosol Water Shield Sunscreen SPF50+ did not meet the SPF or broad-spectrum claims on their labels. 

“Consumer NZ is calling for manufacturers to regularly test sunscreens, as well as a mandatory sunscreen standard in New Zealand. Currently, sunscreens sold in New Zealand may not have been tested at all,” Consumer NZ chief executive Jon Duffy said.

“It’s not good enough that sunscreens remain unregulated, particularly in a country with one of the highest rates of skin cancer and melanoma in the world. New Zealanders deserve better.”