Watchdog Consumer New Zealand has raised questions over sunscreens living up to the level of protection they claim, with one Kiwi company blaming ingredient suppliers for failing to meet its claimed SPF rating.
Along with two other natural sunscreen manufacturers which failed to reach their ratings, it was found Snowberry Family Plus was only SPF 20 while claiming to be SPF 30.
"One of the things that most annoys us is that we were caught out by an ingredient supplier.
"As a skincare manufacturer we're buying ingredients from all over the world and rely on the technical specifications that come with those ingredients," Snowberry general manager Greg Billington said.
Mr Billington said SPF 20 gives adequate protection but that didn't excuse claiming it was SPF 30.
New Zealand only has a voluntary sun protection standard, leaving consumers unsure as to whether they're getting the cover claimed on the label.
The Commerce Commission says it's not received any complaints about the products and isn't investigating.
However, it said any product making unsubstantiated claims is in breach of the Fair Trading Act.
The Ministry of Health is now considering whether sunscreens should continue to be regulated as cosmetics or regulated in a similar way to medicines.