These are the sunscreen brands that failed to live up to protection claims according to Consumer NZ

Sun protection is essential.

New Zealand's melanoma cancer rates are among the world's worst.

But worryingly, some of the sunscreens available to Kiwis are failing to live up to efficacy claims.

Consumer NZ says its latest test of sunscreens highlights the need for mandatory standards for products in New Zealand.

Out of the nine sunscreens tested only six met their SPF and broad-spectrum label claims.

The sunscreens that did pass the test include Cetaphil Sun Kids Liposomal Lotion, UV Guard Max, Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Lotion, Eau Thermale Avene Face & Body Lotion, which are all SPF50+.

Reef Coconut Sunscreen Dry-Touch Lotion SPF50 and Skinnies Sungel SPF30 also passed testing.

Those that didn't meet the claims they made on their labelling include Natural Instinct Invisible Natural Sunscreen SPF30, Sukin Suncare Sheer Touch Facial Sunscreen Untinted SPF30 and Banana Boat Daily Protect Sunscreen Lotion SPF50+. They also failed testing in 2020.

While Banana Boat's sunscreen didn't meet its SPF50+ claim, it did still have high protection result of 40.4.

Broad-spectrum sunscreens filter both UVA and UVB rays, which both contribute to skin cancer risk.

Sukin Suncare's Sheer Touch Facial Sunscreen also failed both its SPF30 and broad-spectrum claims.

Natural Instinct's Invisible Natural Sunscreen met broad-spectrum requirements but failed its SPF rating.

Consumer NZ senior writer Belinda Castles says while the sunscreens might still offer protection, it's an issue if it's not as much as the brand claims.

"It's important that New Zealanders can make informed choices this summer and trust label claims. The Australian and New Zealand sunscreen standard is voluntary in New Zealand, which means products sold here could meet other standards - such as those in the US or EU - or may not have been tested at all," Castles said.

Some sunscreens are still being tested by Consumer NZ, as lockdown restrictions have delayed some procedures.

Last year, only 4 out of 10 sunscreens passed Consumer NZ's SPF label claim test.

Sunscreens that met their claims in 2021:

  • Cetaphil Sun Kids Liposomal Lotion SPF50+

  • UV Guard Max SPF50+

  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Lotion SPF50+

  • Eau Thermale Avene Face & Body Lotion SPF50+

  • Reef Coconut Sunscreen Dry-Touch Lotion SPF50

  • Skinnies Sungel SPF30

Sunscreens that failed to meet claims in 2021:

  • Natural Instinct Invisible Natural Sunscreen SPF30 

  • Sukin Suncare Sheer Touch Facial Sunscreen Untinted SPF30 

  • Banana Boat Daily Protect Sunscreen Lotion SPF50

- The Hits, additional reporting by NZ Herald