Inexpensive sunscreens top list

Child sunscreen L

Three inexpensive sunscreens commonly found at supermarkets topped Consumer NZ's test for protection against the sun's damaging UV radiation. Consumer tested 10 popular brands bought from supermarkets, pharmacies, and health stores. Nine claimed to be water-resistant. One claimed it was waterproof (a misleading claim which is not allowed by the Australian/NZ standards or the US standard).

The Australian/New Zealand Standard – AS/NZS 2604:2012 Sunscreen products – Evaluation and classification recommends a sun protection factor (SPF) of 50-plus. It also states:

  • The term 'waterproof' is misleading and not permitted. The standard acknowledges that sunscreens will wash off when immersed in water.
  • The term 'sunblock' is misleading and not permitted because it may be interpreted to mean that 100% of the sunburning radiation is blocked.
  • The term 'sweat proof' is misleading and not permitted. 'Sweat resistance' is not a substitute for 'water resistance'.
Buy AS/NZS 2604:2012

Published in consumer and occupational safety.