Saving New Zealand

Surf wave and sunset at night in NZ. photography Rambo Estrada.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) says it is urgently having its sunscreen re-tested after Consumer NZ said it had failed to meet claims made on the label.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand branded sunscreen products. Source: Supplied

Testing undertaken by Consumer NZ this year indicated that several sunscreens failed to meet the SPF or spectrum claims made on their label.

Nine sunscreen brands fail Consumer NZ’s latest test

According to the testing, Surf Life Saving Sunscreen Lotion Dry Touch Formula SPF50 met its sun protection claims, but failed to provide “broad spectrum” protection.

In a statement today, SLSNZ Chief Executive Officer Paul Dalton said they were “concerned” to hear their sunscreen had failed the test.

“We are working urgently with our supplier Zenith Distribution to get some immediate answers,” Mr Dalton said.

“The Australian manufacturer, who is approved by the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) is undertaking immediate testing of the product, and in addition is seeking to have the SLSNZ Sunscreen tested in the same lab that Consumer NZ used to validate their results for this batch.

“The test results will determine next steps.”

Sue Chetwin has repeated calls for sunscreen to be regulated in New Zealand after nine products failed independent tests.

Source: Breakfast

Vans surf in New Zealand. Photo: Rambo Estrada.

Mr Dalton said SLSNZ supports the introduction of regulation of sunscreens in New Zealand, which Health Minister David Clark yesterday said is being considered.

However, SLSNZ Medical Director Dr Gary Payinda stressed that the most effective way to prevent sunburn was to stay out of the sun.

“SPFs of 30 or more are sufficient and adequate – SPF numbers up to 100 are mostly marketing-driven, rather than clinically relevant,” said.

“Having said that, if a bottle says 50, it should be 50.”

“The test results should be repeated and confirmed, and the label made accurate.”

Dr Gary.

David Clark said the Government were looking at regulating sunscreens after nine out of 20 failed a test by Consumer NZ. 

Dr Payinda also said that “much more effective than sunscreen, however, is getting out of the sun between 10am and 3pm, getting under shade, and getting into clothing/hats/sunglasses.

“When sunscreen is used, it needs to be put on much more heavily than most people think (a shot glass full per application) to be effective, reapplied every two hours, and reapplied after sweating or swimming.”

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