User Guide: How to choose a sunscreen in NZ
There are lots of things to consider when choosing an effective, high quality sunscreen in NZ. We've given you a short answer and full explanation on some of the most important factors to consider.
Choose the right sunscreen for you and our family with this user guide
Some of the most important factors to consider when choosing a sunscreen are:
- Sun protection factor (SPF)
- The same or different sunscreen needed for for face and body?
- Mineral or chemical sunscreen
- Whether to choose an NZ made sunscreen
Sun protection factor (SPF)
Short Answer - choose a certified broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 rating or higher. Look for AS/NZS Standard 2604:2012 on the label.
Explained - Skin cancer experts agree that it’s essential to wear a broad-spectrum, SPF 30 sunscreen all day, every day, especially in the summer months to protect against ultraviolet (UV) rays. SPF15 sunscreen provides about 94% UVB protection, but protection is increased to 97% with SPF30 and to 98% with SPF50+. There is quite a big difference between SPF 15 and SPF 30 but not much between SPF 30 and SPF 50. SPF50 is also quite hard to achieve and many sunscreens claiming SPF50 have been found not to meet this claim by Consumer NZ when independently tested.
All of our products are certified to the
AS/NZS Standard 2604:2012
Do I need a different sunscreen for face and body?
Short Answer - No. Just buy one product that’s suitable for both.
Explained - Facial skin is usually more sensitive which is why many brands offer specific face sunscreen. All of our sunscreen products are specifically formulated for sensitive skin making them hypoallergenic. This means you just need to buy one sunscreen for both face and body! Check out our blog about sunscreen for sensitive skin for more info.
Two main types of sunscreen: mineral versus chemical
Short Answer - avoid sunscreens made with chemical UV filters!!
Explained - Active ingredients in sunscreens come in two forms, mineral and chemical. Mineral UV filters are distinguishable from chemical UV filters as they are physical particles that sit on top of the skin (as opposed to being absorbed).
Check your sunscreen for these ingredients and avoid using them:
- titanium dioxide
Learn more about our safe sunscreen ingredients here.
Short Answer - Choose an NZ made, mineral sunscreen without nano-particles and one that is packed in recyclable plastic free packaging.
Explained - NZ made products often have a lower carbon footprint as they are manufactured locally. Chemical UV filters (as opposed to mineral) and nano-particles have been found to be toxic to marine life. Plastic has a huge carbon footprint and plastic sunscreen bottles are difficult if not impossible to recycle meaning they end up in landfill - or worse, in the ocean as micro-plastics. That's why we use metal tins that are infinitely recyclable. Better yet, check out these great ways to upcycle your tin!
Buy NZ made sunscreen
Short Answer - every time you buy an NZ made product you make a kiwi entrepreneur do a little happy dance.
Explained - Here are 7 reasons to buy NZ made sunscreen:
- Support the local economy
- More sustainable
- Fair Labour
- Small NZ businesses employ lots of local people
- Good customer service
- Business for people and the planet, not just profit
- Personal Touch
We are so passionate about supporting NZ made we have written a whole blog on the topic - check out why you should buy nz made sunscreen
While there are lots of choices out there, we have created a sunscreen that ticks all of these boxes! We hope that this guide makes it easier for you to stay sun safe because UV rays are the number one cause of skin cancer - and sunscreen is your best defence. If you want a non-biased opinion, check out the Great Eco-Journey blog, eco-friendly sunscreens by Juliet.