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User Guide: How to choose a sunscreen in NZ

Seasick sunscreen Co guide on 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:

  1. Sun protection factor (SPF)
  2. The same or different sunscreen needed for for face and body?
  3. Mineral or chemical sunscreen
  4. Sustainability
  5. 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:

  • oxybenzone
  • octinoxate
  • octisalate
  • octocrylene
  • homosalate
  • avobenzone
  • 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.

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