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Sunscreen SPF: why brands are failing to meet their SPF claims

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Three reasons why sunscreens in NZ are failing to meet their SPF claims

An Australian sunscreen brand has just been fined $280,000 fine for making unsubstantiated claims about the SPF protection of Ego Sunsense Sensitive Invisible SPF50+ and Ego Sunsense Ultra SPF50+ (visit NZ Herald for the full story). With the new Sunscreen Safety standard coming into effect in Aotearoa New Zealand earlier this year, we are likely to see more cases like this. Three reasons this is happening are:
  1. SPF 50 is very hard to consistently achieve due to the amount of UV filter you need to use to get this higher SPF. Additionally, UV filters can degrade over time which is why it is important not to use a sunscreen past its expiration date.
  2. SPF testing is done at a dodgy lab – a lab in the USA was found to be falsifying results.
  3. Changes have been made to the formula since the testing was completed meaning the product in the bottle may have a different SPF than what is labelled on the bottle.

Three things we do to ensuring we meet our sunscreen SPF claims

  1. We label our products at SPF 30 even though our most recent test results came in at SPF 44. This gives us a 10% buffer meaning that even if the SPF of one of our tins was sightly lower or higher it should still be well above SPF 30 so you are always getting at least SPF 30 protection.
  2. We get our SPF certification done by the very best! Our SPF testing is completed at Dermatest in Australia which is the same lab that Consumer NZ does their testing at each year. This lab has very high standards. We could get our SPF testing done for a fraction of the price in Asia or Europe but Australia has incredibly strict sunscreen regulations so we know we are geting our sunscreen tested to the highest standards.
  3. Our brand new Daily Face and Body Sunscreen has just been tested to the AS/NZS 2604:2021 Sunscreen Standard – we received our certification in September 2022, a screenshot of the results can be shown below or email us for a copy of the full report.
Seasick Sunscreen Co SPF certification proving our sunscreen meets the New Zealand Sunscreen standard

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