Two sunscreens have been withdrawn from sale following a Consumer NZ test that found these products failed to provide the protection claimed. Sue Chetwin, Consumer NZ's chief executive, explained that the manufacturer of Snowberry Family+ Sunscreen SPF30 has recalled the product after her organisation's test found it had an SPF of only 20 and failed to meet requirements for a broad-spectrum protection.
Marketed as a natural product, Pure Blend Sunscreen SPF15++ will also be taking off shelves as Chetwin found this product had an SPF of 4. Another natural blend, Pure South 100% Natural Sunscreen also lacked protection even though the product doesn't claim an SPF rating. Instead it lists the SPF range of raspberry oil, an ingredient in the cream, as 28 to 50. However, again, Consumer NZ found this product had an SPF of 5.
Chetwin added that Pure South has agreed to stop calling this product a sunscreen and will remove the reference to raspberry oil's SPF which it could not substantiate.
The joint Australian New Zealand standard for sunscreens requires SPF to be assessed by applying the sunscreen to ten volunteers – neither Snowberry or Pure Blend products had been tested on people. “While companies are encouraged to comply with the Australian New Zealand standard, it’s clear some don’t. Making the standard mandatory would help ensure consumers aren’t misled about the protection a sunscreen provides,” said Chetwin.
Consumer NZ are still in the process of testing more sunscreens.