Consumer New Zealand’s latest round of sunscreen testing found that six products don’t live up to the sun protection factor (SPF) rating claimed on the bottles (source: Consumer December 2018/January 2019.) This was similar to December last year when Consumer also found half of the sunscreens tested didn’t perform to their SPF ratings.

Trouble is there’s no regulation in New Zealand for sunscreens so it’s up to the consumer to work out what’s safe to use.

An SPF 50 sunblock is meant to give you 50 times the protection you’d get without using sunblock or 500 minutes. For SPF 30 it’s 300 minutes. (Source SPF measures protection against UVB rays, which cause sunburn. A broad spectrum sunblock protects against both UVA rays, those that can cause wrinkles and sun spots, and UVB rays.

If you’re getting sunburnt while using sunblock, change your brand and find one that works. Remember to check the use-by date because sunblocks lose their effectiveness when they’re out of date. Check out the chart in Consumer’s Dec/Jan issue. Or try ours: