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Sunscreens are safe

5 December 2017

For Immediate Release

Sunscreens are safe

Sunscreens sold in New Zealand are safe and have strong enforceable regulation, contrary to recent claims by Consumer magazine, says Cosmetics New Zealand Executive Director Garth Wyllie.

“New Zealand consumers gain the additional protection of the newest developments far earlier than Australia as a result of our current regulatory framework and to mandate only the Australian/New Zealand sunscreen standard would deny New Zealanders that access”.

“Sunscreen labels must meet their claimed SPF under the Fair Trading Act, and failure can mean hefty fines issues by the Commerce Commission. Any company that is not 100% sure it can meet the claimed SPF should not make the claim and should ensure the product is tested to best international practice,” Mr Wyllie says.

“Cosmetics New Zealand notes that some of the products tested are also sold in Australia under their regulatory scheme, which can be slow to adopt new standards as they become available internationally”.

“We note Consumer is critical of the results that can vary from one lab to another globally for SPF. The industry is currently working on a revision with the International Standards Organisation (ISO) of the key test method ISO 24444. We believe this upgrade will produce less variation, and when adopted will ensure that local brands and international brands are using the same methodology.

“New test methods are being worked on to provide alternatives to human testing and are producing exciting results in trials to date. Some of these methods will provide faster and cheaper testing with a high degree of accuracy.

Consumers are reminded that sunscreen should always be used for periods of sun exposure as well as engaging in general sun-safe practices, such as regular re-application, avoiding peak exposure times and wearing protective clothing etc.”

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