Sun Balm Test Results
Goodbye OUCH Sun Balm is a brand new product, but to give us complete confidence in the product, we tested it through twice at two different performance points. These were completed between May and July 2018. A complete test with 10 people with sunscreen applied and then skin in water for 2 hours and then tested for SPF yielded an average above 50 SPF. A second complete test with a different 10 people had sunscreen applied, with their skin immersed in water for 4 hours. Their average test results yielded above 40SPF.
As importantly, and as part of the standard, we tested for critical wavelength, which is the UVA or part of the broad spectrum coverage in a sunscreen. ASNZ 2604: 2012 has the highest requirement for Broad Spectrum coverage in the world. It not only requires that the skin is protected at a certain spectrum of UVA, but that it is balanced to the coverage of the UVB. Sun Balm passes this critical wavelength test.
The lab that we use is Dermatest, a highly regarded leader in the sunscreen testing space.
Consumer has been able to bring a long needed conversation about sunscreen to New Zealand. It’s important that this space is used to raise the industry standard and consumer knowledge and confidence in sunscreen products. To be able to have a positive impact on the industry, we would welcome Consumer bringing more transparency on how it chooses, tests and reports sunscreens. There is variation in a 10 subject test, and the standard takes the average of these. UVA (broad spectrum) performance of a sunscreen is just as important as the UVB (where the SPF rating comes from). Consumer could assist with better understanding if they also chose to measure and highlight this broad spectrum aspect of the standard.
High compliance and reliability in SPF labelling is a good beginning. An understanding of Broad Spectrum and testing critical wavelength is also key. However, with marine toxicity issues, and oxidative stress studies on certain UV absorbing ingredients, the landscape for what makes a good, reliable sunscreen is broader than the standard.