A sunscreen that fell well below its stated protection when tested by Consumer NZ had already being pulled off the production line.

Coola Classic Body Sunscreen Plumeria SPF30 was found to only give low protection of SPF6 when tested, despite claiming high protection of SPF30.

It was one of six sunscreens out of 10 tested found to have failed to meet their SPF label claims.

Chris Birchby, CEO and founder of American-based Coola, said an independent third-party review of the formula and data would be conducted.

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"We are taking a close look at Consumer test outcomes to determine what external or internal conditions may have impacted the results, including an independent third-party review of the formula and data," Birchby said.

"Our priority is to protect consumers. For more than 10 years, Coola has formulated healthy and effective sun protection, with each individual formula passing strict third-party SPF verification and water resistance tests as required by the FDA [Food and Drug Administration]. All Coola's formulations are made in the USA at highly regulated laboratories."

Birchby said the product had been phased out in most markets, however, its replacement wouldn't be available in New Zealand until Spring next year.

"The Classic Plumeria Sunscreen Lotion tested by Consumer has been phased out in most markets. It is being replaced with an advanced Octinoxate-free formulation two years ahead of the Hawaii legislation which requires all sunscreens to be Octinoxate-free," Birchby said.

"Our new product will be available in NZ in Spring 2019."

Coola's Classic Body Sunscreen Plumeria SPF30 was found to have an SPF of only 6. Photo / Supplied
Coola's Classic Body Sunscreen Plumeria SPF30 was found to have an SPF of only 6. Photo / Supplied

Sue Chetwin, chief executive of Consumer NZ, said four of the companies, including Coola, provided lab reports showing their products had been tested and met their label claims.

However, two reports were dated from 2015 and Coola's report was from 2013.

"There's no requirement for sunscreen manufacturers to regularly test. But that's what they should be doing to ensure their products continue to provide the protection claimed," Chetwin said.

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Another product that didn't live up to its label was Neutrogena's Ultra Sheer Face & Body Dry-Touch Sunscreen Lotion SPF50.

Testing revealed the sunscreen had an SPF of 42.

Read more: Report shows most sunscreens not living up to label claims

A spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson New Zealand, whose products include Neutrogena, said they confidently stand by the label claim of SPF50 on its Ultra Sheer Face & Body Dry-Touch Sunscreen Lotion.

"We stand confidently by the label claim of SPF50 on the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face & Body Dry-Touch Sunscreen Lotion SPF50. This claim is substantiated by independent test results conducted on this product formulation by a highly qualified, experienced and credible research laboratory that meets our rigorous standards.

"Every product in our Neutrogena sunscreen range sold in New Zealand has been tested against and proven to comply with the requirements of the Australian and New Zealand sunscreen standard AS/NZS 2604:2012.

"At Johnson & Johnson New Zealand, our priority is to deliver safe, effective, high-quality products to our consumers, and we take this responsibility very seriously."

Bondi Sands, who's Coconut Beach Sunscreen Lotion SPF50+ was found to have a SPF of only 38.

Blair James, co-founder of Bondi Sands, all its products are products in line with Australia and New Zealand sunscreen standards.

"All Bondi Sands products are produced in line with Australian and New Zealand sunscreen standards through our TGA certified contract manufacturer. Our products undergo extensive stability testing to the Australian and New Zealand Regulatory Guidelines for sunscreen with validated analytical testing methods. The variance is not with the product tested, but with variability and inconsistencies in the SPF testing itself."

The Herald has also approached Sunsense, who's Sensitive Invisible SPF50+ was found to have an SPF of 16, for comment.

For more information on the methodology, see the full Consumer NZ report.