While as skin therapists we would consider anti-ageing serums to be essential products in our skin care routine, I’m sure none of us would dispute that a daily use SPF is the most important product that we are going to prescribe to our clients.

The AS/NZS 2604:2012 sunscreen standard was released in May 2012, and took legal effect from the start of August in 2013. There is a 5 year transition period before full compliance is required.

Some of the requirements included in the standards are:

• Numerical SPF’s greater than 50+ are not permitted.
• A crackdown on the labelling of the terms “waterproof”, “sweat proof” and “sunblock” resulting in these terms being banned.

There are currently no standards agreed upon for the testing and measuring of UVA protection. While numerical claims are not allowed, some sunscreen manufacturers are adding an indication of the level of UVA protection to their product labels. In the UK there might be a UVA star rating on the packaging. Alternatively, statements such as “UVA High Protection” or “UVA Medium Protection” are appearing on sunscreens available now in New Zealand.

My new, favourite discovery is the World UV App (available on the Apple App Store & Google Play). It has been developed by the British Association of Dermatologists and provides real time information on UV levels. Share it with your clients!