Compare sunscreens in New Zealand at Canstar Blue. Neutrogena, Banana Boat, Cancer Society, Nivea, and SunSense were compared on Overall Satisfaction, Ease of Absorption, Effectiveness, Packaging/Ease of Dispensing, Smell/Scent, Texture and Consistency and Value for Money.

See our Ratings Methodology

Most Satisfied Customers | Neutrogena

Neutrogena rated number one for customer satisfaction

Love the Skin You’re in with Neutrogena

Along with beaches, BBQ smoke and the noise of busying cicadas, an integral part of the great Kiwi summer is the smell and feel of suntan lotion on skin. If you spend time outside, it’s an everyday essential, along with rashies, hats and sunnies.

However, unlike a lot of other choices we face as consumers, our choice of sunscreen can have real repercussions for our families’ health. That’s why it’s important not to skimp on sunscreen. Not only must your choice of sunscreen be affordable enough to apply liberally, it’s got to offer broad UV protection with minimum greasiness and a pleasant smell.

So as part of our mission to inform consumers of the best NZ has to offer, Canstar Blue canvassed the opinions of 1486 New Zealanders who had purchased and used sunscreen in the past 12 months, across a range of categories, to measure and track their satisfaction.

To decide which suncreen offers the best level of customer satisfaction, each was rated across the following categories:

  • Ease of Absorption
  • Effectiveness
  • Packaging/Ease of Dispensing
  • Smell/Scent
  • Texture and Consistency
  • Value for Money

Coming out on top is Neutrogena, the US skincare giant put its competition in the shade, taking out our research’s only 5-Star rating for Overall Satisfaction. It did so on the back of an impressive tally of 5-Star ratings in all of the above categories, except Value for Money, for which it earned 4 Stars. The result is five for five for Neutrogena, which has won each of our past five sunscreen awards – a truly fantastic achievement.

Both Nivea and Cancer Society also rate highly in this year’s award, both scoring a 4-Star rating for Overall Satisfaction. Nivea also excels with the only 5-Star rating for Value for Money.

What Kiwis Want From Their Sunscreen

Given the dangers of overexposure to the sun – especially for delicate young skin – it’s no surprise that Effectiveness is the most important consideration for those in our survey, followed by Value for Money and the all-important Texture and Consistency of the lotion. There’s nothing worse than feeling greased up at the beach, only to start feeling like a piece of fine-grade sandpaper shortly afterwards! Overall, the main drivers of satisfaction:

Drivers of satisfaction %
Effectiveness 29%
Value for Money 21%
Texture and Consistency 19%
Ease of Absorption 16%
Packaging/Dispensing 10%
Smell/Scent 5%

Suntans: Health vs Beauty!

Over past decades, the dangers of sun exposure couldn’t have been made much clearer. So, it’s ironic that the majority of us still associate suntans with a healthy lifestyle.

A third of those in our survey say that they like having a sun-tan. Of those, 71% say it’s because it makes them look healthier, and 58% think it makes them feel healthier, too.

And nearly half (42%) admit that they still don’t apply sunscreen when they go out in the sun – although a similar number (44%) say they wish they’d taken more precautions when they were younger.

So, instead of regretting your sun-protection when it’s too late. Make sure you make all the right choices now for the health of your own skin and that of your family. When you go outside this summer, make sure you slip, slop slap on the best in protective sun lotion: Neutrogena!


Key statistics

I often go out in the sun without wearing sunscreen: 42%

I understand the SPF system: 62%

I wish I’d been better protected from the sun when I was younger: 44%

I regularly have mole (skin cancer) checks: 13%

I enjoy having a sun tan: 36%


Why not use sunscreen %
I forget to use it 62%
I don’t spend all day in the sun 26%
I don’t see the point 2%


I like a suntan, because %
It makes me look better 71%
I feel healthier 58%


Application habits %
I put it on but don’t reapply 25%
I reapply regularly 13%
I reapply after swimming 9%
I wear <30SPF 3%
I wear 30-50 SPF 33%
I wear >50 SPF 14%
I don’t wear sunscreen 4%


Reapplication habits %
I always forget 60%
I don’t as not outside much 13%
I don’t as I don’t swim 9%
Don’t need to as wear high SPF 3%


A Sun Protection Factor (SPF) number shows the level of protection a suntan lotion provides from harmful ultra-violet (UV) light. It’s an indication of how long you can spend in the sun without getting burned. For example, SPF 30 allows you to remain in the sun 30 times longer than if you weren’t using sunscreen.

In New Zealand, a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 is recommended, as it will protect you against UVA and UVB rays. While both types of radiation will damage your skin, in the past, the dangers of UVA were less well known. This is because the focus was on UVB radiation, which causes sunburn, and not UVA, which is responsible for tanning and ageing your skin.

However, now the dangers of both types of sunlight are known, it’s recommended that we all slip, slop, slap on a broad-spectrum lotion that protects against both forms of UV light.

Canstar Blue surveyed 2615 New Zealand consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers who have purchased and used sunscreen in the past 12 months. In this case, 1486 New Zealanders.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.





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