Advocacy group Consumer New Zealand is calling for sunscreens to be regulated, as they are in Australia, after some failed to meet claims on their labels.
The publisher of Consumer Magazine said its tests show that the level of sun protection on the labels of eight out of 12 sunscreens it tested were inaccurate.
In Australia, sunscreens are regulated as a therapeutic product, rather than a cosmetic as they are in New Zealand.
Consumer New Zealand chief executive Sue Chetwin said if this country moved to the Australian model it would mean sunscreen makers would have to meet stricter standards designed for New Zealand conditions.
Ms Chetwin said sunscreen laboratories need to be audited once a year, rather than periodically.