Slip Slop Slap - Sunscreen question

Feb 4th, 2018, 05:10 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 24
Slip Slop Slap - Sunscreen question

Hi all,

I am heading to New Zealand next month and have seen a number of different articles highlighting both how expensive sunscreen is there (compared to in the States) and also how crucial it is to wear. I am trying not to check a bag and am not sure what my best packing strategy is.

Does anyone have any specific insights as to how much sunscreen actually costs? Are spray versions widely available? Can I just plan to buy there or do I need to get more creative?

Thanks so much!
whirlwind07 is offline  
Feb 4th, 2018, 07:07 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
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It will be less than $25. has Natio SPF50+ for NZ 15.00

Supermarket Countdown has Cancer Society SPF 50+ sunblock 100ml for NZ10.

Buy in the country it’s to be used in.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Feb 4th, 2018, 08:04 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I'm a member of the pack-it-if-you-might-even-remotely-need-it camp. Why spend time looking for an item in a new country when you can just bring it from home? Sunblock is sunblock IMO, and really, how much room does a small bottle of sunblock take? How much do you plan to use, realistically? I'm guessing your trip is less than two weeks? This is NZ, not Australia, where you'd be stupid to step outside without sunblock. I've seldom found the need for sunblock in NZ, and I'm an avid hiker - I wear long pants and long socks to keep the sandflies at bay - so it's just the face and arms that need sunblock. I'd be thinking more about insect repellent than sunblock.

Have you considered sunblock pads? Non-liquid, so you can get them through TSA, no worries. Pop them into your backpack and use as needed - presto.

Barring that, just pick up a bottle upon arrival - pennies compared to what your trip costs, no?

IME spray sunblock is much easier to find in the US than in NZ, but you can't pack an aerosol anyway, and it's highly unlikely you'd find non-aerosol in a smaller than 3 oz TSA approved size, so your best option may be to buy on arrival.

Are you going to the South Island? Think insect repellent!
Melnq8 is offline  
Feb 5th, 2018, 12:07 AM
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I agree with Melnq8, bring your usual preferred sunscreen in a 100 ml (3.4 oz.) container that you can bring in that clear, plastic, resealable 1-quart-sized bag you're allowed to carry on to the plane. I've used many sunscreens over the years--I'm sure we all have. I've bought some that turned out to have the spreadability of glue, that stayed pasty white on my skin so I looked like a ghost, that had unpleasantly strong scents, that when applied to the face ran into my eyes and made them sting, or appeared to not be working as expected. However, if you strongly prefer spray-on sunscreen, which as Melnq8 reminds can't be taken aboard in a carry-on, check the link Bokhara2 provided for Life Phamacy to see if it's carried here.

Remember, you can still get too much sun on a foggy cloudy day. 80% of UVA radiation can get through fog and clouds. NZ has higher UV levels when compared with places of similar latitudes and altitudes in the U.S. and Europe. There are a few reasons for this. One being there's less airborne pollution to scatter the UV rays, so more UV radiation reaches the ground. In summer and and early autumn, there are fewer ozone molecules in the stratosphere above New Zealand to absorb UV radiation before it reaches Earth’s surface. You'll be here in March, but in December and January, NZ is also closer to the sun.
Diamantina is offline  
Feb 5th, 2018, 10:45 AM
Join Date: May 2004
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We always travel carry on only and use Riemann P20 Once a Day Sun Protection. It is available in most countries and also in spray and bottle form and in 100 & 200ml sizes. Most major airports stock it, so if you could easily by it in duty free any get around the airlines carryon security rules that way.. We just usually decant into our own 100 ml bottles.
crellston is offline  
Feb 5th, 2018, 11:21 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
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Thanks everyone! That's some really helpful context/specifics/advice to help me make my decision! As always on these boards, I much appreciate all of the expertise. Happy travels
whirlwind07 is offline  
Feb 5th, 2018, 10:34 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Neutrogena makes a solid sunscreen; it looks like solid deodorant, and it has a high SPF level. You wouldn't have any trouble packing that in your carry-on bag.
ElendilPickle is offline  
Feb 9th, 2018, 11:01 AM
Join Date: May 2015
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"This is NZ, not Australia, where you'd be stupid to step outside without sunblock. I've seldom found the need for sunblock in NZ......""
Have to disagree with Mel - you really do need sunscreen here in New Zealand in the summer. We have less ozone down under, less pollution and in the summer the earth is actually closer to the sun. Sunburn can happen in only 20 minutes exposure.
To be safe slap it on! A Cancer Society product will be good quality - don't buy Sunsense facial sunscreen as it is useless.
tasmangirl is offline  
Feb 10th, 2018, 02:03 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
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The easy answer is that if you have a decent hat, sunglasses, UV protective clothing, are well hydrated, and not walking in or close to water, you can get by with minimal sunscreen (and, I'm told, an overnight moisturiser if you are a lot more worthy of preservation than I am and don't want to end up looking like an old crocodile), or, if not, simply stay out of the summer sun from about 10 to 4 and instead venture out first thing in the morning and in the late afternoon/early evening.

Last edited by farrermog; Feb 10th, 2018 at 02:30 AM.
farrermog is offline  
Feb 12th, 2018, 12:06 AM
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Farremog that’s good advice for locals but it’s probably not practical for tourists to stay indoors between 10 and 4.
cathies is online now  
Feb 12th, 2018, 09:29 AM
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Excellent advice all!

I'll be traveling from sunny South Florida, so I have a healthy respect for the sun. I am now the owner of an assortment of sticks and powders and travel size lotions.

Insect repellent was also a helpful note, and for that I have the wipes as well as some sticks.

Thanks again everyone!
whirlwind07 is offline  
Feb 15th, 2018, 11:16 AM
Join Date: Jul 2017
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You definitely need a good quality sunscreen for travel in NZ. As Tasmangirl has noted you are much more likely to get sunburnt in NZ than Australia. I am very fair skinned and live in Australia and rarely have problems with getting sunburnt. However On a recent visit to NZ to visit family, we had forgotten how easy it is get sunburnt even in a cloudy day and with relatively cool temperatures..10 to 15 minutes outside and I would burn.
Andee01 is offline  
Feb 18th, 2018, 11:23 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,752
This is interesting for us consumers of sunscreen. After being caught out for inaccurate sunscreen labeling, Johnson & Johnson has agreed to comply with Australian and New Zealand sunscreen standards. This includes the popular Neutrogena brand sunscreen:
Diamantina is offline  
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