Sunscreens – 2011 Ratings

Posted by Canstar Blue March 17th 2011

You are viewing the archived 2011 ratings for sunscreens. Go to the current sunscreen ratings.

* Overall satisfaction is an individual rating and not a combined total of all ratings. Brands with equal overall satisfaction ratings are listed in alphabetical order.

See Our Ratings Methodology.

Hamilton users the most satisfied

The sun-bronzed Australian lives on, with only 20% of people questioned in our recent survey revealing they wore sunscreen every day.

However, approximately 70% of people said they weren’t deliberately trying to get a tan.

When asked about their sunscreen, respondents who used Hamilton Laboratories sun protection products were the happiest, receiving the most satisfied customers – sunscreen award in our inaugural survey. As well as receiving five stars for overall satisfaction, Hamilton also topped the results for effectiveness, smell and packaging.

Avon has also put in a strong performance, scoring five stars in price and texture and consistency.

Some common gripes were identified in the survey, including the greasy consistency of most sunscreens, and the slow rate of absorption on the skin. Other people were concerned about the possible health implications of using sunscreen, and uncertainty about the ingredients. Respondents also mentioned they were uncertain about the effectiveness of the lotion.

Other respondents were unhappy about the need for frequent application, and were uncertain about how much sunscreen was needed to be effective.

Canstar Blue commissions Colmar Brunton to survey 2,500 Australian consumers across a range of categories every few months to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from people who have bought sunscreen within the survey group. To qualify, the sunscreen has to have been bought within the last 12 months.

Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands that received three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10.

Overall satisfaction

Hamilton customers have the highest overall satisfaction with their sunscreen, scoring five stars. Invisible Zinc, Cancer Council, Avon, Banana Boat, Aquasun and Nivea received four stars and Le Tan, Coles, L’Oreal, and Woolworths followed on three stars.


Avon came out on top when it came to price, scoring five stars. They were followed by Coles, Woolworths, Hamilton and Cancer Council on four stars, and Nivea, Le Tan, Invisible Zinc, Banana Boat, Aquasun and L’Oreal on three stars.

Texture and consistency of lotion

Avon triumphed again when it came to texture and consistency, followed by Hamilton, L’Oreal, Cancer Council, Nivea, Banana Boat, Aquasun and Le Tan on four stars and Invisible Zinc, Coles, Woolworths on three stars.

Effectiveness (ie. sun protection)

Hamilton customers are the most satisfied with the effectiveness of their sunscreen, followed by Avon, Invisible Zinc, Cancer Council, Banana Boat, Aquasun, Nivea and L’Oreal on four stars, and Le Tan, Coles and Woolworths on three stars.


Respondents who bought Hamilton were the most satisfied with the smell of their sunscreen. Avon, Nivea, Cancer Council, Banana Boat, L’Oreal, Aquasun and Invisible Zinc followed on four stars, while Coles, Le Tan and Woolworths received three stars.

Packaging and ease of dispensing

Hamilton customers were again the most satisfied with their sunscreen, this time in regard to packaging and ease of dispensing. Four stars were awarded to Avon while Cancer Council, L’Oreal, Nivea, Invisible Zinc, Banana Boat, Aquasun, Coles, Le Tan and Woolworths all received three stars.