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A Deep Dive into SPF

Let’s chat about SPF! This video is a bit lengthy, but I really wanted to cover ALL of your concerns and to educate about our SPF products. Stay with me, it will be worth it! I promise!


You guys know that we have 4 SPF products: 

 > Vanilla Sensation, which is a body SPF 30 moisturizer;

> Supple Sunshine, which is an SPF30 face moisturizer for normal to dry skin;

> Shaded Rose, face moisturizer SPF30 which is the one for sensitive skin; and

> Sparkling Aloe, which is also face moisturizer with an SPF 30 for combo/oily skin. 


As you may already know, all of our SPF products are moisturizers with the broad-spectrum UVA and UVB SPF 30 factor. 


We use non-nano, ECOCERT Certified minerals. Ecocert is a private organization that has established standards for natural and organic cosmetics. “The standards define a quality level superior to the one defined by the French and European legislation on cosmetic products and will safeguard a real enhanced value of the natural substances. The standard also defines the practice of the respect of the environment throughout the production process.” 


We also have independent human studies to support our SPF30 factor, where our SPF formulation is tested on real people, to assure it is true SPF30 protection for you and your family.


According to the FDA’s 2019 proposal, higher SPF values have not really been shown to provide additional protection and may actually mislead people with a false sense of security. So we think higher SPF claims/products (like SPF 50 etc) can actually be harmful. It is also very hard to achieve higher SPF while using only mineral, physical barrier sunscreen, without having an extreme whitening layer on one’s skin. We use 2 minerals in combination because it allows for less mineral whitening while giving better Broad-Spectrum protection.


I’ll demonstrate in the video, (if you choose to watch it), our SPF30 moisturizer on one of our team members, Tia, as she has darker skin than me, just to show you, that while initially white, our moisturizers will rub in nicely without showing much of the whitening hue. We had some of you saying that, in fact, you think it is too whitening, however, from our experience, we think, that the dryer the skin, the more chance it will show some of the white hue. Therefore, I always recommend having a base layer before applying an SPF, either a serum or a moisturizer under the SPF moisturizer.


All SPF, even the healthiest form mineral SPF dries your skin a bit, therefore we’re combining it with beneficial oils to offset that. The base for these products is a full organic and revitalizing moisturizer. As such, our SPF products are rich in antioxidants to protect you from free radicals that can be caused by UVA, UVB or Blue Light (from our devices) rays.


According to FDA, based on currently available scientific information, only 2 SPF ingredients are found to be safe and effective. They are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. As you may have heard, numerous new studies raising concerns about endocrine-disrupting effects due to systemic absorption from the following chemicals used in most mainstream sun products: Avobenzone, Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Homosalate, Octocrylene and Octisalate. These are particularly concerning for the kids, and especially concerning for ALL humans in the spray form! Sunscreen sprays pose an inhalation risk and may not coat the skin enough to ensure proper protection anyways, we highly recommend you use a lotion/cream form of SPF!


A lot of you are familiar with EWG.ORG, our products have been rated from 1 to 2 in the last 13 years. This year is different, even though our formulas have not changed. For example, our Supple Sunshine is rated 2 on EWG Sunscreen Data Base, while the others have a rating of 3, even though all their other ingredients are fully natural – in fact, USDA Organic. Let me explain why. Somehow, EWG is rating the following very small quantities of essential oils as toxic: orange, lemon, geranium… It makes no sense to us – especially when “EWG verified companies” (it costs high money to be verified) have some VERY questionable ingredients (we believe harmful) but are rated safe “2”, not sure what to think about that… Maybe these essential oils are toxic in high quantities and if they are extracted with chemicals. Let me reassure you: we use ONLY USDA certified therapeutic grade organic essential oils and in minute amounts. 


We are further upset these holistic/organic essential oils (having EWG ratings of 3-6) are grouped together with bad/synthetic ingredients like FD&C Yellow #5, Octinoxate (which causes reproductive toxicity), Eugenol, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate and even Phenoxyethanol. The strangest thing with Phenoxyethanol is that in EWG verified products it has a rating of 2, and in non-EWG verified products it has a worse rating of 5. Hmmm - you see where I’m going with this?…. Please don’t get me wrong, we still like EWG, they’re doing great things bringing awareness to chemical exposures in our lives. Just perhaps they are more intertwined with companies that are looking to gain financial interest from their involvement. That’s all. As always, we encourage you to do your own due diligence and read the ingredients yourself!


Also, just one more thing to clarify, there are citrus essential oils that can be phototoxic, and there are ones that are not. We use ONLY the ones that are NOT phototoxic to begin with, which are steam distilled, organic citrus essential oils. 


Now let’s turn to how much sunscreen to apply? When and how often to reapply? Everyone is different, I’ll explain later, but we recommend applying a generous layer (especially for kids), at least 15 min before sun exposure, reapplying every 2h (that is if you’re in the sun) and reapplying after swimming. Everyone’s threshold is different, usually by your 20’s you know what is your threshold and how much sun exposure is good or just too much for you. 


If your skin turns red after extended sun exposure, it is a sign that the skin is damaged. If someone has a higher density of melanin, which is a protective pigment in the skin, it does actually reduce the risk of sunburn and UV-induced skin cancers. However, unfortunately, higher levels of melanin have been also associated with lower levels of vitamin D, which is so important for the immune system!

It is actually the density of melanin in one’s skin and not necessarily your race that seems to be an important and critical factor in the risk of getting a skin cancer. This is why skin with more melanin, darker complexion peeps, and a thicker outer/dermal layer, like most men have, tends to age slower. They seem to have fewer wrinkles and less pigmentation and can get away with more sun! 



Remember UVA rays are aging and UVB rays will burn your skin.


Let me explain UVA rays. They are the long-wavelength solar rays. UVA rays are not blocked by the ozone layer, clouds, glass and therefore, they comprise the majority of UV radiation reaching our Earth's surface. UVA rays are the same all year-round and they do penetrate our skin deeper, right into the dermis, which is 2nd layer of our skin. It is the UVA rays that can cause pigmentation, aging and contributes to skin cancers including melanoma. The active ingredients in our SPF moisturizers, the mineral zinc oxide along with titanium dioxide offers excellent protection against UVA rays.


What are UVB rays? They are the short-wavelength solar rays, which actually are mostly absorbed by the ozone layer. UVB rays vary in strength, depending on the sun's location, time of the day and can be significantly reduced by clouds. UVB rays penetrate only the outer epidermis skin. They do cause sunburns and they are considered to be the main cause of basal and squamous cell carcinoma. They also are considered a big factor in melanoma. Again, our active ingredients are effective against UVB rays.


Because we all love our mother Earth, there is another fact worth mentioning: chemical sunscreen ingredients have been shown to kill/bleach coral reefs by promoting virus growth. Tons (LITERALLY!!) of sunscreen washes off us into the oceans causing coral reefs to die off. Very sad.


 Finally, you may ask why our sunscreens are not certified USDA organic, like our other products. Here’s why: The USDA standard states that a product must be made of 95-100% organic ingredients to have the USDA Certified Organic seal. Since all of our sunscreens contain more than 10% of the minerals, the products cannot be certified organic by the National Organic Program. Even though we can't label it as organic, we still use great USDA Certified Organic ingredients other than SPF minerals.


Please don’t forget, that some medications make you more sensitive to the sun. Also, very important, don’t be afraid of the sun! Sun is the essence of our existence, we do need some healthy sun exposure to produce Vitamin D, which is extremely important for our overall health. I always emphasize common sense when it comes to sunscreen vs not. Remember, the best sunscreen is also your clothing and a hat!


Hope you found this info helpful, please leave a comment, thanks for reading (and watching) and sticking with me till the end!

Sandra Charbonneau
Sandra Charbonneau


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