Badger Balm Sunscreen
After my Badger Balm’s Damascus Rose Face Sunscreen Lotion Review, two excellent questions/comments were left on my blog, and I thought that it would be helpful for me to do another post with Badger’s responses.
Thank you to everyone who leaves a comment on my blog, and thank you to Badger for not only quickly responding, but also for the detailed information! Badger was very modest when I thanked them; they simply want to help everyone, “make better/more informed purchasing decisions overall.“ It is so appreciated, Badger! I love your products (and as you know from reading my review, I was a loyal customer before being sent Damascus Rose).
First Question for Badger about Sunscreen:
First– I wasn’t sure why the Damascus Rose is “only” SPF #16.
The first thing to note is that Badger is using only Zinc Oxide in this product, which provides protection from both UVA & UVB rays, but doesn’t offer a really high SPF. Conversely, if we were to use Titanium Dioxide (our other mineral option) we’d have a really high SPF, but little to no UVA protection (unless we were to mix the Titanium Dioxide with some Zinc Oxide or another ingredient which offers great UVA protection). Why do we need protection from both wavelengths? Because different wavelengths reach different layers of the skin – so, if you are using a sunscreen with a really high SPF, it doesn’t mean that you’re totally protected from UVA & UVB rays, and as you’ll see below, as you get above an SPF of 30, the increase in UVB protection is actually pretty negligible.
Badger opts for a lower SPF with the Zinc, because we feel it is the safest and most effective option for broad spectrum coverage. We feel that broad spectrum coverage is more important than a really high SPF.
The EWG had a great article on the high SPF myth, which you can read here if you haven’t already: http://breakingnews.ewg.org/2011sunscreen/sunscreens-exposed/whats-wrong-with-high-spf/
SPF 16, when applied properly, actually blocks 93% of UVB rays – pretty good protection, I’d say. But the SPF scale is not linear, as illustrated below:
- SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays
- SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays
- SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays
So when you double the SPF number from 15 to 30, you’re not getting double the protection because the margin of improvement narrows. So “only” SPF 16 is not actually the case – for a daily moisturizing lotion (and keep in mind this formula is not for the beach – it is not water resistant, and it has been designed for daily in-and-outdoor use) SPF 16 is perfectly adequate. Now, if your reader were to spend a day on a boat in a tropical locale, they would likely want a stronger sunscreen with water resistance.
The most important thing is this: regardless of the SPF they choose, it is crucial that people choose a sunscreen that offers “Broad Spectrum” protection from UVA rays and UVB rays, which goes beyond just SPF number. Come June, when the new FDA sunscreen regulations are put into effect, this will be a little easier because all sunscreens that are labeled “Broad Spectrum” will have to have testing to substantiate the claims (currently, this is not the case).
For more information on SPF scale: http://www.badgerbalm.com/s-30-about-spf-ratings.aspx
For more information on UVA protection, and why it’s important: http://www.badgerbalm.com/s-31-uva-protection-in-sunscreens.aspx
Lastly, we will be releasing lotion sunscreens next spring which will have a higher SPF.
Second Question for Badger about Sunscreen:
“If sunscreen is supposed to be re-applied every two hours, why do so many make-up companies put it in their face lotions? Seems a bit of a waste, doesn’t it? After all, I’m not going to put on more sunscreen OVER my make-up.”
Short answer: if the sunscreen is FDA compliant (if it has a “Drug Facts” label), it is required to have that wording.
Sunscreen re-application recommendations are from the FDA and based on the SPF testing – in order to have the advertised SPF, you need to apply the recommended amount and reapply, especially when swimming and sweating (SPF tests are done on humans in a Jacuzzi). Sunscreens are not tested for single application over a whole day, and SPF ratings are a formula of efficacy over time, so the FDA requires all sunscreens to recommend reapplication after 2h as part of good sun protection measures.
To view what SPF/Water resistance testing looks like, click: http://www.badgerbalm.com/wsL184731/Safety_Efficacy/BADGER_SPF18_Sunscreen_Cream_SPF_Water_Resistant_Results.pdf
More of these can be found here: http://www.badgerbalm.com/s-7-safety-efficacy.aspx – we’ve been publishing our testing results, so people have all of the facts.
Here’s the FAQ from the FDA’s website:
Q5. What do consumers most need to know when buying and using sunscreens?
A. Spending time in the sun increases a person’s risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. To reduce these risks, consumers should regularly use a Broad Spectrum sunscreen with an SPF value of 15 or higher in combination with other protective measures such as:
Limiting time in the sun, especially between the hours of 10 AM and 2 PM when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
Wearing clothing to cover skin exposed to the sun (long-sleeved shirts, pants, sunglasses, and broad-brimmed hats) when possible.
Using a water resistant sunscreen if swimming or sweating.
Reapplying sunscreen, even if it is labeled as water resistant, at least every 2 hours. (Water resistant sunscreens should be reapplied more often after swimming or sweating, according to the directions on the label.)
Sunscreen and Waterproof Label
Consumers should also be aware that no sunscreens are “waterproof” because all sunscreens eventually wash off. Sunscreens can only be labeled as “water resistant” if they are tested according to the required SPF test procedure. Sunscreens labeled “water resistant” sunscreens will also be required to state whether the sunscreen remains effective for 40 minutes or 80 minutes when swimming or sweating, and all sunscreens will be required to provide directions on when to reapply.
Physical sunscreens, like Badger’s, stay where you put them for the most part, unless you wipe them off – however, even Badger’s sunscreens have not been tested for all-day wear, and we cannot recommend anything but reapplication every 2h.
As to why make-up companies add sunscreens to lotions when they know it’s unlikely people will reapply – well, I can’t really speak for them! I think you could reach your own conclusions regarding this. Badger does it because we’re making a sunscreen first, moisturizer second, and as it is an FDA regulated product we must be compliant with their wording requirements.
And as a manufacturer, we need to make sure that people don’t feel invincible wearing our sunscreen – it’s our responsibility to make sure that people have all of the right information in order to make informed choices for themselves….The bottom line is that it’s important for your readers to understand that no sunscreen is going to protect them 100% for the whole day, so it’s in their best interest to gather all the information they can and then make the decision that is best for them. For some people and certain situations, it may be more frequent reapplication – but we, as sunscreen manufacturers, cannot dictate this.
Lastly, something very general to remember: the best sun protection is to cover up! So if you’re concerned about sun exposure but do not want to reapply for aesthetic purposes, cover up and stay out of the sun – it’s a simple as that!
Badger Balm Links:
Disclosure: Damascus Rose was provided for review. I purchased Badger 30+ Chamomile Baby Sunscreen. All links are for your convenience only!
Moxie Reviews™ 2012. Content copyright. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner, Moxie, is strictly prohibited.