Tag Archives: Every Morning Sun Whip

reef safe sunscreen

Reef Safe Sunscreens and the Hawaii Ban

What Does Reef Safe Mean and All About the Hawaii Ban

We’ve been fielding a lot of questions as of late as to our perspective on the recent Hawaii ban. It’s such a definitive action in an industry where regulations move so languidly and industry is often left to self-regulate.

There is no question that for the most part, the ban in Hawaii on oxybenzone and octinoxate is a good thing.  This is coming from us as a zinc oxide sunscreen provider that has a formula that contains octinoxate.  We’ll get to that important detail.  However, we’ve been beating a drum against oxybenzone since the creation of our company. Some might say it was one of the reasons we started our company. Certainly a sunscreen that is defined as ‘safe enough for a pregnant woman to use’ will never include one formulated with oxybenzone so it is refreshing to see the first piece of definitive legislation come out against it.

Having said that, there is no question that the Hawaii decision is also partially political in nature.  If it was merely science-led, then the data against for reef degradation is limited to oxybenzone.  There is substantial reason to condemn oxybenzone with respect to coral bleaching or what is otherwise known as the ossification of coral. It’s been shown to be toxic to the symbiotic organisms that co-habitate with coral, and are essential to its existence. It’s also beens shown to impede the corals ability to fight of viral infection and withstand rising water temperatures as part of global warming.  It’s the characteristics of oxybenzone that are most likely the cause for these adverse effects.  It’s a filter of small molecular weight, less than half the size of a nanometer (compared to nano zinc oxide which is typically 70-100+ nanometers in size). It is photo reactive and breaks down in sunlight to create Reactive Oxygen Species. It’s been shown repeatedly to permeate human tissue and there is considerable evidence that points to its role as an endocrine disruptor.  It’s reasonable to extrapolate that this toxicity to the larvae within the reefs is a similar biological response, some form of hormone disruption on a larger scale.

The inclusion of octinoxate is curious in the sense that it’s a form of a half step.  There is limited science in terms of directly correlating the same coral bleaching to octinoxate, however, it is reasonable to extrapolate it might have a similar effect based on very similar shared characteristics with oxybenzone. Both conventional octinoxate and oxybenzone are of small molecular weight, photo reactive and potential endocrine disruptors.  However, so are other organic/carbon based filters like avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, and more.  In fact, avobenzone is even more similar to oxybenzone in that they share the similar chemical structure of a benzene ring.  The same structure that means in a chemistry lab they would be handled with care under a chemical hood and with significant handling measures to prevent contact.  However, these other filters were not included. It’s reasonable to ask why?  It’s most likely a case of where the precautionary principle butts against practical limitations.  You can imagine how weighty a ban would be if it included most organic based filters.  With skin cancer still on the rise, it would also be difficult to limit sunscreen options where 95% of available ones still include these organic filters.

On Encapsulated Octinoxate

I know some might read our questioning of the ban as part of a vested interest as our formula Every Morning Sun Whip SPF 25 contains encapsulated octinoxate.  Although this ban does not allow for any exceptions and this means that users cannot bring this formula to Hawaii shorelines, we feel all others can feel confident in its every day use.  We would never consider using conventional octinoxate for all of the reasons we listed above.  We feel it can be blackballed for the same reasons we would forgo oxybenzone.

Encapsulation remains an innovative solution or work around to the issues with these small molecular weight filters.  The octinoxate we use is doped in a silica bead (which is derived from sand), making it roughly the size of 5-7 microns, meaning it’s 10,000 to 14,000 times larger than conventional octinoxate.  It therefore cannot permeate living tissue, either human or animal. The octinoxate does not come into contact with the tissue or coral itself as it remains within the silica bead. This is how encapsulated octinoxate does not have the same issue with photo-allergy that often plagues conventional octinoxate.

The process of encapsulation turns these small problematic filters into large particles, similar in characteristics to zinc oxide and other minerals.  It’s unfortunate that it has not been more commonly used in the industry but it’s lack of use relates more to cost and formulation challenges and not its intrinsic merit.

Implications of the ban

The most immediate implications will be that consumers will see more and more of the label claim ‘reef safe’.  However, the term is not regulated in terms of what it means and most likely will never be regulated.  A quick Google search for ‘reef safe sunscreens’ returns a whole host of options, some of which include formulas with oxybenzone.  As is customary for this industry, consumers are going to have to be educated label readers.

Formulas containing high concentrations of zinc oxide remain the most prudent choice for consumers.  We encourage consumers to look for sunscreen providers who are credible and know the science behind their offerings.  Consumers should also look to other sun safety measures while on holiday like the use of sun protective clothing.

There is a path forward for consumers to be both health and environmentally conscious and we as a company, The Sunscreen Company TM, will continue in our efforts to lead the way.

Happy Holidays, office holidays, Laserderm

A Little Holiday Love

Happy Holidays, office holidays, Laserderm, Holiday LoveThis year for our December special blog, we thought we would share a little holiday love and feature some of the lovely women from our sister company Laserderm TM in addition to our usual CybD ladies. Laserderm TM has been one of the best laser based dermatology practices for almost 30 years. The ladies from our team are around the most leading edge cosmetic services and products every day so they’re skin experts. They also have some of the most capable hands, compassionate hearts, and warmest smiles in the biz so let’s hear from them this year!

Kristin T, RN at Laserderm TM

A Little Holiday Love, gift wrap,

Kristin Delivering Joy

Time with the Practice: 6 wonderful years!

All I want for the Holidays is…. Hmmm…all I want for the Holidays is love and happiness!

My favourite thing about this time of the year is… My favourite thing about this time of year is being able to use ‘Santa is watching’ as a threat to make my children behave!!!

Winter Skincare Tips: My winter skin care tip is use a balm on my lips and cuticles every day. Now with the heat on, our skin can become so dehydrated. I mostly see that with chapped lips and cracked cuticles. I use the Ectoins Mineral Balm often throughout the day and it really helps!!

Tips for Getting Party Ready: To make sure your hair is taken care of. Cut, color and blow out!  And try and buy a new outfit. I always feel more confident in something new!!

Livia S, RN at Laserderm TM

stocking stuffers, holiday shopping

Livia checking out the Stocking Stuffers

Time with the Practice: 7 Years

All I want for the Holidays is…. All I want is for my children to be healthy, happy and “good” so Santa can bring them some presents.

My favourite thing about this time of the year is… I love Christmas and everything about it, the Christmas songs, snow, baking, socializing, etc.

Winter Skincare Tips: I use oils (baby oil or grapeseed oil) to remove my make-up, it prevents my face from getting dry in the winter. I never ever leave the house without my Every Morning Sun Whip!

Tips for Getting Party Ready: Party ready? I love the glow, I always mix illuminator in with my minerals all over the face. Nice shimmery blush. Helps with the dull winter skin.

Arooj M., Skincare Consultant and Make-up Artist with CyberDERM TM

Gift Wrapping, Holiday, Shopping

Arooj Wrapping Things Up

Time with the Practice: 3 Months

All I want for the Holidays is…. Vacation somewhere warm…..a beach would be great!

My favourite thing about this time of the year is… It’s the “happy time” of the year.  More family fun,feasts and presents!

Winter Skincare Tips: Keep your skin hydrated, winters can be brutal on the skin.

Tips for Getting Party Ready: Deep dark lips with a  hint of gold shimmer, you’re all set to party!!

Cathy H, RN at Laserderm TM

Holiday, Decorating, Shopping

Cathy Trimming the Tree

Time with the Practice: 12 Years

All I want for the Holidays is…. All my children to come home.

My favourite thing about this time of the year is…The loving spirit that is demonstrated.

Winter Skincare Tips:  H2O Hydration  as extra skin hydration feels so good.

Tips for Getting Party Ready: Accent your eyes more than usual with the pretty colours from Jane Iredale

Mary Kay Mc., Director of Operations at CyberDERM TM

Santa, Holiday, Decorating, Stocking Stuffers

Mary Kay Playing Santa

Time with the Company: 5 Years

All I want for the Holidays is…. I would really love that my family and I could get away for a couple of days and go skiing. Our lives are so hectic and it will be nice if all 5 of us could spend a couple of days together.

My favourite thing about this time of the year is… I love how excited all the kids get about Christmas. As parent,s we are usually stressed this time of year about everything that we needs to get done but we should try and enjoy this special time with our family. That’s what it is really about!

Winter Skincare Tips: Hydration is key. I love CyberDERM’s Nu-Shroom Hydrafill Serum. I apply that first then my sunscreen.

Tips for Getting Party Ready: I don’t usually put too much time in when getting ready. However, for me getting my hair blown straight and nails done is a special treat before a big party. As for makeup, I love using CyberDERM’s Exfoliant Reveal for exfoliating my skin the night before always gives you that nice glow and then using the Jane Iredale BB cream gives you a flawless complexion.

Jaime K., Reception at Laserderm TM

Christmas Tree, Gifts, Holiday Wrapping, Holiday Love

Jaime Putting the Gifts Under the Tree

Time with the Practice: 2 Months

All I want for the Holidays is…. Quality family time

My favourite thing about this time of the year is… Skating at the many ice rinks around Westboro with my daughter

Winter Skincare Tips: Exfoliate, exfoliate exfoliate and moisturize

Tips for Getting Party Ready: False lashes are a must !

Lara GC, RN at Laserderm TM

Holidays, Christmas decorating, Holiday Love

Lara Decking the Halls

Time with the Practice: 8 Years

All I want for the Holidays is…. Family time and a yummy glass of red wine, with a large side of dark chocolate.

My favourite thing about this time of the year is… Spirit of Christmas; my boys love it so much.

Winter Skincare Tips: Every Morning Sun Whip, every day.  Plus H20 Hydration and Emblica Light and Bright at night, plus Exfoliant Reveal (glycolic acid 8%) twice a week.

Tips for Getting Party Ready: Be organized ahead of time, makes the festivities  more fun and enjoyable.