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Consumer Reports recently released a study that all who care about their skin will find alarming. According to the study, almost half of the sun protection products tested failed to meet their SPF and water resistance claims. And, if you are a mineral-only “natural” sunscreen wearer you’re taking a greater risk as these actives performed much worse than their chemical counterparts. In fact, 74% of the mineral based formulations did not meet their SPF claim.
Being a mother of two young children (8 year old Will and 11 year old Emery) and a professional in the skincare industry, I feel a responsibility to protect my family and dedicated customers from the dangers of exposure to the sun’s rays and to give reassurance that you can safely have fun in the sun. So, we at Supergoop! are going to do something that we hope others in our sunscreen industry will do as well. We are committing to share our efficacy testing on each Supergoop! product on supergoop.com.
With skin cancer diagnoses alone totaling a number significantly larger than the diagnoses of breast, lung and prostate cancer combined and ever increasing awareness of the cosmetic skin damage caused by the sun, our industry must perform as we claim. Skin cancer is one of the only cancers that is primarily preventable. If your sunscreen, a proven source of prevention, isn’t living up to its claims, you are being lethally mislead.
While sunscreen is regulated as an over-the-counter (OTC) drug, what consumers may not understand is that it is not part of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) process to test sunscreens for efficacy nor does it require a review of 3rd party manufacturers testing. It was also brought to light last summer that the Environmental Working Group (EWG) –also a trusted source for all things sun protection- makes recommendations and provides health ratings (1-10) by reviewing a formula’s ingredient list and not by the group’s own testing or review of a manufacturer’s reports. As consumers we must understand that all skincare formulas are truly unique and each blend of ingredients that make up the sum of a final formula must be tested and evaluated in combination by a 3rd party laboratory both pre and post manufacturing. Efficacy cannot be determined by a dogmatic list of individual ingredients.
Along with sharing our test results on our product pages, we’re including a guide to give consumers a better understanding as to how this testing is conducted. SPF? Broad Spectrum? Critical Wavelength testing? Waterproof or water-resistant? The category can be a bit confusing so we are hoping to help shine a light on the simple facts and figures. It’s our hope that other companies will follow suit, in sharing their efficacy results as well. If we are going to realize our dream to eradicate skin cancer we all need to provide products that people know are safe and effective, such that they are willing to wear them everyday. I realize we can’t do this alone, but I do hope our leadership will inspire others to follow.