why no SPF? you asked, we answered June 24 2019, 1 Comment

Here at Wildcraft, we often get asked the question, “why don’t you make products with SPF?” For one thing, it is incredibly complicated and expensive. As a small company we just don’t have the capacity to undergo all of the requirements that need to be met… and that’s the short answer!

In Canada, all sunscreen products are regulated as either Natural Health Products (NHPs) or drug products. Sunscreens containing titanium dioxide, zinc oxide or PABA, which are the active ingredients in natural sunscreens, are considered NHPs and must be registered under a NPN (natural product number). Health Canada’s Sunscreen Monograph has an assortment of test procedures required to make SPF and Broad Spectrum claims - all of which must be passed before going to market. In addition, sunscreen products, like other non-prescription drugs or natural health products, are subject to the Food and Drug Regulations or the Natural Health Products Regulations administered by the Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate (NNHPD). This includes requirements related to labelling, manufacturing and product specifications. While we wholeheartedly agree that these guidelines should be strict and adhered to, at present time the application process alone is too much (and too costly) for a small business like ours.

The irony of it all is that big companies are able to afford and pass all of these tests and regulations when usually it’s their products that are the most harmful and contain the carcinogens and endocrine disruptors we want to avoid. In fact, the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) sunscreen guide for 2019 still found that about two thirds of sunscreen on the market offers inferior sun protection or contains harmful ingredients. The most worrisome one is oxybenzone, a potentially hormone-disrupting chemical that is readily absorbed into the skin and is actively damaging our oceans’ reefs.

We’ve all heard the news by now: too much sun exposure has detrimental effects to your skin and your overall health. Aside from the discomfort that excessive sun can cause (including heat stroke and sunburns), more serious and lifelong problems can include melanoma and premature aging of the skin. And while sunscreen can be an easy way to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays, many can also have damaging effects in the long term -- to you and to the environment.

The EWG recommends that, along with oxybenzone, we avoid sunscreens containing Vitamin A and added insect repellent. Instead, look for mineral based sunscreens containing zinc oxide, avobenzone, and mexoryl SX and opt for water resistant creams over sprays and powders. 

We all need (and crave!) Vitamin D and the sun makes everything better and brighter. Try to avoid too much exposure during peak hours (between 11am and 2pm) but don’t be afraid to grab a wide brimmed hat and hit the beach! Sunglasses, cotton t-shirt and umbrella are also essentials.

    Let’s make the most of summer and enjoy the hot months ahead responsibly. With the proper gear and precautions we can prevent sun damage while still partaking in all of the amazing benefits! Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Instagram (@wildcraftcare) to discover more useful skincare tips, upcoming events and giveaways.