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Radharc 08-07-2015 01:31 PM

Vegan Sunscreen
 
As the title suggests, I'm trying to find sunscreen that is cruelty-free and vegan. I have found some on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_nr_p_...rnid=378732011, but they all seem to be in very small containers and/or expensive. I live in Florida so sunscreen is something I'm used to using everyday. Does anyone have any suggestions?

VeggieTalk 08-07-2015 03:42 PM

I'm very interested in the responses for this question.
What I would suggest is going on EWG.org (I'm not too sure of the link) and browsing through their sunscreen section. Sorry I don't have a more concrete answer!

A lot of times, the obscure brands tend to be cheaper. And I agree, sunscreen prices are ridiculous!

LedBoots 08-07-2015 05:20 PM


cuberail 08-07-2015 05:54 PM

Sunscreens are very technical.

I would not expect a small or independent company to provide a substantial or effective product. That takes a ton of R&D to get a perfect dispersion, to get perfect emulsions, to boost protection in UVA and UVB, to test both of those properly, to provide resistance to water and sweat, etc. etc. It's orders of magnitude more difficult than making a face cream or lotion.

Also there are lots of high tech additives which boost performance. They are not necessarily animal tested, often they are just tweaks on existing ingredients, maybe a longer polymer length or number of chains or something. A slightly different emollient ester. Etc. There are too many new "exciting" ingredients to keep up with. There is no way that a smaller company could afford to try out and test all the different possible permutations. I used to get some of the trade magazines and all they did was to make me respect how difficult it is to come up with a useful, reliable, effective product. World class sunscreens require a team of dermatologists, photobiologists, and cosmetic chemists and massive amounts of cash.

One good example that has a very poor metric by the general public is percentage of active ingredient. A poor formulation will provide low protection with a high concentration of active. An awesome formulation will provide very high protection with a low concentration of active, due to the formulation, the emulsion stabilizers, the dispersion, etc.

Also labels are not required to provide stability information. Many current formulations break down on exposure to UV radiation.

Look at all the fuss about Jessica Alba's "honest" sunscreen which fails to protect. That does not surprise me at all. The most effective ingredients and formulations are usually the ones that people distrust the most.

I'm more inclined to go towards the bigger companies like Ocean Potion but their newest offerings include vitamin D3 which is usually animal sourced.

If this troubles you, wear a floppy wide brimmed hat/visor, sunglasses, and protective clothing. ELF cosmetics makes a sunscreen powder. Most makeups will provide some SPF.

Don't use these small private company formulations and expect miracles. You should still protect yourself in other ways.

Naturebound 08-07-2015 07:51 PM

I'm with cuberail,

I often wear long sleeves and a protective hat if I am going to be outdoors for long periods. Or I may choose to be outdoors during early morning or evening hours when I am less likely to be sunburned. I very rarely use sunblock unless it is mid summer and I am out in my canoe on water for hours. I use Kiss My Face products then and they work well enough for me. A little goes a long way, but then I live in NE Minnesota, not Florida. If it is possible to spend morning or evening hours outside as opposed to the middle of the day that might help too. I don't know ANY sunblock that is all that cheap.

Kiwibird08 08-07-2015 08:40 PM

I don't trust sunscreen. Skin cancer rates seem to continue to go up the more people regularly use it. Correlation without causation? I'm not willing to be MY skin on it. I wear protective clothes and a large hat if I will be in the sun for a while, and just let my body make a little natural vitamin D when I'm out in the sun for short periods of time. I don't think I have ever purchased sunscreen as an adult. I may not look super fashionable, but I'm protected from burning, clothes don't wash off or wear off (nor remembering to reapply either) and they don't contain potential toxins/carcinogens.

Radharc 08-08-2015 05:34 AM

These are all good points, including the correlation between sunscreen use and skin cancer. It's hard to wear long sleeves in Florida, even the winters can be mostly hot, but the floppy hat is a great idea. I'm more of a baseball cap kind of person, but I'll see if I can adjust.

ladyfey 08-08-2015 06:25 AM

I use Purple Prairie Botanicals Sunstuff, and I love it. It is not cheap though. I only use it on my face (everyday, year round) so it lasts a long time. For the rest of me, I wear one of those long sleeved SPF shirts, but those do get warm and I live in Maryland, not as hot here as in Florida. I also wear a floppy sunhat anytime I am outdoors, even in the pool. I am not a hat person myself, but it is so important.

Kiwibird08 08-08-2015 06:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Radharc (Post 3741009)
These are all good points, including the correlation between sunscreen use and skin cancer. It's hard to wear long sleeves in Florida, even the winters can be mostly hot, but the floppy hat is a great idea. I'm more of a baseball cap kind of person, but I'll see if I can adjust.

I used to live in Arizona where it was also VERY HOT in the summer. Long sleeves (of the right material) will actually help keep you cooler because as you sweat it evaporates and creates a cooling effect (kind of like a swamp cooler). Proper warm weather cover should be a very lightweight, light color (white, tan ect...) 100% cotton or linen. Avoid synthetics, they will make you feel hotter. Floppy hats do look a bit goofy but they also do a good job keeping the sun off your face and neck.

Radharc 08-08-2015 11:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kiwibird08 (Post 3741105)
I used to live in Arizona where it was also VERY HOT in the summer. Long sleeves (of the right material) will actually help keep you cooler because as you sweat it evaporates and creates a cooling effect (kind of like a swamp cooler). Proper warm weather cover should be a very lightweight, light color (white, tan ect...) 100% cotton or linen. Avoid synthetics, they will make you feel hotter. Floppy hats do look a bit goofy but they also do a good job keeping the sun off your face and neck.

I didn't know that. Thanks for the tip.:)

cuberail 08-08-2015 01:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kiwibird08 (Post 3740777)
I don't trust sunscreen. Skin cancer rates seem to continue to go up the more people regularly use it.

absolutely not. when people use it correctly (appropriate formulation, appropriate application rate, appropriate reapplication frequency, etc.) it absolutely correlates to lower number of actinic neoplasia.

ref:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7857113

but most people, if they bother to use it at all, don't apply enough, don't reapply at all, don't use appropriate formulations that have proven photostability as well as UVA protection factors, and so on.

you can imagine how irritating this must be to a dermatologist who spends his or her professional life excising cancers and precancers from people who think that sunscreen is harmful. i don't have to imagine it. i have interacted with dr. naylor myself.

silva 08-08-2015 01:27 PM

What about buying zinc oxide powder and blending with lotion or coconut oil?
http://lalunenaturals.com/product/zinc-oxide-powder/

there are cheaper powders on amazon.com seems like a good etsy line!

Kiwibird08 08-08-2015 02:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cuberail (Post 3741833)
absolutely not. when people use it correctly (appropriate formulation, appropriate application rate, appropriate reapplication frequency, etc.) it absolutely correlates to lower number of actinic neoplasia.

ref:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7857113

but most people, if they bother to use it at all, don't apply enough, don't reapply at all, don't use appropriate formulations that have proven photostability as well as UVA protection factors, and so on.

you can imagine how irritating this must be to a dermatologist who spends his or her professional life excising cancers and precancers from people who think that sunscreen is harmful. i don't have to imagine it. i have interacted with dr. naylor myself.

I have a healthy distrust of government recommendations/studies as they continue to accepting bribes from lobbyists. The government, and all related agencies are so rife with corruption, it is like an apple rotted from the core IMO.

I do not disagree that frequent, prolonged sun exposure increases the chance of skin cancer (especially in fair skinned people). What has not been lost on me, however, is the dramatic increase in all forms of skin cancer since people began slathering the largest organ in their body daily/frequently in chemicals and compound we would never encounter in nature or would not naturally be exposed to such high levels of. Sunscreen is not the only culprit I suspect either, lotions, perfumes, cosmetics ect... are all suspicious as well. And because there would be no government or corporate funding, no large scale or long term studies that may prove unfavorable results for manufacturers of such products are conducted. What I do know is for time and eternity, human beings (especially those with fair skin who are most prone to sun damage) have either lived in climates that are not particularly sunny or cover up in lightweight, light colored natural fibers when they will be exposed to the sun for long periods of time. This method (which is also effective and one does not need to worry about SPFs or reapplying) has been lost in the name of fashion, but it does not make it an invalid measure to protect oneself from sun damage while opting not to be a guinea pig for corporate profit interests. And being born and raised in a climate where it's sunny 300+ days a year (and there was a high percentage of lifetime residents), I never met a person who used common sense sun protection in the form of large hats and protective clothing who was diagnosed with skin cancer in later life. I have met plenty who use NO sun protection or used sunscreen as their only method of sun protection (perhaps incorrectly, I don't know) who have.

runnerveggie 08-08-2015 03:20 PM

Sunscreens and sun avoidance are a good combination. Even if you are completely in the shade, arms covered, etc, you can get reflected UV light on your face or any other exposed skin depending on your surroundings (water, sand, concrete).

One sunscreen brand that is inexpensive and effective is No Ad, which is not tested on animals. If you can't find it in a local store, you can buy it online at Amazon.com or Walgreens.com.

Many companies actually do not test their personal care products on animals, although PETA still lists them on the "companies that do test on animals" list because their parent company tests on animals. One example is Neutrogena.

I'm a extremely leery of the Environmental Working Group -- their recommendations (for example, avoiding oxybenzone in sunscreens) do not seem to have a firm basis in scientific evidence and rather seem to be trying to scare people into buying more expensive "natural" products. The American Academy of Dermatology and other medical professional organizations, for example, do not seem to recommend for or against specific ingredients in sunscreens: https://www.aad.org/media-resources/...sunscreen-faqs

I would encourage you to consider the cost and the options that are available to you, and decide from there. Protecting your skin from UV damage is an important health issue, as exposure can lead to sunburns in the short term (which can be serious if they are severe) and skin cancer in the long term. We do not live in a perfect vegan world and using some products that might be tested on animals may be a reasonable trade off.

silva 08-08-2015 03:52 PM

No-ad is the one I've always bought, except when the kids were little and I'd get Bullfrog for the beach

Anyone want to comment on just using zinc oxide? Isn't that the prime ingrediant in blocking uv?

Tiger Lilly 08-09-2015 05:58 AM

I use Innoxa/Natio sunscreen and Natural Instinct sunscreen.

Both are cruelty free and vegan (though I strongly advise doing your own research on them because things might have changed since the last time I bought their products). Some Innoxa/Natio products aren't vegan though, so please be mindful of that if you're buying anything else from their range.

I use sunscreen every day, mainly on my face because I don't want wrinkles.

I'm vain that way.

cuberail 08-10-2015 10:54 AM

Tiger Lily,

In the USA, FDA does not require that manufacturers provide UVA protection ratings so you will still get saggy even if you wear sunscreen. SPF refers only to protection from burning. It does not measure protection from sags and wrinkling. Since peak sagging action is in the UVA part of the spectrum, you are SOL unless you are also using a hat and protective clothing.

In this one item I agree with Kiwi, FDA is a very corrupt entity and is motivated by manufacturing interests, not the public health. Same is true of course for the food board who keep promoting meat, dairy and egg.

For best unbiased health care information and decisions, seek non-USA sources.

I contacted Ocean Potion and they say their products are "vegan free" whatever that means. They also say their D3 is not animal sourced. They might be one of the best possible USA choices.

If anyone wishes to verify the Ocean Potion information, this is the contact.

Manager - Consumer Affairs
Sun & Skin Care Research, LLC.
800-715-3485 EXT: 1120
[email protected]

Radharc 08-12-2015 06:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by runnerveggie (Post 3742033)
Sunscreens and sun avoidance are a good combination. Even if you are completely in the shade, arms covered, etc, you can get reflected UV light on your face or any other exposed skin depending on your surroundings (water, sand, concrete).

One sunscreen brand that is inexpensive and effective is No Ad, which is not tested on animals. If you can't find it in a local store, you can buy it online at Amazon.com or Walgreens.com.

Many companies actually do not test their personal care products on animals, although PETA still lists them on the "companies that do test on animals" list because their parent company tests on animals. One example is Neutrogena.

I'm a extremely leery of the Environmental Working Group -- their recommendations (for example, avoiding oxybenzone in sunscreens) do not seem to have a firm basis in scientific evidence and rather seem to be trying to scare people into buying more expensive "natural" products. The American Academy of Dermatology and other medical professional organizations, for example, do not seem to recommend for or against specific ingredients in sunscreens: https://www.aad.org/media-resources/...sunscreen-faqs

I would encourage you to consider the cost and the options that are available to you, and decide from there. Protecting your skin from UV damage is an important health issue, as exposure can lead to sunburns in the short term (which can be serious if they are severe) and skin cancer in the long term. We do not live in a perfect vegan world and using some products that might be tested on animals may be a reasonable trade off.

We have No-Ad everywhere down here. I'll go ahead and buy that at my local grocery store, but I think I'll also get a floppy hat. When I can manage it, the long sleeves idea seems good too. Maybe if I combine all of this advice I'll be able to protect myself thoroughly.

Tiger Lilly 08-12-2015 07:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cuberail (Post 3743801)
Tiger Lily,

In the USA, FDA does not require that manufacturers provide UVA protection ratings so you will still get saggy even if you wear sunscreen. SPF refers only to protection from burning. It does not measure protection from sags and wrinkling. Since peak sagging action is in the UVA part of the spectrum, you are SOL unless you are also using a hat and protective clothing.

Good thing I'm not in the U.S then, huh? :D

I'm from Australia, where it appears there are stricter requirements for sunscreen ratings and language used to describe what's in the bottle. It's probably got to do with our high incidence of skin cancer.

The sunscreen I use is SPF30 "broad spectrum". That means it does cover both UVB and UVA spectrums, though not 100%.


But don't worry, I don't spend more than 20 minutes in the sun on any given day and I'm as covered up as much as is humanly possible.

cuberail 08-12-2015 08:25 AM

"broad spectrum" means that it covers some of both UVB and UVA spectrums.

it could mean 80% of UVA, it could mean 30% of UVA.

In the USA the term means only that the product has a critical wavelength of at least 370 nm. The critical wavelength is the wavelength at which the area under the absorbance curve represents 90 percent of the total area under the curve in the UV region. It is calculated mathematically.

It is not very descriptive of what happens in the UVA region, only that there is "some" protection in the UVA region.

Manufacturers fought for this definition rather than an actual physical testing because they didn't want to have to spend the money on better filters in UVA, new formulations, new testing, etc.

The consumer doesn't get what he or she thinks he or she is getting.

IMHO Australia is not doing much better. Only Europe and parts of South America have got it right by using completely distinct UVA and UVB protection factors.

Tiger Lilly 08-17-2015 01:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cuberail (Post 3746897)
"broad spectrum" means that it covers some of both UVB and UVA spectrums.

it could mean 80% of UVA, it could mean 30% of UVA.

In the USA the term means only that the product has a critical wavelength of at least 370 nm. The critical wavelength is the wavelength at which the area under the absorbance curve represents 90 percent of the total area under the curve in the UV region. It is calculated mathematically.

It is not very descriptive of what happens in the UVA region, only that there is "some" protection in the UVA region.

Manufacturers fought for this definition rather than an actual physical testing because they didn't want to have to spend the money on better filters in UVA, new formulations, new testing, etc.

The consumer doesn't get what he or she thinks he or she is getting.

IMHO Australia is not doing much better. Only Europe and parts of South America have got it right by using completely distinct UVA and UVB protection factors.



I'm just going off what the Cancer Council says, but "broad spectrum" in Australia appears to mean that it covers over 95% of UVA and UVB rays.

If you have proof to the contrary, I would like to see it.

http://www.cancer.org.au/preventing-...sunscreen.html

Radharc 08-21-2015 06:25 AM

So I've been using No Ad sunscreen on any showing skin and a hat that gives cover to my face (my neck is protected by my hair now that it's growing out) and I haven't had any burns so I'll take that as a good sign. I also try to sit in the shade if I'm going to be outside long and I'm not outside for more that a few minutes except for my daily dog park adventure so I feel like I'm keeping myself low risk. My exercise is inside (yay air conditioning).


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