Sunscreen Safety

Tricia Trimble, founder of Suntegrity Skincare, was very kind to take her time to explain the difference between chemical and physical sunscreens, what ingredients in SPF products are safe and what to avoid. Also, shared her meaningful story how Suntegrity brand, the product that we value so much, was created.

I love Suntegrity products, my whole family, including my kids use it. My boys ask me to apply it under the nose, so they can enjoy the wonderful aroma for longer, thats how much they love it! Can you tell us, what makes Suntegrity different from other sun protection products?

The main difference between Suntegrity and other sunscreens is that we use 20% non-nano zinc-oxide which is the safest sunscreen ingredient on the market. Our sunscreens absorb into the skin without leaving a white residue and they contain several antioxidants and hyaluronic acid, to help moisturize and hydrate the skin. We also offer our face sunscreens in various shades which give the skin a healthy sun-kissed glow.

Another thing that separates our sunscreens from others is the uplifting scent of our sunscreens. Our face and body sunscreens smell great without the use of artificial fragrances. We use a low concentration of folded essential oils (meaning the terpenes that may cause phototoxicity have been removed) for a light citrus scent.

Personally, I love pretty packaging so I took a lot of time collaborating with an amazing designer and we chose colors that are universally appealing to women and men and opted for sophisticated airless pump packaging for the face sunscreens so they dispense the perfect amount and help prevent product oxidation.
What is the difference between chemical UV protection ingredients and physical sun blocks like Zinc oxide?
Most of the well-known sunscreen brands use chemical UV absorbers because they’re cheaper and easier to formulate with. The companies using chemical UV absorbers also make a lot of high SPF claims. The controversy is about the potential toxicity of UV Chemical Absorbers, as well as the false sense of security that is given to the consumer when they are using high SPF sunscreens. Many of the UV Chemical Absorbers are linked to causing endocrine disruption which may lead to cancer. On the contrary, zinc-oxide is known to be safe enough for use on babys and that’s why they use it in most diaper rash creams. No sunscreen protects you 100% which is why we recommend staying out of the sun during peak hours and wearing a hat and proper protective clothing when possible.

What ingredients do you use in your formulations that make Suntegrity so beneficial for the skin?

Zinc oxide has a reputation for being the best physical block ingredient that covers the full UVA/UVB spectrum, so it not only helps protect you from burning, but it also helps protect you from the sun’s damaging rays that cause wrinkles and skin cancer. I only wanted to use physical mineral block ingredients, not chemical UV absorbers, which made my only two choices zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. There is some research that shows that titanium dioxide may be photocatalytic and absorb UV radiation in its uncoated form. So I decided to go with zinc oxide, which is purely a physical block that reflects UV rays. Zinc oxide also covers a broader UV spectrum range, has anti-irritant properties and less opacity as compared to titanium dioxide. Zinc oxide is great for the skin and is often applied topically to treat rashes, minor burns, severely chapped skin and other minor skin irritations. We often hear from our customers that our sunscreens have helped improve their skin issues like acne, rosacea, and melasma.

Additionally, in the Face Protection you’ll find red algae extract, which reduces irregular pigmentation and is rich in antioxidants, minerals, enzymes, phyto-hormones, and essential fatty acids and astaxanthin, which is a carotenoid found in algae and a powerful antioxidant with up to 500 times higher efficacy than vitamin E. In both the face and body sunscreens, you’ll find hyaluronic acid, pomegranate oil, tea oil, and cucumber extract which are all powerful antioxidants that are great for the skin.
What are the ingredients that should be avoided in skin care and sun protection products?

Chemical UV absorbers, nano-particles (under 100 nanometers), parabens, phenoxyethanol, phthalates, propylene glycol, mineral oils, synthetic dyes, and sulfates.

I find Suntegrity products to be non-greasy, moisturizing and they don’t make my skin look white. How did you achieve it?

Waterproof sunscreens use ingredients that tend to make the product greasy. I wanted to make a sunscreen that people would feel comfortable wearing daily so we left those ingredients out. Our sunscreens still have some water resistance, but not enough to claim water resistant for 40 minutes. Our products are also very moisturizing because of the use of Aloe Vera. The reason the sunscreens don’t make your skin look white is because we use zinc oxide with a particle size of over 200 nanometers so it’s small enough to blend into the skin, but it’s well above the 100 nanometer mark so it won’t penetrate the blood stream.

On each Suntegrity product package I see this beautiful message: “Suntegrity was made in honor of my Mom and all of those who lost their lives to skin cancer. May you wear this sunscreen and smile in their memory”. Can you please share with us the story behind?

My mom passed away from skin cancer, which left me with a lot of grief that I didn’t know how to process at the time. Part of the goal of my final project in my Masters Program at The University of Santa Monica was to heal the deeply buried grief that stemmed from losing my Mom. The quote on the bottle is meant to be like one of those wristbands that people wear for the awareness of causes special to their heart. The goal of the quote is to have much more awareness about skin cancer so it can be prevented and to remind people to take a moment to be in a state of loving consciousness by remembering someone they love.