From topping up a tan and soothing sunburnt skin to luscious lashes and salty tresses, the natural beauty industry has summer in the (beach) bag, reports Matt Chittock
When the sun comes out, natural beauty gets extra fun. Finally, the category can join consumers in shrugging off winter boots, throwing open the windows and concentrating on cheering topics like summer holidays and the new Love Island.
Of course, most natural beauty consumers are more The Only Way is Ethics than TOWIE. And with this in mind, brands are coming up with fresh ways to promote sun-friendly products that are pure, eco-conscious and consistently effective.
For summer 2020, Green People is leading the way with a new take on sun-suffused skin essentials: reef-safe beauty. Today consumers are careful about protecting their family’s skin, but have they thought about what happens after sun cream (however natural) has been slapped on?
As the brand points out, 25% of sun lotion ingredients can end up washed into the sea, potentially damaging aquatic life. “The implications can be far-reaching for the amount of sun cream that gets washed into the water,” says Ian Taylor, Green People’s cosmetic scientist. “Of course, in the EU all cosmetics have to undergo safety assessments. These will flag up any adverse effects on the individual, but they don’t consider any eco-impact when it gets into the environment.”
It’s a strong message – one that’s likely to resonate with families who have taken the Blue Planet ethos to heart and are looking at the impact their actions have on our oceans.
Taylor is careful to point out that it’s not about scaremongering or finding fault with rival brands, but giving consumers the choice. He’s also keen to explain how much work goes into creating Green People’s natural sun products.
“The challenge is significant,” he says. “[Products must] provide SPF protection and UVA/UVB protection for the whole of their shelf life. Then they’ve got to remain stable on the skin – they can’t degrade rapidly once the lotion is on.”
A safe tan
As with mainstream beauty, customer concerns are driving innovation. As more people get the message about sun damage, they’re pivoting to self-tan, but they want the natural, non-streaky, sun-kissed look that natural brands can provide.
“One of the active ingredients we use for self-tan is derived from sugar,” says Taylor. “You know when you cut an apple in half the skin will slowly turn brown? That’s the same kind of effect – it only works on the skin’s dead cells. It’s the same reaction. In our SPF15 products we have ‘tan accelerator’ that can increase people’s ability to tan by 20-25% in two weeks. People still want that tanned look.”
There’s a plethora of other sun-positive products with which to show off hot-dog legs on Instagram. It’s a myth, according to Glow Organic founder Mel Jenkinson, that natural doesn’t live up to expectations in this category. “They are on par with mainstream choices. It is the misconception that they might not work in the same way that is off-putting currently. However, with on-trend branding, customers may be more willing to try.”
Eco by Sonya – stocked by Glow Organic – is a key brand in self-tan; its innovative Face Tan Water is a gradual liquid toner designed to keep skin looking tanned far into winter with a synthetics-free formulation. But there’s room in the market for others: “The natural beauty industry could benefit from more options being available for tanning products specifically for the face,” observes Jenkinson.
Some sun-worshippers go for luxe indulgence, like Cocosolis’ Suntan and Body Oil Cacao, which uses chocolate to promote tanning as well as adding a lush scent. PHB Ethical Beauty’s Aloe Vera Hero Gel harnesses the healing power of organic aloe vera to soothe sore skin after overdoing it on the beach.
Fiona Klonarides, the woman behind the highly-acclaimed Beauty Shortlist Awards, particularly likes the reliability of Organii Everyday Organics SPF50 Sun Milk. “The sun range shows how good the new breed of clean beauty SPFs can be,” she says. “The stars here include gentle mallow and exotic karajan oil (also an insect repellent). This SPF is a winner if you have sensitive skin or babies – or both.”
Elsewhere, BB and CC creams are the hardest working products in the beauty bag: moisturizer, make-up and primer in all in one. Madara in particular is making waves with Beach BB Shimmering Sunscreen SPF 15. It utilizes softening aloe vera and natural mineral filters to prevent sunburn, sun damage and photo-ageing. Jenkinson cites BB creams with SPF as a ‘particular favourite’ among her customers.
For post-beach city-slicking Madara also does City CC cream, which shields skin from urban pollution while preventing clogged pores faffing up your holiday. And because everyone wants on-point selfies at the beach, Ere Perez has Avocado Waterproof Mascara, while BRUNS Products offers Fresh Mandarin Salt Spray for wavy beach hair.
Yet before sun-worshippers even think about stepping outside, it’s worth getting them to think about vitamin D. It’s widely known that UK sunlight only has enough UVB radiation for skin to make vitamin D from April to September; the Government recommends a daily supplement during autumn and winter.
“Take ten to 15 minutes in the sunshine without sunscreen, exposing either the arms or legs if possible (avoiding the midday sun when the rays are at their most intense) and top up your vitamin D levels with a supplement,” advises Harley Street resident, Kim Pearson.
“Consider your lifestyle and skin type, too. If you have darker skin your need for vitamin D will be higher, and if you are spending long periods of time indoors or covered up, it’s recommended to take a supplement all year round. Try BetterYou’s DLux 3000 Daily Oral Spray.”
Finally, for some people a pedicure pour la plage is a must. All Tigers is a quirky French brand that creates fierce long-lasting shades using vegan, natural and cruelty-free products featuring tonnes of organic ingredients. It also donates 1% of its turnover to environmental causes.
Fiona Klonarides, founder of The Beauty Shortlist Beauty Awards, shares her favourite natural summer stunners:
1. Neal’s Yard Remedies Wild Rose Beauty Balm “Nothing is as useful on holiday as a ‘do everything balm’. Neal’s Yard Remedies’ really comes into its own as a post-beach facial cleanser, overnight mask, eyebrow tamer and cuticle and heel softener. “A long-time personal favourite, it’s packed with hard-working botanicals including starflower, wild rose, as well as this year’s modern apothecary star – hemp seed oil.”
2. Kear Sofi Apricot Lip Balm “Greek natural brand Kear’s lip balm has just shot to the top of my lip balm list. I can’t recommend this apricot-y, nourishing, calming balm highly enough to anyone whose lips suffer in dry heat, wind and strong sun.”
3. Tabitha James Kraan Scented Organic Hair Oil “Speedboats, swimming pools, sun and windy beaches are not hair’s friends. This eco-luxe organic hair oil (which helps nourish hair, protect colour and smooth out sea-salt or chlorine-tangled strands) is a beautifully-scented, worthwhile summer splurge.”
Formulating natural sunscreen is a tricky business: it’s a fine balance of efficacy and trust. For Mel Jenkinson, founder of Glow Organic, the benchmark is ‘a mineral sun cream that contains a high SPF (50) and doesn’t leave a chalky residue – a near impossible task at the moment, it seems’.
Consumers expect the product to work to a high standard, and if it doesn’t, the industry’s whole image can be at risk. Take The Honest Company’s issues a couple of years ago. The American brand, co-founded by Jessica Alba, came under fire when customers complained that the products weren’t protecting them as expected.
The jury’s out on why exactly it didn’t work (it was subsequently reformulated), but Allison Wild from Oxford Bioscience believes that misconceptions about key ingredient zinc oxide could be to blame.
“Amateur formulators are often misled into thinking that X% of zinc oxide equals Y SPF,” she explains. “In a very advanced formulation it’s difficult to get more than 1.5 SPF units per 1% [of] zinc oxide. But various sales outlets claim different numbers. All products with zinc oxide should go through physical testing to determine the true SPF. We’ve tested several and the SPF is always lower than the manufacturer claims.”
All in the science
Zinc oxide is a closely watched ingredient that is backed by ongoing scientific evidence. Wild points out that a 2018 study on human volunteers found that ‘zinc oxide particles neither penetrate the human skin barrier nor cause cellular toxicity after repeated application to human volunteers under in-use conditions’.
She adds that a scientific opinion of three coatings for nano zinc oxide is due this March from the European Commission.
“I expect that the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety will determine that these nano coatings (methicone, silica, and isostearic acid) are safe because as individual ingredients they already deem that they are safe in cosmetics, with no restrictions,” she says.
Alba Botanica Suncare Sprays
Alba Botanica Suncare Sprays are biodegradable sunscreens that provide broad-spectrum protection without oxybenzone, octinoxate or vitamin A. These gluten-free formulas are full of natural extracts, to keep skin nourished and healthy-looking. Two SPFs are available: Sensitive Fragrance-Free Clear Spray Sunscreen SPF50 and Kids Clear Spray Sunscreen SPF50, both are lightweight, fast-drying and air-powered healthy aerosol sprays that can be sprayed at any angle and are recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. Also available is a Cooling Aloe Burn Relief Spray for after sun care.
JASON Sunscreens offer broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection and are water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. Non-greasy and easily absorbed products, hypoallergenic and safe for use on babies over 6 months. Biodegradable and reef safe formulas made with NO: Oxybenzone, octinoxate, gluten, synthetic fragrance or parabens. Formulated with antioxidant ingredients and skin nourishing botanicals including chamomile, calendula, green tea extract, vitamin E, cucumber extract and grapeseed extract Vegan and cruelty free. Five sunscreen products are available: SPF45 Family, SPF45 Kids, SPF45 Sports, SPF 30 Mineral and SPF20 Facial.
Avalon Organics Intense Defense with Vitamin C Towelettes
Avalon Organics Intense Defense with Vitamin C Detoxifying Face Towelettes are sustainably-sourced, biodegradable cloth face wipes saturated with pure botanical cleansers to wipe away dirt and makeup while leaving skin fresh, balanced and free of residue. The Intense Defense skincare line is designed to combat pollution and features a powerful medley of Vitamin C, Lemon Bioflavonoids and White Tea, all potent antioxidants proven to neutralise free radicals before they can cause damage, while naturally boosting collagen and elastin production. Avalon Organics contain no GMOs, parabens, harsh sulfates or preservatives, synthetic colours or fragrances, or phthalates. Vegetarian and never tested on animals.
5 Ways To Freshen Up Your Skin Care For Spring
The return of sunny days provides the perfect opportunity to help your customers refresh their skin care routines. Here, the organic skin care experts at Green People reveal their top product-picks for spring!
SPF SKIN CARE: Spring is no time to skimp on your SPF offering and Green People’s sun care range caters for all. Green People’s plant-based sun care products include vegan, reef-safe and scent free sun creams for adults and children with sensitive skin. All provide broad spectrum UVA & UVB protection and are packaged in eco-friendly plant-based tubes.
TINTS & TANS: Customers preparing to bare their arms and legs may want to give their skin a springtime glow and sugar-derived Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) is a quick and healthy way to achieve a natural tan. The DHA in Green People’s Self Tan and Gradual Tan works with amino acids in the outer layer of the skin to form an even brown colour in as little as three hours. For those seeking a sun-kissed glow with SPF protection, Green People also offers a range of SPF15 Pressed Powders.
UNDERARM CARE: If your customer suffers with springtime prickly heat, they may benefit from switching to a non-pore-clogging underarm deodorant. Blocked pores are known to contribute to prickly heat and all Green People deodorants are made without pore-clogging aluminium.
LIGHTER LAYERS: Spring is the ideal time to switch from heavy, rich balms to light-weight serums and Green People’s organic serums are made with natural and hydrating actives such as Seaweed and Tara Bush. These feel light on the skin and deliver long-lasting hydration.
POLLUTION PROTECTION: Spring is the UK’s worst time for pollution and a key time for customers living in urban areas to invest in antioxidant skin care. Antioxidants have protective properties that help defend the skin from free radical damage and are found in green marine macro algaes, such as those used to make Green People’s Hydrating Calming Serum. To further help consumers protect their skin from springtime pollutants, Green People has recently launched a detoxing Coconut Charcoal Face Mask that’s made with purifying activated charcoal.
’10 Free’ Nail Polish
Zao launches three new shades of its ‘10 Free’ Nail Polish to add to its growing collection, as well as an eco-friendly glass nail file. The new on-trend shades are Pink Nude, Pearly Red and Purple Grey, diverse shades that will be in hot demand this spring. Zao’s ’10 free’ Nail Polish collection includes an award-winning Nail Polish Remover, a French manicure set and nail care products. It’s the perfect time to invest in nail polish with summer on its way. Grab a free merchandiser and 10% discount on our nail polish trade starter pack whilst stocks last. Simply email us to find out more on this Spring trade offer.
ORGANii Sun Protection Range
ORGANii pride themselves in providing top quality products that are safe for skin and suitable for the whole family! Protecting skin against UVA and UVB rays, the certified organic ORGANii mineral sun protection is broad-spectrum and sits on top of the skin giving immediate protection. Containing organic coconut, argan, jojoba, karanja and vitamin E to protect, nourish and hydrate skin, ORGANii sun protection ranges from a fragrance-free SPF50 formulation which is suitable for all ages including babies to an effective anti-ageing facial SPF15. Registered vegan with the Vegan Society and cruelty free with PeTA, the certified organic ORGANii range is also coral reef safe. Trade/ RRP from £8.30/£14.95
RASPBERRY ROSE Replenishing Facial Oil
Launched just last Autumn, Raspberry Rose Replenishing facial oil is the latest addition to the multi award-winning range by natural beauty and wellbeing artisan brand Inner Senses.
Formulated as a nutrient-rich and protective facial oil with a naturally occurring SPF that can be used to nourish and protect the skin alongside a sunscreen, Raspberry Rose oil can be applied beneath a sunscreen to boost its effect whilst moisturising, soothing and increasing elasticity in the skin. 96% organic and 100% natural, Raspberry Rose oil incorporates a luxurious and reparatory blend of the finest Damascan Rose essence, a dual delivery of protective Raspberry derived from both the leaves and seeds, concentrated CO2 extracts and organic nutrients to protect, nourish, revitalise & moisturise skin which is dry, ageing, tired or exposed to the elements. In one study*, Raspberry seed oil was found to effect UVA + UVB protection similar to titanium dioxide with a 28-50 SPF protection factor against UVB rays and 8 SPF against UVA rays, in addition to absorbance in the UV-C range with potential for use as a broad spectrum UV protectant.
Damascan Rose – the Queen of botanicals – will moisturise and revitalise the skin instantly. Its soothing anti-inflammatory action calms irritation and reduces redness, whilst its healing and protective qualities will promote a more youthful appearance. With other key ingredients including Camellia, Hemp, Rosehip, Argan, Jojoba, Evening Primrose and Black seed, Raspberry Rose oil is packed with Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) and powerful antioxidants, providing a nutrient-rich facial oil and moisturising treatment that actively inhibits oxidative stress through its potent cocktail of natural antioxidants.
*Oomah, B.D. et al (2000) Characteristics of raspberry (Rubus idaeus) seed oil Food Chemistry, Volume 69