Why I only want to use mineral UV filters
Sun protection is the product that most of our retailers and consumers have requested from me over time, and as a product developer in the skincare industry, the SUN range has also been the most difficult challenge to solve. Because how do you crack the code on what I haven't been able to find on the skin care shelves myself?
Most of us love the sun, including me - and there are also many benefits to letting the warm rays of the beautiful fireball kiss our skin. But finding the "right" sunscreen has caused me problems in the past, as I found the choices within sunscreen insufficient…
During the product development of Karmameju SUN, I was aware of the following: I did not want my family to use chemical UV filters on the skin, which are known for penetrating the skin barrier and can potentially cause skin irritation. Neither did I want UV filters based on nanoparticles which are very little known about when it comes to risk factors. Thus, there were only mineral UV filters left, also called the physical UV filters, which are naturally derived from the soil. These lie on the surface of the skin and protect by reflecting the UV rays away from the skin, just like a mirror.
On the other hand, the mineral sunscreens came with certain challenges: they turned the skin white and sticky, or they contained high amounts of silicone in the formulas to soften the creams.
The product development journey was tough and even crept into my dreams.
When we had finally sent the products for the final SPF tests, UVA/UVB tests, etc., I dreamed that I smeared my daughter, Mila, in sunscreen and that she was as white as a ghost. It has been so important to me to create a product that delivered something exceptional, and it always comes with a little fear deep down, because skincare is individual.
With our highly valued producer in southern Italy in Puglia, who has organic fields as far as the eye can see, we finally managed, after countless attempts, to crack the code.
It was a balancing act between the moisture-binding ingredients, such as organic Aloe vera, organic Shea butter and moisturising plant oils and plant extracts; all known for not clogging the pores.
We went through a relentless process of adjusting the formulas for three years, before we reached a result that I can proudly vouch for. The goal of Karmameju SUN was to create a line only with mineral UV filters that were easier to spread on the skin, nonsticky and didn't turn the skin blue-white. A range of products I'm really, really proud of for their function and the protection they provide.
The difference between the three types of UV filters
Mineral UV filters
Titanium Dioxide and Zinc are mineral sun filters that consist of naturally derived minerals, extracted from the soil. Physical UV filters are applied like a film that protects the skin, by reflecting the UV rays away from the skin. We prefer physical UV filters because several years of research indicate that they are very photostabile, and thereby less likely to irritate the skin.
Sunscreen with physical filters is known to be difficult to apply and leaves the skin with a white residue, which is not the case with Karmameju SUN. It does take a few extra minutes, as you need to warm up the lotion, but with a well-moisturised skin, the minerals are melted on your skin, leaving it nourished and protected. We prefer using the extra minutes to gain all the many benefits of physical, mineral UV filters (and remember, touching the skin releases happy hormones in the brain, so it's time well spent!)
Nanoparticle UV filters
Many ingredients can be made in microscopic nano size. The nano mineral filters have been created to make them less visible and sticky, and hereby less white on the skin. Very little is known about the potential risk factors for nanoparticles in general. Nano ingredients should always be listed with nano in parenthesis by the name: Titanium Dioxide (nano), so that the consumer can see that nano ingredients are being used in the product.
Chemical UV filters
Chemical filters are synthetic. When UV rays reach the skin, chemical filters absorb the UV radiation and transform it into heat. Studies show that chemical filters can penetrate skin barrier and cause irritation. Many skincare brands use chemical filters as they are not visible on the skin when applied. No chemical filters are approved by ECOCERT / COSMOS, an official organisation that certifies natural and organic products.
It is always needs and challenge that is the North star in our product development. We want to create what others have not succeeded in, and when it is something we ourselves lack in everyday life.
After the creation of the SUN range, I now use sunscreen every day throughout the year, summer and winter. I use BB cream SPF 30 daily on my face, and I am so happy to know that the skin gets the protection it needs.