Between addressing questions from moms heading to the pool with their kids, offering up recommendations to colleagues setting out for summer vacation, or proselytizing unassuming friends pulling out their bottles of Banana Boat on a sunny-day hike, I find myself addressing the benefits of mineral sunscreen perhaps more than any other personal care category. And I continue to believe that mineral sun care is one of the most promising segments thanks to increased awareness about the dangers of chemicals such as oxybenzone (recently linked to endometriosis) and a scientific spotlight on the importance of daily sunscreen (and not just in the summer heat).
The fact that sales of the overall sun care category—the vast majority of which is comprised of chemical-based products—are down, according to Mintel, could even translate to greater opportunity for products featuring minerals zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. As manufacturers continue fine-tuning their formulations to deliver top-notch products, here are three mineral sun care trends to pay attention to.
Most people who have dabbled in mineral sun care agree that the application has been less than exemplary. The reason is that zinc oxide particles create a white, gloppy texture that needless to say can be a deterant for kids or adults. Companies are now focusing on improving these mineral ingredients to achieve a more desirable consistency. One such innovation has come about through the use of an ingredient called ZinClear, which is not non-sized but still manages to achieve a better consistency. Companies such as Goddess Garden are also innovating by bringing deliveries such as sheer aerosols, traditionally only available in the chemical market, to the natural channel.
Duds that protect from sunlight have been all the rage in international markets, particularly Japan where women often wear gloves and umbrellas in the sun, but are just now taking off in the U.S. When recently researching such domestic brands, I found a unique company that seems tailor-made for the natural market. tasc Performance has created a technology that transforms sustainable bamboo into a lightweight, dye-free textile that blocks nearly 100 percent of the sun’s harmful rays. The idea of UV-protective clothing already makes sense for natural-minded consumers; using sustainable textile innovations takes it to the next level.
Increasingly, natural beauty companies are looking for customized solutions that combine gentle, natural skin care with UV-protective ingredients. The rise of the natural BB creams (all-in-one moisturizers, concealers, foundations and sunscreens), which have been huge in conventional cosmetics markets over recent years, shows a focus on bringing hot conventional products to the natural space. The Environmental Working Group’s recent report on the category is helping to raise awareness about plant- and mineral-based options that will likely help growth this product category. Other companies are simply focusing on sun care formulations made for sensitive skin with nourishing ingredients that applied lightweight.