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When we developed our two sunscreens, we only wanted the best. Sunscreens are notoriously hard to formulate (and have to pass FDA testing), but we challenged ourselves to create luxurious-feeling sunscreens that checked ALL the boxes. They had to be all-natural, use non-nano, mineral SPF ingredients, and be reef-friendly. (We had a lot of demands.) But while it took time to create both the SPF 30 Pure Mineral Face & Body Sunscreen and SPF 30 Pure Mineral Face Sunscreen, we couldn’t be more proud of the results. 

A lot of people still don’t totally understand what all those buzzwords mean, so we’re here to break it down for you. And if you ever have a question about our sunscreens—or any question about SPF—drop us a line. We love to educate and inform our customers. 

Buzzword: Mineral sunscreen

There are two kinds of sunscreens: chemical sunscreens that use active ingredients like avobenzone or octocrylene among others, that absorb sun rays. Meanwhile, physical sunscreens use the active ingredients zinc oxide or titanium dioxide that bounce the sun’s rays off your skin to protect it. 

An announcement from the FDA at the end of last year only recognizes two sunscreen ingredients—zinc oxide and titanium dioxide—as generally safe and effective. We believe that zinc oxide is the best defense against UVA and UVB rays, which is why both of our sunscreen formulas use this active ingredient exclusively. 

Buzzword: Non-nano

You know those white noses sported by lifeguards? Yeah, that’s pure zinc oxide. Zinc oxide has a history of being a little difficult—it’s large particle size gives a white-ish appearance when applied to skin, so chemists developed nano-sized zinc particles, basically shrinking down the size of the zinc, which makes it easier to formulate and reduces the opaque, white appearance on the skin. 

That all sounds lovely, but there are concerns that these itty bitty zinc particles can be absorbed into skin and lungs. The National Institute of Health published a study saying that nano-particles were found in the top layer of the skin and have also been sporadically observed in much deeper layers of the skin. As a company that truly cares about skin health and general wellbeing, we passed on nano zinc. The cosmetic benefits didn’t outweigh the potential health cost in our eyes. 

Buzzword: Reef-safe

A number of common sunscreen ingredients have been shown to be harmful to coral reefs and ocean animals. 

An article published on states that “a growing body of evidence indicates that those [ingredients] found in chemical sunscreens—specifically oxybenzone, among others—might be dangerous to wildlife.” And the National Park Service recommended to Consumer Reports that non-nano mineral sunscreens appear to be safer for coral reefs than chemical ones. 

We hope that helps clear up some of the unknowns when you’re buying sunscreen for yourself or your family. Mambino has always sought to be better for people and better for the planet and we aren’t willing to compromise, especially when it comes to sunscreen. Let us know what you think about our sunscreen formulas—get in touch with us via email or DM us on Instagram or Facebook. 

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