Have you heard of Sunspheres? If you haven't then you sure as swell haven't seen them either.
Sunspheres are microscopic plastic particles that act as SPF boosters. The hollow spheres raise the UV protection over the whole UVA/UVB spectrum and work equally well with organic and inorganic sunscreen actives. Sunsphere polymers are also compatible with a broad range of cosmetic ingredients, including emollients and skin conditioners. To put their size in perspective, they are smaller than microbeads. In a 100ml tube of sunscreen there can be between 10 and 100 trillion particles. To really fathom the quantity, we think it's good to see the zeros. So, that's between 10,000,000,000,000 and 100,000,000,000,000 plastic particles in one tube of sunscreen.
The ability of Sunspheres to boost the efficacy of UVA/UVB filters of formulations allows the sunscreen manufacturers to use significantly less of the more expensive UV filters to deliver the same level of SPF. To put it simply Sunspheres are cheap plastic fillers.
This is concerning, as the very smallest particles are potentially the most dangerous because they can be absorbed into the food chain so easily. The very smallest particles can even be absorbed by animal tissue.
In December 2015, a law was passed in the USA prohibiting the use of plastic microbeads in cosmetics and toiletries. The Microbead Free Waters Act (MFWA) however, is limited to rinse-off products such as scrubs and shampoo and does not cover leave-on products such as make-up and sunscreen. Microplastics like Sunspheres are used in leave-one products and are often far smaller, because they have functions other than to exfoliate.
So, to fight this and give consumers the power to not use products that contain microplastics the Plastic Soup Foundation have created ZERO BRANDS. This ZERO certifies that the product contains no plastic particles of any type in its formula.
So feel safe in knowing SunButter Sunscreen is a ZERO certified brand and make sure to spread the word to boycott plastics in cosmetics and sunscreens.
Oceans of thanks,
Sash & Tom