In my last entry about sunscreen, I discussed about nanaparticles and one of the products mentioned was Badger SPF30 Sunscreen. A spokesperson from Badger clarified on the article and because I know a number of you use this sunscreen, I thought it’s a good idea to highlight some parts of the comments in a separate post. This may ease some of your doubts about the sunscreen ingredients too.
The Badger SPF 30 mentioned in the Consumer Reports article does contain some nanoparticles. The Consumer Reports article implied that the companies called were somehow trying to deceive their customers. I don’t think that was the case.
A customer service representative at Badger did say, in answer to the question, “Does your SPF product contain nanoparticles?” “No. Our sunscreen uses ‘Micronized Zinc’ that stays on the surface of the skin and is not absorbed.” They should have answered, “Yes. Our sunscreen uses ‘Micronized Zinc’ that stays on the surface of the skin and is not absorbed.” – that was our mistake, and certainly not an attempt to deceive.
“Micronized zinc” means zinc particles measured in microns (another unit of measurement). At the time of the call, our web site clearly described Badger’s use of nano-sized particles of zinc oxide in our sunscreen, and our reasons for doing so. Our customer service rep did their best to answer the question correctly. It was not “intent to deceive”.
For the record, the US Government defines a nanoparticle as a solid particle between 1 and 100nm (nanometers, or billionths of a meter). Badger uses micronized zinc oxide with average and median particle sizes both greater than 100nm. These particles range in size from about 70nm to 300nm, so yes there are some nanoparticles among them. The presence of the larger particles is what accounts for the slightly whitening effect of our sunscreen (as you pointed out).
Badger SPF 30 is currently rated by the Environmental Working Group as One of the Top 5 Safest Sunscreens in the World, out of the 951 national and international brands studied—including all of the top commercial brands. This study included both nanoparticle zinc and titanium based sunscreens, as well as chemical based sun-screening formulas. The Badger SPF products use nano-sized particles of zinc in their formulas because we feel they are the safest option available. We have no reason to hide this.
You can read the entire comment in my original entry Do your sunscreen contain nanoparticles? In addition, you may wish to note that the mineral-based sunscreens sold in powder or spray forms should be avoided as the potential for nanoparticle inhalation with powder or spray forms of mineral sunscreens is more of a concern.
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