Burt’s Bees is a brand of affordable natural personal care products that I loved until last year when the local distributor shared with me some bits of information about the line. The information, along with news that the company was acquired by the bleach producing company Clorox, created some unease for me and sort of killed my interest in their products. I still use some of their lip balms and body lotion but I stopped buying anything new from them.
But today, I gave them a look-over again, after learning that they’ve introduced the new Burt’s Bees Chemical-Free Sunscreen SPF 30, described as a 100% natural, non-whitening formula that provides broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection using titanium dioxide.
I was curious as to how the new Burt’s Bees Chemical-Free Sunscreen SPF30 measures up against Badger SPF30 Sunblock, currently rated the safest and most effective sunscreen by the Environmental Working Group since I view both of the brands in the same market positioning.
Zinc Oxide Vs Titanium Oxide
Without testing the new Burt’s Bees sunscreen, I can only compare based on their active ingredients and it looks like Badger SPF30 Sunblock provides better broad spectrum UVA and UVB sunscreen because the sunscreen contains 20.5% zinc oxide while Burt’s Bees Chemical-Free Sunscreen SPF30 contains 8.58% titanium dioxide.
While both are physical sunscreens (also referred to as mineral sunscreens) which means they use titanium dixoide and or zinc oxide as active ingredients to form a film on top of the skin that reflects or scatters UV light and are effective immediately upon application, the mineral zinc oxide is a more superior sunscreen ingredient compared to titanium dioxide to provide the best broad spectrum UVA and UVB sunscreen (source). And by looking at the concentration, Badger SPF30 Sunscreen is definitely more protective against long-wave UVA. Just refer to the following rating compiled by Environmental Protection Agency.
However, even though zinc oxide is less white compared to titanium dioxide at a given concentration, Badger SPF30 Sunblock does not do better in that regards because of the high concentration with 20.5% zinc oxide. I have also tested the product and it left an unsightly white cast upon application.
Well, I’m currently use the Mexoryl-based sunscreens but I really prefer physical sunscreens over chemical sunscreens because much research have revealed the latter to be free radical generators containing gender-bending estrogenic chemicals. But would I buy the new Burt’s Bees SPF30 Sunscreen just because it’s chemical-free?
I think the answer is obvious.
So what would you buy since both products cost about the same?