Natural sunscreens spotted & an update on MVO

Today’s entry is to share my thoughts on two natural sunscreens I recently spotted in our local market. In addition, I am also providing a quick update after using the new Marie Veronique Organics Moisturizing Face Screen + samples received last week.

Smooth E Physical White Babyface UV Expert
I was browsing the shelves at Guardian when I saw this Smooth E Physical White Babyface UV Expert, and the words non chemical sunscreen struck me. As some of you may already know, I’m obsessed with physical sunblocks or mineral sunscreens as others call them, and so I picked this up to check. Lo and behold, the ingredients looked good to me until I saw the words Nano-TiO2 and ZnO.

Controversy on nanoscale titantium dioxide
Well, there are a lot of discussions related to sunscreens that contain nanoscale titanium dioxide – some claim that they present a real danger and pose potential penetration concerns as well as possible DNA damage while others found no evidence of skin penetration to pose viable toxicity concerns. I’m not keen to go into details of this here as I’ve covered this in the past – you can read the resource at EWG for more information. Update: Just read that zinc oxide nanoparticles – which appear in many translucent sunscreens – can be absorbed by the body and remain there for extended periods of time (source: The Australian).

I used to be a lot less concern but these days, I generally avoid using sunscreens containing nano particles for the simple reason that I have lots more choices. So despite the fact that the Smooth E Physical White BabyFace UV Expert only cost S$15.90, I had to give it a miss. If only they had used just micronized TiO2 and Zno because it is a really affordable natural sunscreen!

Customizable natural sunscreen from SPF15 to SPF50
But the good news is, I found another range of natural sunscreens – from SPF15 to SPF50 – all containing zinc oxide only at The Skin Pharmacy located at City Square Mall. I can’t remember the prices precisely but they were no more than S$60 I think. And because they didn’t allow me to take any pictures, so I can only rely on my ailing memory to remember that most of the ingredients appear natural. I didn’t like the texture too much though because it felt a little sticky and dry when I tried it on my hand but I was told that they pharmacy has the flexibility of customizing the ingredients according to consumer’s preferences. So definitely some good news for those in the market for a natural sunscreen and want a texture to fit their skin type.

Marie Veronique Organics Moisturizing Face Screen +
Finally, a quick update on the new Marie Veronique Organics Moisturizing Face Screen + – formerly known as Creme de Soleil. I was happy that that the samples sent to me are similar in texture and smell as the old formulation even though they’ve replaced acai oil with yangu oil plus they’ve removed the pearl powder and mica.  There is still a powdery texture to the tinted versions but as I’ve explained in my previous entry, this doesn’t bother me as the finishing is smooth once applied on my skin. So yes, overall, I’m very happy with the new formulation and would continue using it.  As reviewed, the non-tinted version can leave a slight whitecast so the light tinted version is good and works for me as a light makeup base too.  And those with darker complexion would be happy to know that they can choose the medium tinted version.

Marie Veronique Organics Moisturizing Face Screen Plus SPF 30 retails at US$45 and you can get it shipped to Singapore with for an additional US$12.


  1. Stephanie says:

    So many choices to be had! I read your previous posts also on the Dragon store, and brands like Nature’s Gate and Zia are always in local health/organic markets when I lived in California.

    When I was shopping in those stores, I guess my main concern at the time was finding a really moisturizing lotion but I never found one. And not all the products were without SLS. I shopped at LUSH a couple weeks ago and found that their shampoo bars have SLS. And other times I’m shopping at Trader Joes for shampoo and I notice they have parabens in them. So then, are SLS and parabens so bad if I see them at health foods/natural organic stores? What are your thoughts?

  2. sesame says:

    The thing about organic products is that they need to contain a certain % of organic ingredients…so it can be 75% and the rest are chemical based. Yet, the companies can promote the product as organic and some consumers do not know.

    SLS is a no no for me cos it’s really drying when used long term. As for parabens, it’s more of a health concern for most but personally, I’m able to accept this ingredient if it’s listed behind on the ingredient list.

    Many of the stores just carry products consigned to them so they may not scrutinize the ingredients. Hence, you see some of these “harmful” ingredients. So consumers need to know how to read some of the ingredients (which can be tough) and then decide base on their threshold. For me, I try to use natural/organic products on my face as far as possible but other than that, I can accept some of the chemical ingredients for hair or body products. Anyway, I’ve also written before that natural/organic ingredients aren’t always great for everyone. Some have developed allergies because of these pure ingredients.

    Lush…tricky…nice natural brand but the ingredients aren’t always so. Yet, I love some of their stuff!

  3. estranghenya says:

    i’ve seen The Skin Pharmacy before but I thought it was just one of those ‘The Body Shop’ types of stores. The customization part is very interesting for me, i’ll probably give it a try once I’ve used up my Avene Mineral sunscreen coz it’s currently working pretty well for me now. I’m concerned though, are their SA’s pushy? Because that’ll really turn me off.

  4. Jyoan says:

    I saw the Smooth-E physical sunscreen as well. But yeah, nano TiO2 is really scary… =( especially ever since I heard on the news that workers in China factory manufacturing nano products die after some time because it’s affecting their lungs. I understand that this could be because of bad safety practices in China, but nonetheless, it’s still a health risk.

  5. sesame says:

    No, they’re pretty interesting. Definitely not TBS type. Unfortunately, they seem aloof and didn’t allow me to take pictures or I would have done a shop feature.

    I was serviced by the lady boss if I’m not wrong and she was okay…not pushy. I didn’t get anything.

    Your Avene Mineral sunscreen probably contains more active sunscreen protection ingredients if I remember correctly so you might want to note that this natural sunscreen is only using zinc oxide…

  6. sesame says:

    Yeah…a bit scary. At one point, it was the mineral foundation that was causing similar concerns.

  7. Amarise says:

    That’s great the MVO sunscreen is working for you. I’ve been using the dark tint of the former Creme De Jour for a two weeks now. It’s awesome like you’ve said.

    I took note that the Creme de Jour can be drying, so I made sure I had the right moisturizer on and it made a huge difference in how it spreads and looks on the face. So thanks for that.

    So far I’m enjoying this sunscreen. Eventually I would like to try the
    DeVita Professional Ultra Solar 50 in the summer. Their original Solar Body Block only protects up to 14% of micronized zinc oxide, not nano though.

    Still, MVO is a nice find with for the quality of ingredients and lack of white cast for my darker skin color.

  8. Natalja says:

    That’s very interesting info about the customization of the products for a particular customer. However I think that there might be something wrong with this information. Labs usually manufacture skin care products for the companies in batches of 50 gallons+, (and would not bother with anything less) and it would be very cost prohibitive to do that in a volume of 2-5oz for each customer. Particularly, going back and forth a few times, till you actually happy with the texture, smell and feel. The only way I see it happening, if they manufacture products in the kitchen on the back of the store. Quality of that would be questionable. Interesting though…

  9. sesame says:

    The information is accurate as reflected in the company’s website. They provide customization and theirs is not the typical mom and pop shop plus both the founders are chemists so I would trust their formulation.

  10. sesame says:

    I’m glad you like Creme De Jour. Personally, I found it drying even when I use it over oil or moisturizer. Creme de Soleil on the other hand works perfectly for me so I’m really pleased.

    Yes, I’ve learnt about Devita too and some of my readers did recommend it. I’ll like to try it if I get a chance.

  11. redheadblondie says:

    I have tried the Daily Solar Protection moisturizer 30 by Devita. It really glides in and there is absolutely no whitecast. However, I found it to be very drying and at the end of the day, my cheeks were so dry that they hurt. It also stings the eyes which is probably the area where I think sunblock is most important.

    From the clarity of the product, I am a little doubtful that they use non-Nano zinc oxide.

    There is a paper by the European Commission that states that “Microfine ZnO has been demonstrated to be photoclastogenic, possibly photo-aneugenic, and a photo-DNA damaging agent in mammalian cells cultured in vitro.”

    I would stick to the Non-Nano forms of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to be on the safe side

  12. sesame says:

    I just updated the entry with an article I read on Australian today that nano zinc does get absorbed into our blood stream. Therefore, I’m with you too. I even prefer non-micronized as far as possible.

    For the Devita sunscreen, I suspect the zinc oxide and perhaps a combination of other ingredients may have caused the dryess for you.

  13. redheadblondie says:

    I think that you are right. My skin seems to get dried out by a high % of zinc oxide. Devita was only 14% but still too drying for me (I have combination skin)

    I noted that the HSA restricts the % of zinc oxide in sunscreen to be 25%. Not sure why that is so.

    In any case, I’m happy with the Sweetsation Therapy Sunbrella. My skin is doing very well with it. Clearer, well moisturized. I have slight pigmentation that also seems to be getting less obvious

  14. chenyze says:

    i heard of that husband-and-wife shop at City Square Mall! did you manage to try their other products?

  15. sesame says:

    That’s good. If you’re happy with the Sweetsation one, keep using it. It’s quite hard to find one that works well and suits our skin type.

  16. sesame says:

    I sort of tried some of their testers. They have products classified into 3 categories – chemical, somewhat natural and natural. Quite interesting. They even have shampoos and body products.

  17. Amarise says:

    I had heard of people with the Devita Day Moisturizer having issues with dryness. They recommended the Solar Body Block for more moisture. Though I find with any sunscreen I always need a moisturizer underneath as the zinc oxide is very drying.

    I was researching if Devita uses nano particles since most people who tried it were doubtful that it could work that well. You can contact the company and they will tell you that they only use micronized zinc oxide. Still, if that’s a concern, MVO worked well.

    I’m more limited in my choices, as I wanted them to be vegan friendly. Hence the MVO Creme de Jour & Devita. Glad you found the Sweetsation one to work for you. It’s a good thing with these various natural sunscreens, it makes it easier for people to find a better fit for their skin type & preferences.

  18. sesame says:

    I think more companies are inclined to using micronized but less using nano particles since there’s so much bad press. Personally I don’t mind a little whitecast. More important is that it shouldn’t be too greasy.

  19. redheadblondie says:

    I think that the smaller the particles, the greater the risk whatever they want to call it, micronized or nano.

    I’m not actually worried about being vegan but just don’t like the thought of using Emu oil in the MVO on my skin. Personal preference really. Emus are big smelly birds ?

    The sweetsation one is good for lazy people like me because I don’t need to use a separate moisturizer and its not oily and not drying.

    Interesting. Will check out the City Square Mall shop. Hard to get affordable natural shampoos and body products

  20. sesame says:

    MV has a vegan one without emu oil. It used to be called Creme de Jour but now it’s just Moisturizing Face Screen.

  21. redheadblondie says:

    Thanks! Did think of trying Creme De Jour but read reviews that it is quite thick to spread and needs a separate moisturizer otherwise it is too drying. Whereas the Sweetsation one is ok to use on its own.

    Costwise the Sweetsation one is also less and more within my budget especially since I don’t need to use a separate moisturizer with it. Very happy with it so I think I’ll continue using that but thanks for the advice ?

  22. estranghenya says:

    I’ve always passed by Skin Pharmacy and thought it was just one of those ‘body shop’ kind of stores. I wonder if they can customize an eye sunscreen for me… If not, do you have any suggestions?

  23. estranghenya says:

    kindly ignore my previous post. i was too excited re-reading this entry (im starting to get your sunscreen ‘addiction’) so reading it again after a few days made me think I haven’t read it before!

    Anyway, I’m gonna get MVO Moisturizing Face Screen +… I just read that avene mineral sunblock contains micronized TiO2. Probably not a good idea to continue using it.

  24. sesame says:

    It’s good to find something you like and stick to it as HG for sunscreens are quite difficult to come by.

  25. claire_cemolina says:

    I heard a professor from the University of Melbourne talk about absorbing natural mineral sunscreens. He said that a study was conducted on various people using the creams and found that it was in their blood streams and no long term side affects are known. He said that to be on the safe side its better to no use it for prolonged periods or everyday. I use an umbrella and a HUGE hat when i go outside.

  26. claire_cemolina says:

    sorry, i forgot to add that the study was conducted on people using the nanoscale titanium and another additive which i forgot!!


  27. claire_cemolina says:

    I use the invisible zinc these days. The creme de jour was so nice but is too expensive… now that i’m a student living away from home!

    Oh here’s the link if you wanted to see it, it works as a foundation and and has light moisture

  28. sesame says:

    It’s the ones containing nano particles. If you use non-micronized ones, you’re very safe.

  29. sesame says:

    Ah…looks interesting. It’s micronized so that explains the invisible texture.

  30. claire_cemolina says:

    sesame is micronized bad for the skin?!

    thank you

  31. sesame says:

    It is said not to be…Badger uses that in their sunscreen. Anyway, there is also nothing conclusive about nano but I read that it’s best to avoid titanium dioxide in nano form.

  32. claire_cemolina says:

    oh! have you heard of elta natural sunscreen? i was wondering if it would be good on sensitive skin for children

  33. Casey says:

    just as I thought that I found my HG sunscreen in Dior SPF50+++… now I read about this nano zinc oxide…

    Why is finding a good sunscreen so tough!!!

  34. sesame says:

    Dior contains nano zinc oxide?

  35. Casey says:

    It is not confirmed… but high chances cuz the zinc oxide level is high (around 19%) and there is little white cast. That’s what I read online…

  36. sesame says:

    Could be micronized. You can write in to ask them. Micronized is okay.

  37. Nur says:

    I have recently discovered organic skincare called Annmarie Gianni from the US .They have recently launched a natural sunscreen that is both moisturizing and protecting.
    Check them out. Cheers !

  38. Sesame Chew says:

    Oh yes, I’ve read about it and very keen to give it a try!

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