Nanoparticles have been getting the attention of the media lately since they can be confused with microbeads.
It all comes down to whether the particles are coated in plastic or not. Green Cricket always avoids ingredients with known health risks so we refuse to use coated nanoparticles in our SPF 30 Lip Balm.
To get a SPF rating and Natural Product certification from Health Canada, companies like Green Cricket have to include one of 3 approved ingredients as the sun-blocking agent. Health Canada has conducted tests to determine what minimum concentration of the sun-blocking agent is required for a range of SPF levels.
One characteristic of the natural ingredients (such as Zinc Oxide, which Green Cricket uses) is that greater concentrations will cause a noticeable whitening of the sunscreen product.
Artificial chemical sunscreens can avoid this but they rely on artificial chemicals, which may create greater health risks.
To reduce the whitening effect but still get enough blockage to have our products certified as 30 SPF, Green Cricket has selected a Zinc Oxide ingredient that is very unique. Milled into very small pieces, these small pieces provide a much greater surface area so that it is very effective in blocking dangerous UVB rays but avoids the bright white look. The Zinc Oxide flakes used by Green Cricket are clustered together so that they are too big to be absorbed through the skin. Unlike microbeads, Green Cricket ingredients are not coated with plastic so they do not contribute to pollution or accumulation of chemicals by aquatic marine animals and plants. Green Cricket has never used microbeads in our products.
Considerable research from around the world has concluded that the zinc oxide ingredients used by Green Cricket offer no risk to users or to other members of our ecosystem.