Now that you’re an expert in decoding sunscreen labels, we thought we’d give you a handy guide to Badger’s sunscreen claims and certifications. For the most part, these graphics are pretty self-explanatory. But what you might not know is that every claim we make is backed up by either third-party testing or a company-wide certification. So you can trust what we say, without just taking our word for it.
There are other claims (non-comedogenic and pediatrician tested) that appear on select Badger sunscreens. But since they only apply to a few sunscreens, we’ll leave those for another time. You can be sure that those claims are backed by testing as well.
Non-nano specifically refers to the size of the zinc oxide particles within the sunscreen, and means that they are larger than “nanoparticles.” Nanoparticles are one to 100 billionths of a meter – i.e. so teeny tiny that you need a really powerful microscope to see them.
The particles of zinc oxide in Badger sunscreens are, on average, bigger than a nanometer. However, they are still too small to be seen individually with the human eye. So how do we know that they’re bigger than a nanometer if they’re too tiny to see?
Well that’s where it gets a little tricky because in addition to being really small, ground-up particles are not the same shape and size. Some are rounder, some more oblong (see the image below). So when we’re talking about particle size, we’re actually talking about a spectrum. In order to get an accurate spectrum, we conducted four separate tests: scanning electron micrographs (taking pictures with a high-powered microscope), sedimentation analysis (calculating particle size by how the particles settle in a solution), surface area calculations (provided by the manufacturer of our zinc oxide), and light scatter analysis (lasers!).
You can learn more about zinc oxide and nanoparticles in sunscreen here.
Stating “Broad Spectrum” on the front of every sunscreen tube means that Badger adheres to the FDA labeling requirements. It also indicates that our sunscreens are tested for, and provide, adequate UVA coverage. Did you know that our sunscreens were providing UVA protection before the FDA began regulating it? We even created our own little symbol to let people know that Badger sunscreens provided full protection.
Biodegradable means that the stuff inside the sunscreen will break down in the natural environment within a short amount of time, so it will not leave a negative or lasting impact.
Biodegradability is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which means companies need to test their product in order to claim it. Unfortunately, it’s very loosely regulated, meaning they’re not actually checking as to whether companies who claim biodegradable have done the testing. Total bummer, because this speaks directly to the health and well-being of our oceans.
Luckily you can trust your ol’ friend Badger. Not only have we done the testing, but we’ve also shared the results on our website.
4. Leaping Bunny
Leaping Bunny is on each and every product we make, and it means “no animal testing.”
However, it doesn’t just apply to Badger – it applies to all of our suppliers, too. So you can rest easy knowing that the certification is all encompassing – and our little furry friends can rest easy, too!
5. Certified Natural
I don’t know about you, but I see the phrase “natural” on everything these days! Since “natural” is all the rage, it seems like everyone has it on their label.
Regulated by the Natural Products Association (NPA), this natural seal lets you know that the product has at least 95% natural ingredients. The NPA defines natural as a renewable resource found in nature, and does not allow for chemical sunscreen ingredients like oxybenzone. It also doesn’t allow parabens, petroleum, phthalates, or any other stuff you wouldn’t consider natural.
We put this seal on our sunscreens so that you know our sunscreens are truly natural, as opposed to “natural.”
You can read more about the Natural Seal here.
6. NSF Certified to Contain Organic Ingredients
As you probably know, almost everything Badger makes is USDA Certified Organic. However it is a food-grade standard, which means stuff like zinc oxide isn’t allowed in a certified organic product. This is because the USDA doesn’t want you to eat stuff containing zinc oxide.
Luckily, the NSF put together a standard that mirrors the strict USDA standard, but makes allowances for the stuff you’d find in cosmetics. This way you know that our sunscreens contain a good amount of organic ingredients—just like we promise! In most cases, it’s around 98% (the exact percentage is printed on the front of the label, right next to the NSF logo).
Got a question about any of these sunscreen certifications? Leave it in the comments below!