FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: How is Amavara's technology different than all other sunscreens?
A: Amavara’s EarthWell Zinc Technology is truly a revolutionary breakthrough in non-nano mineral zinc-oxide sunscreens. Due to its proprietary nature, we have to be careful with how we describe our capabilities. Here are the things we achieved that allowed us to attain our patent status:
- We are the first Zinc-Oxide only sunscreen to achieve SPF50 efficacy without any booster ingredients
- We are the first non-nano zinc-oxide sunscreen that goes on transparent without being absorbed into your skin/bloodstream
- Amavara is reef-safe and is free of harsh, harmful chemicals for humans and the environment.
- Our formulas provide weightless, sheer, non-whitening coverage with dermatologist grade ingredients and aesthetics, providing all-day complex solar and environmental protection.
- Our ingredients are safe, sustainable, and ethically resourced, minimizing our environmental footprint.
- Amavara is proudly made in the USA
Q: I've tried Zinc Oxide sunscreens before. They go on so thick and leave a pasty white residue on my skin. Can I expect the same from yours?
A: We are happy to say that you will not experience the thick pasty white residue with Amavara. Each of our sunscreens are specially formulated to blend transparently into your skin, leaving a silky matte finish that actually improves skin's appearance.
Q: Why is it important to use Non-Nano vs. Nano Zinc Oxide?
A: Nano mineral particulates are extremely small particles which are at risk of being absorbed into your skin and blood stream. Non-nano particulates are larger particles which are too large to enter our pores. More specifically, non-nano particulates means that when they are measured, they are >= 100 nM. Unfortunately, this is NOT a regulated claim. Fortunately for Amavara, our chemist and co-founder can substantiate that our Zinc Oxide particulates average a measurement above the 100nM qualification, while still providing the aesthetics of sunscreens that use non-nano particulates.
Q: What is the difference between Mineral and Chemical sunscreen and why should I care?
A: Mineral Sunscreens, also known as Physical sunscreens can be described as follows:
- They sit on top of the skin and provide a physical barrier to block or scatter UV radiation before it can penetrate the skin
- They work immediately upon application to protect skin from harmful sun rays.
- They are safe for the environment and ocean ecosystems.
- They will not irritate the skin and are known to be safe for sensitive skin types.
- They will not clog pores because they do not penetrate deeply into the skin.
- They can limit rosacea and redness by deflecting heat from the skin.
Chemical Sunscreens can be described as follows:
- They only become effective for sun protection 20 minutes after application.
- They absorb into the skin and subsequently absorb UV rays, so they actually trap the sun's harmful rays and hold them against your skin. They are also absorbed into living tissues and the bloodstream, and can be measured in blood and even breast milk samples.
- Oxybenzone, Octinoxate and other chemicals present in many sunscreens are known estrogen mimickers and endocrine disruptors, and are absorbed through the skin and into the body. According to the National Institutes of Health, endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife. While the human health implications of chemical sunscreens are quite concerning, the problems don’t end there. Unfortunately, these chemicals end up in the rivers, lakes and oceans we play in. Animals and aquatic wildlife exposed to endocrine disruptors are also susceptible to ill effects similar to those faced by humans.
- They contaminate all waterways and destroy the world's coral reefs by causing coral bleaching. Even if people using chemical sunscreens don't come in contact with a lake, river, or ocean, the chemicals still end up in our waterways when they are rinsed off in the shower and flow downstream.
Because of their harmful effects to people and the environment, they have been banned in Hawaii, Florida, and several countries around the world, with many others planning to follow suit. The research that supported the ban only focused on the two most harmful chemicals: Oxybenzone and Octinoxate. The truth is, there are 8 harmful chemical UV absorbers used widely throughout the sunscreen industry. They include:
- PABA (Aminobenzoic Acid)
Other items to look for that are red flags in sunscreen ingredient lists are parabens (harmful preservatives that keep products stable and free from fungus, but ALSO mimic hormones and disrupt your endocrine system), Pthalates (used as solvents in fragrances which can lead to skin irritations), Triclosan (a suspected carcinogen used to kill germs), and anything that forms microbeads (microscopic plastics that can be easily ingested by marine life).
Q: How is “Reef Safe” different from “Reef Friendly”?
A: Reef Safe classification can only be achieved if a sunscreen uses ONLY non-nano Zinc Oxide as its active ingredient. Sunscreens that are Reef Friendly still contain ingredients such as Titanium Dioxide and certain chemical ingredients that have potential to harm our reefs. Although Titanium Dioxide acts as a mineral barrier for sun protection, it can become unstable in water, losing its protective coating and becoming toxic to coral reefs and aquatic life. Many sunscreens that use only Zinc still include chemical ingredients (other than Oxybenzone and Octinoxate) that are also shown to be harmful to our waterways.
Q: Is your sunscreen water resistant?
A: AMAVARA has achieved the highest FDA rating of 80 minutes Water and Sweat Resistance. Although our sunscreen has been tested by extreme athletes in the toughest conditions and has been shown to maintain effective protection for several hours, the FDA recommends that sunscreen be reapplied every 2 hours or sooner.
Q: I have sensitive skin. How does your sunscreen work on sensitive skin?
A1: Amavara is non-comedogenic. This means it does not clog pores and solves the issue of causing breakouts.
A2: In today’s beauty world, a new standard, Clean Beauty, has risen to the top as the most important classification for discerning the best beauty products to consumers. AMAVARA exceeds these standards not only because it is safe for humans and the environment because of our clean, sustainable, ethically resourced ingredients, but also because of what is missing:
- Free of harsh and harmful and chemicals that are damaging to our skin and the environment.
- Free of Parabens, Formaldehyde-donors, and Phenoxyethanol, which are questionable preservatives used in many products.
- Free of PEGs and PPGs (Polyethylene, Polypropylene).
- Free of Cyclic Silicone (D4 Cyclotetrasiloxane, D5 Cyclopentasioxane, and D6 Cyclohexasioxane).
- Free of Dyes and Synthetic Colorants.
- Free of Phthalates, Sulphates etc.
- Free of Fragrance.
- Free of Gluten & Aloe.
Q: What is your EWG score?
A: AMAVARA products were reviewed and meet EWG standards (Environmental Working Group), achieving a prestigious overall score of 2 (green).
Q: “Why does it matter if it’s reef safe? I live in Michigan.”
A: It DOES matter. The reef study proved to the world that the chemicals used in sunscreen damage living organisms… unfortunately, many people drew the conclusion from the study that it only matters in areas with reef populations.
- The true breakthrough of the study was that the chemicals were proven to disrupt your endocrine system, which includes ALL of the glands in your body that produce hormones. This affects marine life and human life as well as the reefs, where it caused coral bleaching and sterilization.
- It also matters because chemical sunscreens ultimately are washed down the drain and into our water systems. This means that chemical sunscreens washed off in Michigan will make it into the waste water system, which ultimately ends in either lakes and rivers, and ultimately the ocean. No one knows where to begin to measure this impact…even in Hawaii. We are all connected no matter where we live, so we need protect all environments which require sunscreen.
Q: Does Amavara have the greasy consistency & texture that most sunscreens do?
A: By using a high concentration of Zinc Oxide as the only active sunscreen ingredient in our EarthWell® Zinc Technology and unique formulation techniques, AMAVARA sunscreens apply smoothly with a dry, matte finish which actually improves your grip for sport activities like golf, tennis, and sailing.
Q: Is Amavara Vegan? Cruelty Free?
A: Amavara products are produced and tested in compliance with the GMP standards of the FDA and EWG, ensuring that our brand offers one of the most safe and socially responsible products available on the market. Our Natural or Natural Derived Ingredients originate from plants or minerals. We have never and will never test our products on animals.
Q: I noticed that your ingredients list includes silicones and have heard that silicones are not safe, is that true?
A: This is a great question, there is a lot of confusion about silicones and misunderstanding that they are all harmful. While we do have silicones in our ingredients, they are the safe “green” variety that are non-cyclic, which has been verified by the evaluation of our formula by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). We have been dedicated from the beginning to providing the most effective sunscreen possible while also making sure that it is not only safe for the environment but safe for skin of all types and ages.
Q: What is Post Consumer Recycled Plastic (PCR) and why have you chosen to use it for Amavara's packaging?
A: Post Consumer Recycled (PCR) plastic is derived from an end product, such as a clear water bottle, that has completed its life-cycle as a consumer item and would have otherwise been disposed of as a solid waste product. PCR plastics include plastics that have been collected in commercial and residential recycling programs. Essentially, PCR is taking existing plastics both recycled and virgin, and upcycling (repurposing) them into our sunscreen tubes. This process uses 50-60% less energy than creating new or virgin plastic. Amavara’s commitment is to explore every technological advancement in packaging solutions and work with our network and team of advisors to implement appropriate changes as they become available.
Q: I've heard that Bioplastics/Plant-based plastics are better than Post Consumer Recycled Plastic for packaging. Is that true?
A: We have done our due diligence on this subject and have found that they simply are not better than PCR, and the cost to make them affects large ecosystems in a very direct way:
- The energy and methods used to grow the plants used to support the increased demand for so-called bioplastics has wreaked havoc in many ecosytems. Florida has felt these affects more than any other state.
- Many of the waterways had to be diverted to support the crops, and many Floridians are pushing for those wetlands to be returned to public use before it’s too late.
- "Big Sugar" continues to lobby to maintain their properties (FL produces 50% of the sugar in domestic US)
- The Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) fills the marshlands with pollutants. When Lake Okeechobee fills with each rain, water is bled off to prevent flooding and carries those pollutants throughout the wetlands and, eventually, to the ocean.
- The increased use of fertilizers and the burning of crops for rotation purposes has led to high levels of toxicity in both the water and air, resulting in red tides and algae blooms.
Q: Why don't you use metal tins, bamboo, wood, or cardboard for your packaging?
A: We have several reasons for choosing Post Consumer Recycled Plastic over these alternatives:
- Products that use completely biodegradeable materials or metal or wood packaging can only contain anhydrous products (like our facestick) OR non-otc (over the counter) products.
- Bamboo is not sustainable for us to use for similar reasons that we choose not to use bioplastics/plant-based plastics for our packaging.
- All of the companies who use cardboard or biodegradable packaging still have to store their liquids in plastic...what you DON'T SEE is the tiny thin plastic sleeves behind the cardboard that cannot be recycled and are much more likely to end up in an animal's belly.
Q: Tell Me About Your Brand Ambassadors
A: Our Brand Ambassadors include the North Shore Lifeguard Association (NSLA), Bethany Hamilton (inspirational world-class surfer), Kimi Werner (award winning diver, spearfisher & conservationist), and Archie Kalepa (head of Polynesian Voyaging Society) to name a few. What they all have in common is that they are in the salt water and sun for many hours every day, and have a deep commitment to protecting themselves, their families, and our environment. They have also been approached by literally every sunscreen company to be their official sunscreen, and once they tried AMAVARA their choice was clear. They have tested all of our products in the most extreme conditions and each time AMAVARA has passed the test, protecting them for far longer than the 80 minute water and sweat resistance rating. All of our Ambassadors endorse AMAVARA products because they truly work. Their values are also aligned with our commitment to protecting the environment by using 100% naturally sourced non-nano zinc oxide as our only active ingredient, and using post-consumer recycled plastic in order to minimize our environmental footprint.
Q: What is the full summary of your products' benefits?
- Transparent Mineral Sunscreen for Daily Protection
- 5% Non-Nano Zinc Oxide – Only Active Ingredient
- SPF 50 Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB Protection
- Reef Safe / Aquatic Life Safe / Environmentally Safe
- 80 Minutes Water and Sweat Resistant
- Can be applied while sweaty or wet
- Luxurious Transparent Matte Finish for all Skin Types and Colors
- Silky Smooth Application
- Dry Grip Upon Application (Great for Sports including Golf, Tennis, Paddling & Sailing)
- Moisturizing, Restoring, Nutritious Skin Protectant
- Antioxidant & Vitamin Rich
- Anti-AgingEveryday Protection from Environmental Pollutants & Extreme Conditions (Extreme Hot & Cold, Wind Burn & Infrared Light).
- Dermatologist & Pediatrician Recommended
- Safe for Sensitive Skin, Acne Prone Skin, & Children 6 Months and Older
- Non-Eye Irritating – Won’t Migrate into or Sting Eyes
- Hypoallergenic / Non-Comedogenic
- Vegan / Cruelty Free
- Free of: Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Titanium Dioxide, Parabens, PEG/PPG, Phthalates, Sulphates, Cyclic Silicones, Fragrance, Artificial Colors, Aloe, & Gluten.
- Packaging made from Post-Consumer Recycled Plastic.