Badger Natural Sunscreen FAQ

We've compiled this list of commonly asked questions about our natural mineral sunscreens. If you don't find your answer here please email us at: custserv@badgerbalm.com and we will reply as soon as possible.

See Badger SUNSCREENS                                       Other Sunscreen INFORMATION


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Using Badger Sunscreens
Sunscreen Safety & Other Concerns
Label & Ingredient Questions
General Sunscreen Questions

Using Badger Sunscreens

Click on the questions below to reveal the answer.

How do I apply Badger's natural sunscreens?

The FDA tests sunscreen's SPF using 2 milligrams of sunscreen per square centimeter (2mg/cm2) of skin. This is about 1oz for a full adult body (about a shot glass full) or about 1/3 of a teaspoon to cover your face. It's nearly impossible to actually measure out and evenly apply sunscreen according to these guidelines, so we suggest applying a visibly whitening coat of sunscreen to all exposed skin and rubbing it in to reduce the whitening effect. To ensure that you have achieved full and even coverage, let this coat dry/sink in for 15-30 minutes and then reapply. Think of it as a base coat and finish coat.

To maintain maximum effectiveness, sunscreen should be reapplied at least every 2 hours and directly after extended swimming or sweating. For sensitive skin, apply a small amount of the product to test before full use. Keep out of eyes and keep off broken or unhealthy skin. Adult supervision recommended when using this product on children. If separation in product occurs, knead tube to remix product before use.

What is the expiration date for your natural and organic sunscreens?

Badger sunscreens have a shelf life of two to three years from the date they are manufactured (depending on the product). That is the expiration date that is printed on the crimp (top edge) of the tubes. The product should remain good for use for one year after it is opened, or until the expiration date has been reached. We cannot guarantee that an expired product will adequately protect you from the sun and you should replace the tube. Note: Extreme temperature fluctuations may cause the natural ingredients in these products to expire early. We recommend that you store Badger sunscreen in temperatures below 90 degrees F.

Can I apply makeup over the sunscreen?

Yes, though for this purpose we recommend our Daily Sunscreen Lotions, and not the Active or Sport Creams. Our Daily Sunscreen Lotions provide excellent broad spectrum protection in a non comedogenic lotion base with a matte finish making it ideal to wear under makeup.

Can I wear lotion under the sunscreen?

Yes, as long as the lotion is completely absorbed before applying the sunscreen. If sunscreen is diluted, the SPF may decrease significantly and will not offer as much protection. However, you may find that you do not need a lotion if wearing Badger Sunscreen! Each tube and bottle of sunscreen contains powerful natural moisturizers and antioxidants that nourish and protect your skin.

Can I mix the sunscreen with my own face cream/makeup tint?

No. It is not a good idea to mix the sunscreen with another cream or makeup. This would dilute the sunscreen reducing its SPF and compromising your sun protection.

Can I use Badger's other (non-Baby formula) sunscreens safely on my Baby?

All of our sunscreens are totally safe and effective for the whole family. The only difference with our Baby Sunscreens is that we added Organic Roman Chamomile and Organic Calendula for their calming and soothing effects. We recommend that you check with your pediatrician if using our Anti Bug Sunscreen on infants as it contains added essential oils for maximum bug repellent efficacy. The FDA recommends that you consult your pediatrician or doctor when using any sunscreens on infants under 6 months of age.

How much Sunscreen do I need to apply to my baby's skin?

Since babies come in all shapes and sizes, the best way to ensure sufficient sun protection is to apply a generous amount of sunscreen to your little one, then rub it in. Remember to reapply at least every 2 hours, even if baby is in the shade!

If my sunscreen has some clumping, will it still work?

Yes. Temperature variations during shipping occasionally cause clumping in Badger sunscreens and this does not affect the sunscreen's safety or level of protection. We tested our sunscreens with and without clumping to ensure protection. In most cases, the clumping is caused by the crystallization of Shea and Cocoa Butter. This is similar to what might happen in a chocolate bar if it is exposed to extreme temperature variations. When you apply the sunscreen to your skin you will feel them melt right in.

Note: If the little clumps are really hard and gritty, they may be the Zinc Oxide particles clumping together, and this could potentially affect the level of protection you are receiving. If this is the case, please check the expiration date to ensure that your product is still good. If your product has not expired, but exhibits the hard and gritty clumping, please contact our customer service team for a full refund or to exchange products.

New Formulas! We have removed the Shea and Cocoa Butter from most of our new 2013 sunscreen creams to avoid further clumping. Learn more about our 2013 sunscreen offerings.

Why did a bunch of oil come out of the sunscreen when I squeezed the tube?

Since the ingredients in our sunscreens are natural and organic, and we don't add any synthetic ingredients, they sometimes become partially separated. Simply put the cap back on, knead the tube with your hands and give it a good shake, then try it again. Do not apply straight oil to your skin before sun exposure. If you are unable to re-mix the Zinc Oxide back into the formula, it's probably time for a new tube of sunscreen. Please call our customer service team if your product is fully separated but has not expired.

New Formulas!
We reformulated all of our sunscreen creams to minimize any instability, clumping, or separation. Learn more about our new 2013 sunscreen offerings.

Does Badger Sunscreen stain? How can I get stains out?

If you let the product soak into the skin for a few minutes before letting fabric touch it directly, you can reduce the chance of stains. It is best to rub the product onto the skin well and let sit for a moment to allow the mineral particles to spread out evenly over the skin. The best way to remove a zinc oxide and oil stain is by applying watered down rubbing alcohol (50/50) directly to the stain then dabbing gently to lift the stain.

If you do not have alcohol on hand, stains resulting from natural oils may be removed that same way you would remove a salad dressing stain: apply a dish soap directly to the stain (because regular laundry detergent does not contain oil-removing properties), then launder as normal. It usually does the trick!

How do I wash Badger Sunscreen creams off of my skin?

The best way to remove Badger Sunscreen is to get a really good lather going with a natural soap, warm water, and a loofah (or some sponge or cloth) and gently rub off the sunscreen. Of course, Badger sunscreens contains rich moisturizing ingredients that absorb into the skin as you wear the product, so you may still feel these moisturizing effects even after washing. The all-natural, organic ingredients will continue to soothe and nourish even after you have removed the active sunscreen ingredient--You might not even need a post-shower moisturizer!


Sunscreen Safety & Other Concerns:

Click on the questions below to reveal the answer.

I got a sunburn while using a Badger sunscreen - what went wrong?

We pride ourselves in making the safest and most effective sunscreens available and we care deeply for you, our customer, and for your wellbeing. We hope that our answers below might help you to understand how you might have been sunburned while using our product.

Applying mineral sunscreens can be challenging, and incorrect application can result in less protection. Learn how best to apply Badger sunscreen. Here are the top reasons why you may have gotten burned while using a Badger Sunscreen.

• You did not apply enough. Mineral sunscreens can be thicker than chemical sunscreens and somewhat harder to apply. People often apply far too little of mineral sunscreen. Applying half the amount of sunscreen you should use provides only the square root of the SPF, so a half application of SPF 30 only gives you an SPF 5.5. See above question on “How do I use Badger Sunscreen” for the amount you should apply.

• Some of your sunscreen washed off in the water or by sweating, or it was rubbed off on clothes or a towel. Remember, mineral sunscreens like Badger sit on top of the skin and can be rubbed off. We, the FDA, and all sunscreen manufacturers recommend reapplication every two hours, and after swimming, sweating, or towel drying.

• Several medications make you more sensitive to the sun. Please read more about any medications you may be taking and please take any ‘avoid the sun’ warnings seriously.

• Your tube of sunscreen has compromised stability due to poor storage or is expired.

* Please contact our customer service team if you have any further concerns or questions.

Are any of Badger's sunscreen citrus essential oils phototoxic or photosensitizing?

No. In general, only essential oils with high levels of furanoids will be phototoxic or will cause photosensitivity. We intentionally chose to use Sweet Orange and Tangerine because they are among the few citrus essential oils that are not phototoxic. Just to be safe, we tested our kids sunscreen formula for phototoxicity (the results of which came back negative). See our test results.

Are Badger Sunscreens whitening?

You should expect some whitening with any mineral-based sunscreens, unless it contains nano- particles of some sort. However, most of the initial whitening effects from Badger sunscreen will disappear as you rub the product into your skin. Our daily sunscreen lotions have less Zinc Oxide in them so they are less whitening. In fact, Badger sunscreen lotions offer nearly invisible protection and are perfect for wearing under makeup.

New Formulas! We reformulated most of our original sunscreen creams to be less whitening and easier to apply. In addition, we also have a new offering of sunscreen lotions. Learn more about our new 2013 sunscreen offerings.

Where do Badger Sunscreens rate on the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database?

Why not see for yourself? You can even see how all of our other Badger products rate for safety. Learn more about our Sunscreen Reviews, Awards & Recommendations.

Will I still get vitamin D if I wear Badger Sunscreen?

There is no such thing as a complete sunblock, so some sun rays will reach your skin even when you are wearing our highest SPF sunscreens. Consult with your healthcare professional to assess your Vitamin D intake and needs.

I read about Zinc Oxide and free radical damage - what does Badger think about this?

We take the safety of our sunscreen very seriously so we're constantly reviewing emerging research regarding the subjects of zinc oxide, nano particles, and potential free-radical damage. No single sunscreen active ingredient has a better track record for safety than Zinc Oxide. Its strong overall safety record is why Badger has chosen non-nano Zinc Oxide as the active ingredient for our sunscreens. In addition, Badger sunscreens contain naturally occurring antioxidants, such as vitamin E, that help to neutralize free radical activity. More about our Zinc Oxide.

Will it hurt my child if he or she licks it off or ingests any of the sunscreen?

Though we use the safest most natural ingredients available, our sunscreen is not meant to be ingested. It should be fine if your child licks her or his hand after Badger Sunscreen has been applied, however, you should seek medical attention or contact a poison control center if your child has consumed a significant amount of sunscreen (and bring in the package so the practitioner can read the ingredients).

Why are Badger's sunscreens more expensive than conventional sunscreens?

The price of ingredients in our natural sunscreens is significantly higher than the price of ingredients in chemical sunscreens. For example, the main base ingredient in most conventional sunscreens is water; the main base ingredient in Badger's sunscreens is Organic Sunflower Oil or Organic Aloe Juice. Additionally, the Zinc Oxide used in all of our sunscreens is the single most expensive active ingredient used in sunscreens. Most common sunscreens are made entirely of relatively inexpensive synthetic chemicals, which is why they are so cheap. Truly natural sunscreens, like Badger's, are made of organic plant extracts that nourish your skin, and mineral Zinc Oxide that protects you from the sun. We believe that the natural ingredients we use make our products better, but they are also more expensive.

Do you sell Badger Sunscreens in larger containers?

We are working on creating larger tubes of our sunscreens. In the meantime, give us a call to ask about bulk order discounts if you require a large amount of sunscreen.

Why don't you make any higher SPF Sunscreens?

Sunscreens with really high SPFs, like SPF 50, SPF 75 or SPF 100, do not offer significantly greater protection than SPF 30 sunscreens. In addition, these very high SPF numbers can provide a false sense of security, encouraging people to spend more time in the sun, and sometimes causing people to get burned. SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays, SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays, and SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays - as the SPF numbers get larger, the margin of improvement gets smaller. Learn more at our SPF ratings page.

Why don't you make spray-on sunscreen?

Not all sunscreen sprays are created equal. We feel that there is a safety concern with the aerosol type spray sunscreens and the fine particle mist they create. This type of "spray sunscreen" is too easy to inhale into the lungs, especially for kids. This type of spray-on sunscreen also goes on invisibly making it difficult to determine how much has been applied and where, often resulting in inadequate protection. We do, however, believe that a sunscreen lotion in a non-aerosol spray pump could be safe and provide added ease of application.

Peek into the future: Stay tuned for Badger non-aerosol spray pump sunscreen lotions!


Label & Ingredient Questions

Click on the questions below to reveal the answer.

What are these claims on the sunscreen labels: 'Hypoallergenic', 'Pediatrician Tested', 'Non-Comedogenic'?

We had some of our sunscreens tested by independent laboratories to ensure that they are safe for babies, kids, and those with sensitive skin. Learn more about these tests and their results.

What are all these new ingredients in your new sunscreen lotions?

We understand that it is uncommon for Badger products to contain ingredients that are not immediately recognizable; however, a certain amount of chemistry is required to create a stable lotion base, which is a combination of oil and water. Each ingredient is 100% natural and meets our Badger Ingredient Standards for safety and purity. Additionally, nearly every ingredient is USDA Certified Organic. Most of these new-to-Badger ingredients are single components of ingredients we already use, naturally processed to achieve a desired effect (to thicken, emulsify, disperse, and preserve the product). We never use ingredients with any suspected health concerns. More about our Sunscreen Ingredients.

Do Badger sunscreens contain PABA?

No. We only use ingredients that are gentle and non-irritating. We would not use an ingredient such as PABA in our natural and organic sunscreens.

Do Badger sunscreens contain any oxybenzone, octisalate, octinoxate, avobenzone, or added Vitamin A?

No, Badger Sunscreens only use pharmaceutical-grade Zinc Oxide as the active ingredient and we do not add Vitamin A to our sunscreens.

Do Badger Sunscreens contain Certified Organic ingredients?

Yes, almost all of the ingredients in our sunscreens are USDA Certified Organic. The only exceptions are ingredients that are exempt from the National Organic Program (Zinc Oxide and Water), and ingredients that are not currently available with an organic certification. You can see the total percentage of organic content on the "Ingredients" tab on each sunscreen product page. More about our natural & organic sunscreen claims.

If you're using organic ingredients why isn't the USDA logo on the sunscreen?

The USDA standard states that a product must be made of 95-100% organic ingredients in order to bear the USDA Certified Organic seal. Since all of our sunscreens contain at least 10% of the mineral Zinc Oxide, the products cannot be certified organic by the National Organic Program. Even though we can't label it as organic, we still use USDA Certified Organic ingredients whenever possible (listed with an asterisk (*) in the ingredient panel), and we list the % organic ingredients on the front of the label, a method which is certified by QAI to the NSF/ANSI 305 Organic Standard (the most rigorous organic standard for personal care). More about our natural & organic sunscreen claims.

What is the Tocopherol (vitamin E) derived from? Is it Non-GMO?

As of June 2012, all of Badger's sunscreens are manufactured using Tocopherol (vitamin E) that is derived solely from Sunflower Oil. Prior to this we used Tocopherol derived from mixed sources, including corn, soy, and wheat. Yes, our Vitamin E is non-GMO, as are all of our other ingredients.

How to tell which Vitamin E you have: Badger sunscreens with vitamin E derived solely from Sunflower Oil will state this clearly on the ingredient label Example: Tocopherol (Sunflower Vitamin E). Mixed-source Tocopherol appears as Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E).

What is the size of the Zinc Oxide particles in your Sunscreen?

We hired an independent laboratory to conduct light scattering analysis on our sunscreens and they determined that our zinc oxide particles ranged from 120nm to 52µm (52,000nm). Note: we believe that the largest of these particles are probably agglomerates, or clumps of smaller particles. We also measured our particles via Scanning Electron Microscope imagery, Sedigraph, and surface Area analysis (from the manufacturer). By all conventional definitions we can confidently claim that our Zinc Oxide is non-nano. More about our zinc oxide and the nanoparticle controversy.

Why do Badger sunscreens have less Zinc Oxide than other brands?

We've developed advanced mixing methods to efficiently disperse our Zinc Oxide particles in our sunscreens. This minimizes particle agglomeration (clumping) resulting in a more even layer of zinc oxide on the skin and more efficient protection. Our new sunscreen lotions are less-viscous than our creams giving them a much better 'spreadability' and they contain a natural dispersing agent which further minimizes agglomeration and ensures even distribution on the skin.

Do Badger Sunscreens contain gluten?

No, Badger does not use any ingredients that contain gluten in our sunscreens*. However, Badger Sunscreens are filled in a facility that also processes wheat and gluten materials on the same machinery. This facility does careful cleanings between product transitions to greatly reduce the possibility of cross contamination, but we cannot guarantee those products gluten free.

*All sunscreens manufactured before June 2012 contain Tocopherol (vitamin E) partially derived from wheat germ oil. Sunscreens manufactured after June 2012 contain Vitamin E derived solely from Sunflower Seed Oil, and do not contain any gluten ingredients. Badger sunscreens with the vitamin E derived solely from Sunflower Oil will state this clearly on the ingredient label Example: Tocopherol (Sunflower Vitamin E). Mixed-source Tocopherol containing wheat germ oil appears as Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E).


General Sunscreen Questions

Click on the questions below to reveal the answer.

What is the difference between "physical" / "mineral" and "chemical" sunscreens?

Physical barrier sunscreens (like Badger's) form a film on top of the skin that reflects, absorbs, and scatters UV light usingthe minerals Zinc Oxide and/or Titanium Dioxide. We chose non-nano Zinc Oxide for our sunscreens because we feel it is the safest & most effective option - and it has been used on the skin for hundreds of years.

Unlike physical barrier sunscreens, chemical sunscreens are designed to soak into the skin, absorbing UV rays before they can do any damage. Most chemical ingredients protect against either UVA or UVB, but not for both, so many conventional sunscreens use several chemical active ingredients. Since these chemical sunscreens absorb into the skin they are more likely to cause irritation or allergies. Furthermore, they can get into your blood causing other potentially serious health effects.

What is an SPF rating anyway?

Sun Protection Factor, or SPF for short, is a measurement of how well a sunscreen will protect skin from UVB rays, the kind of radiation that causes sunburn and is thought to contribute to some types of skin cancer. SPF does not indicate how well a product will protect you from UVA rays. Read more about SPF.

Sunblock, sunscreen or sun screens; what's the difference?

Sunblock is an out of date term for skin products that "block" the sun's rays. The FDA no longer allows the use of the term 'sunblock'. Sunscreens are skin products that either reflect or absorb UVB and/or UVA rays and are FDA registered drugs in the USA. Sun Screens are physical objects like a screen, an umbrella, or clothing.

How do I perform a "skin patch test?"

Skin Patch Test: We mentioned this a few times. Some people are sensitive to essential oils. When in doubt, test. Apply a small amount of the product you are testing to the inside of your elbow or any other sensitive area. Best to cover it with a band-aid. Leave it overnight. In the morning check for signs of irritation or other skin sensitivity.


See Badger SUNSCREENS                                       Other Sunscreen INFORMATION