Neal's Yard Remedies reveals the innovation behind its organic sun care

By Lucy Whitehouse contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Sun care, Ultraviolet, Sunscreen, Organic food

Interview: Neal's Yard Remedies organic sun care innovation
Neal's Yard Remedies on the innovation behind their range of organic-certified sun care products, and the challenges and opportunities such products can offer.

The UK-based company has invested in creating organic formulations that still meet consumers’ high expectations for appealing products when it comes to the sensory aspect - how it looks and feels.

It is gearing up to launch its new sun care range in April, which it describes as a “breakthrough for the organic industry​”, consisting of “lightweight, non-nano, non-whitening, hydrating SPF 30 products (with some tinted SPF products too)”​.

Tell us about your organic sun care range: where did it begin?

Our first “organic certified” sunscreen was the Wild Rose Moisturising SPF 30 (for face) back in 2011. This was quite groundbreaking at the time, considering no one had managed to achieve a Soil Association Organic Certification on a sunscreen before.

Since then, Neal’s Yard Remedies have been pioneering the development of organic certified sun care, launching a full range back in 2013.

We use mineral filters in our formulations such as Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide which are less irritant on the skin than traditional chemical UV filters, so our products are really great for sensitive skin or for those that may have allergies to chemical filters.

Chemical filters absorb UV light, like a sponge and convert it to a lower less dangerous energy whilst mineral filters reflect and scatter light away from the skin like a thousands of tiny mirrors on the skin. For that reason, they are safer, cause less irritation, for the skin than chemical filters and are more photostable (don’t breakdown in light), and offer a broad spectrum UVA & B protection.

What challenges did you face when formulating an organic sunscreen?

The biggest challenge in developing an Organic Certified Sunscreen is that the mineral filters used in these products have a high refractive index, which means that they can have a whitening effect when applied to the skin.

This can sometimes put consumers off applying the sunscreen, so techniques have been developed to overcome this, such as nanotechnology. Nanotechnology, however, is the subject of safety concerns around its penetrating deep into the skin and causing harm.

It has been a real challenge for NYR to develop a sunscreen that does not use nanotechnology, and that consumers can apply easily to the skin. Technology has advanced a lot in recent times and we are so excited about our new sun care range.

What are the main goals for your company when formulating in this way?

We strive to develop Organic products without compromise on texture. We keep on top of the regulations and work closely with our supplier base to use the latest state of the art, non-nano, mineral filters in our formulations.

What are the main consumer demands driving organic beauty to be such a dominant trend?

Health & wellness, ethical beauty, mindfulness & wellbeing, gastronomia, climate change are all driving organic beauty being such a dominant trend.

Health & wellness especially is one of the biggest trends driving the beauty industry today. We are all leading more stressful, hectic lifestyles and as a result, consumers are wanting to try and re-balance themselves and are becoming more health-conscious.

They are starting to really understand more about the benefits of organic food as well as using chemical free organic products on their skin and the benefit this has on our environment.

Can you tell us about consumer response to your products so far?

Consumers who have sensitive skin or allergies have always been a fan of our organic certified sun care products. There is definitely a growing awareness of the benefits of chemical free. We hope our launch next year will be able to open the door even wider to consumers looking to try organic certified sun care with our new range and amazing textures.

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