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Advertorial by SCGH
When you head out for a hike or down to the beach this summer, are you protecting your skin—and the environment? SCGH recently sat down with Goddess Garden founder and CEO Nova Covington to get the scoop on safe, natural, organic sunscreen.
Inspired by her daughter, Paige, who was allergic to synthetic ingredients, Nova explains her approach to safe skincare products and why natural sunscreen is a no-brainer.
SCGH: What ingredients should people look out for in conventional products, and why?
Nova: Oxybenzone and octinoxate. Most conventional sunscreens use one or both as active ingredients in their formulas.
Both of these chemicals receive high toxicity ratings from third party agencies like the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Research has found that these ingredients are considered hormone disruptors and have been shown to break down coral reefs.
Some natural sunscreen brands even use these ingredients, but not us! I would never feel comfortable applying these ingredients on my daughters’ skin.
Why is natural sunscreen a better option even if people don’t have allergic reactions to conventional products?
First off, natural sunscreens are effective immediately because the minerals sit on top of the skin. Conventional sunscreens are absorbed into your skin and take up to 20 minutes to start working.
Since our active ingredients, zinc and titanium, block both UVA and UVB rays, our sunscreens are protective and naturally anti-aging. UVB rays cause sunburns, and UVA rays cause wrinkles. Minerals protect you from both, naturally!
For conventional sunscreens to offer broad spectrum protection, their formulations need to include a concoction of different chemicals. Some chemicals such as avobenzone even start breaking down after about 90 minutes of exposure from the sun. We don’t have this problem with minerals.
Some of your other ingredients include aloe vera, lavender—and even live radish!
Really, Goddess Garden was founded on the premise that there is almost always a better or equally effective alternative to synthetic ingredients. We have found that with all of our sunscreens, which are safer than and just as effective as the conventional sunscreens.
How does this speak to the uniqueness and nature of your products?
The story of Goddess Garden really starts with family. Since care is taken to make our products safe for my family, people can be assured that all of our products are safe for their family!
What makes baby/kids/face sunscreens different?
All of our sunscreens use zinc and titanium as their active ingredients, except our baby sunscreen. Zinc is the single active ingredient in our baby sunscreen because it’s the only FDA approved ingredient for babies.
Our kids sunscreen is slightly less scented than our everyday products. Our facial sunscreen has some extra anti-aging ingredients that help even out your complexion and allow you to apply makeup over the sunscreen.
Does your sunscreen expire?
All of our sunscreens carry a two-year expiration date after the time of manufacture. However, both zinc and titanium are stable and don’t break down over time, so many people still use their sunscreen from five years ago. This is very different than conventional sunscreens that contain chemicals that break down over time.
Our business approach is centered on the education and use of natural minerals and natural ingredients in sunscreens. We want people to understand why natural sunscreens are safer and more effective than conventional sunscreens.
You also continue to launch new products—like the first organic, chemical-free sunscreen in a continuous spray.
We really stress “ease of use” in our products and new product development. We are especially excited about our new continuous sprays that are the first natural sunscreens sprays ever available!
Currently, 50% of the US sunscreen market uses continuous sprays, but spray sunscreens have some health concerns. Consequently, we worked hard to find a safe, natural alternative, and we have a great product to show for it!
How does Goddess Green give back to its community and environment?
For the past few years, we have donated a percentage of our profits to the Nature Conservancy’s Adopt a Coral Reef program. We also frequently donate product to family and child friendly organizations like EFAA, and we just donated some sunscreen to help the firefighters fighting all the wildfires here in Colorado. We also donate a lot of sunscreen to schools and events like Relay for Life.
What do you do at home to maintain your commitment to sustainability?
We recycle a lot, and my daughters’ wardrobes are almost entirely from secondhand stores. My 10 year old daughter, Paige, has developed a unique sense of style based around used clothes stores like Savers!
And, of course, we buy all organic, and we hugely support the organic industry in all of our purchases!
What’s next for Goddess Garden?
Next year, we are expanding our line of sunscreens with products that are even better for swimming and sports (made especially for all of our outdoorsy fans). But I’ll stop at that before I say any more… It’s going to be another great year for Goddess Garden in 2014!
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