Don't Forget the Sunscreen
Your last, and most important step in the morning: Apply sunscreen. Summer or winter, indoors or outside, the single most important thing you can do for the health and appearance of your skin is to apply sunscreen. Full disclosure: Hammer Soaps will not be carrying a sunscreen (well, at launch and for the foreseeable future). Why, you may ask, when this is the most important step would I pass, on making something amazing? It all comes down to the FDA and regulations. Sunscreens are regulated as a DRUG by the FDA, not as a cosmetic. I won't bore you with the FDA regulations on cosmetics vs. drugs including their packaging and labeling requirements*, but just know that in order for me to make a sunscreen for you, I would have to follow all the "drug manufacturing" rules to do it. I am just not ready for that kind of commitment.
I have a zinc oxide cream that could work very well as a sunscreen with SPF 30. Heck, I could even add some mineral pigments and turn it into a rather lovely light coverage foundation. I could sell it as a foundation even if I don't market it as a sunscreen. But the instant I allude to zinc oxide as a "featured ingredient", and that zinc oxide is known as a natural sunscreen, even though this is JUST a foundation, would be enough to bring the FDA down on me. See, it's not enough to just label something flat out as sunscreen to the FDA, no, they also as concerned with the wording of the package labeling. It's just as important to the FDA how the consumer will perceive the use of the product.
So, to clear it up, I've gotta be careful in my product labeling and marketing so as to not make any drug claims. Remember, my products are only "intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body... for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance"[FD&C Act, sec. 201(i)], and they are NOT "articles intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease" or "articles (other than food) intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or other animals" [FD&C Act, sec. 201(g)(1)]. See, that clears things right up, doesn't it?
Personally, I wilt like spinach in heat and sunlight. I'm always trying to find shade or find some way to keep the sun off of me. But, since I can't be a basement dwelling hermit completely, I eventually do emerge and have to face daylight. Even if I am indoors all day sitting at my computer, I wear some SPF. I mean, I am pretty close to a window. Either way, I am pale and prefer to avoid direct sunlight at all costs.
Since I am not selling a sunscreen, all I can do is offer you some guidelines so that you can choose a sunscreen that's right for you. If you have any doubt about the safety of various chemicals used in the manufacture of sunscreens, I recommend you seek out a natural, broad spectrum (that's super important) sunscreen that contains physical sun blockers such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Make sure you take into consideration if you need waterproof protection and how much sun exposure you will have. Reapply as needed! But, don't forget the sunscreen.
*If you are interested in more about cosmetic packaging and labeling made clear and concise, "Soap and Cosmetic Labeling Requirements" by Marie Gale is my go to guide. She also has a fantastic book on "Good Manufacturing Practices" that has been something of a procedure bible for me. And always, you can go straight to the source and check out the FDA website directly.
Julie Hammer is the owner of Hammer Soaps Bath & Body.