Strengths:All of the sunscreens contain UVA/UVB mineral-based protection; packaged to protect their light- and air-sensitive ingredients; a few excellent formulas for dry to very dry and sensitive skin.
Weaknesses: Many of their sunscreens contain a potent blend of sensitizing fragrance oils (negating their “non-irritating” claim); marketing language resorts to unsubstantiated scare tactics to promote their products (i.e., claiming that other brands use toxic ingredients); makes misleading “natural” claims because their products absolutely do include synthetic ingredients.
Created by aesthetician Tricia Trimble, Suntegrity is a relatively small collection of products focused on mineral (zinc oxide)–based sunscreen formulas. According to Trimble, she developed the Suntegrity line out of the desire to create sunscreens that appeal to those who traditionally don’t like to wear sun protection, due either to their aesthetics or other qualities. That’s certainly a commendable goal!
Unfortunately, these noble intentions are wrapped up in a lot of misinformation that’s intended to make these products seem safer than other options, which is not the case at all. For example, Suntegrity makes a great deal about their products being “natural,” which they are not; they contain many “unnatural” ingredients. They describe certain ingredients as being plant or mineral derived, but that doesn’t make them natural in the least.
For the record, we have nothing against any ingredient—natural or synthetic—as long as it is good for the skin. But, there isn’t anything special about a natural ingredient that makes it automatically better for the skin than a synthetic ingredient. In fact, many natural ingredients are extremely damaging to the skin, and some are phototoxic, which means they cause even more damage when they are applied and then the skin is exposed to the sun.
What we do take issue with are beauty brands that use scare tactics to sell the notion that their natural products are good and that everyone else’s products are bad because they contain synthetic ingredients. This is especially obnoxious when a company, like Suntegrity, makes products that do include synthetic ingredients. Their products are not “chemical-free” as they state; in fact, everything on a cosmetic ingredient label is technically a chemical, including water.
We’re always so disappointed to see such needless twisting of the facts; brands should just rely on the quality of their products to speak for themselves, but we know that’s not going to happen any time soon.
When we evaluate the potential benefit or potential harm of any ingredient, we always consider what the peer-reviewed, published research demonstrates as fact—whether an ingredient is natural or not isn’t relevant in determining whether it’s helpful for the skin.
It’s ironic, and so frustrating, that many of Suntegrity’s formulas would have been excellent options had they not included citrus oils, which have strong potential to irritate skin and cause phototoxic reactions. Suntegrity doesn’t address the fact that the ingredients they demonize, like mineral oil and sulfates, have plenty of research demonstrating their safety and effectiveness in cosmetics formulas, while the fragrant ingredients Suntegrity includes in their products (such as grapefruit, tangerine, and orange oils) are well documented for their potential to provoke sensitizing and allergenic reactions (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com).
If you look past the Suntegrity products that contain citrus oils (and you should), you will find that they have a few truly excellent mineral-based sunscreens for dry to very dry skin (an area of the market that’s largely lacking; it’s tough to find a truly emollient mineral sunscreen). If Suntegrity had left the fragrance out of all of their formulas, they would have a lineup of BEST-rated sunscreens; we might even overlook their scare tactic marketing approach.
It’s worth noting that Suntegrity’s body sunscreens are nearly exact duplicates of their facial formulas, but their body formulas cost only about half as much for twice the amount of product. Suntegrity appears to use a few rather, what we call, “slippery” techniques to make this fact less obvious, and we point these out in the relevant reviews. All told, we wish we were as impressed with this brand’s approach to sunscreen marketing as we were with some of their products. In a perfect world, such misinformation wouldn’t be perpetuated, and we could focus on what’s most important for skin health: Protecting it from sun damage.
For more information about Suntegrity, call 310-986-2310 or visit www.suntegrityskincare.com