Frequently Asked Questions
and their answers!
Why is People4Ocean Sun Care unique?
People4Ocean is so much more than a sun care. It is the world-first sun system co-created with marine biologists and an Australian Spa Skincare Brand, LaGaia Unedited. That is what makes P4O so skin-loving but also truely reef-safe. It is also the only sun care brand that contributes all sales towards re-planting the world’s coral reefs. Read more about your contribution to our reefs on our mission page.
Where are P4O products made?
All our products and packaging are made, tested and filled in Australia*. Supporting local businesses and sustainable manufacturing practices is important to us.
* To the exception of our zinc paper tube, for which there is currently no suppliers for in Australia.
Why is zinc oxide the active ingredient in P4O sunscreens?
We use zinc oxide as our only active ingredient, and here is why:
• It is the only reef-safe UV filter available.
• Zinc oxide provides excellent broad-spectrum protection and has several advantages over synthetic actives. Zinc particles sit on top of your skin and act as a reflective barrier (exactly like a mirror) to block both UVAs & UVBs from penetrating your skin and causing damage and ageing.
• It is the only FDA* and TGA** approved broad-spectrum sun protection ingredient, and unlike any other active ingredient, its concentration in a product has no limitation. It is also the EWG (Environmental Working Group) nº1 ingredient for sun protection.
• Zinc oxide is also effective for healing the skin. It can be used to heal wounds, reduce the tenderness associated with sunburns and soften chapped skin. It is sometimes used as an acne treatment - it is believed to reduce the appearance of blemishes and reduce skin irritation and inflammation, reducing the number and severity of acne breakouts.
* Food & Drug Administration (US).
** Therapeutic Goods Administration (AU).
Do P4O sunscreens contain nanoparticles?
P4O sunscreens contain cosmetic grade, Australian TGA-approved non-nano zinc oxide. However, claiming the absence of nanoparticles in our products would be misleading, as all zinc powders used by cosmetic manufacturers contain up to 5% of nano-size particles. Furthermore, according to TGA regulations, claiming our zinc is ’non-nano’ can be misleading in terms on consumers health as it assumes nano is dangerous, which has been refuted by the latest scientific research.
According to the EWG (Environmental Working Group), a large number of studies have produced no evidence that zinc oxide nanoparticles can cross the skin in significant amounts (SCCS 2012). A real-world study tested the penetration of zinc oxide particles of 19 and 110 nanometers on human volunteers who applied sunscreens twice daily for five days (Gulson 2010). Researchers found that less than 0.01 percent of either form of zinc entered the bloodstream. Furthermore, a balance of small and large particule size must be present in a sunscreen to provide both UVA and UVB protection.
Finally, the implications of nanoparticle pollution for the environment have not been sufficiently assessed (Börm 2006) and should be carefully studied and weighed against the environmental impact of other UV blockers. Particularly, at the levels potentially present in our sunscreens, we consider the potential impact on water ways minimum particularly as all our sunscreen are 3-hour water-resistant, further reducing the wash-off into our water ways.
Even with the best ingredients available, we believe the best way to reduce sunscreen impacts on ecosystems is to minimise the wash-off in the environment. For this reason, all our products are 3-hour water resistant (wax) and we always recommend to apply 20 minutes before sun exposure and before entering the ocean, in order to allow for the ingredients to soak in and the product to perform in the most effective way. This way we limit the leach off foreign compounds into aquatic ecosystems. Finally, all our labels recommend wearing protective clothing to complement sunscreen coverage.
What does broad-spectrum mean?
A broad-spectrum sunscreen protects your skin from both UVA (responsible for skin ageing) and UVB (responsible for the burn) rays. P4O sunscreen exclusively uses zinc oxide - a mineral UV filter that provides natural broad-spectrum protection by reflecting both UVA and UVB away from the skin.
How does SPF50 differ from SPF30?
No sunscreen actually blocks 100% of UV rays. SPF50 sunscreens offer similar levels of UVB protection as SPF30 sunscreens but offer extra UVA protection. SPF50 sunscreens allow 1/50th of ambient UV radiation through but filter out 98% of UVB radiation. SPF30 sunscreens admit 1/30th of ambient UV radiation, but block out 96.7% UVB.
Are P4O products safe for children and pets?
Yes, our products are designed for all skins, even the most sensitive. At P4O, we believe all skins deserve the best sun protection and that natural sunscreen should not be exclusive to children. We use certified natural and certified organic ingredients and exclude all nasties such as Parabens, fragrances, synthetics or dyes. The aroma of our sunscreen comes from a signature essential oil profile. We use a blend of shea butter and Tasmanian beeswax or candelilla wax for water resistance, so the cream doesn't run or sting the eyes. Unlike chemical sunscreens (Oxybenzone, Octocrylene, Avobenzone, etc.), P4O sunscreen and mineral-base sunscreens in general are safe to use on children 6 months and over. However, we do recommend keeping new born (<6 months old) out of the sun or to consult your doctor.
Are P4O products safe to use while pregnant or nursing?
Yes, our sunscreen is completely safe to use if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. This is not the case for most sunscreens out there. A study from the University of Zurich detected four chemical sunscreen filters along with Oxybenzone in women’s breast milk, which suggests that the developing foetus and newborns may be exposed to these substances (Schlumpf 2008, Schlumpf 2010). She detected at least one sunscreen chemical in 85 percent of milk samples.
P4O sunscreens exclusively use zinc oxide as the active ingredient. Zinc oxide is the only UV filter that stays on top of the skin and won't enter the bloodstream. Sunscreens made with the mineral zinc oxide generally score well in EWG’s ratings, because they provide strong sun protection with few health concerns and don’t break down in the sun.
Are P4O products vegan-friendly?
Our SPF50+ vegan sunscreen and After Sun 3-in-1 Solution are vegan-friendly as they don’t contain any animal derivative. The only ingredient not considered vegan in other P4O sunscreens is our sustainably harvested Tasmanian beeswax (used for water-resistance), which is a bee by-product. It is removed from the hive in a way that neither the bees nor the hive is harmed. While some people consider this to be an animal derivative, others don't. It's entirely up to you!
What does reef-safe mean?
Many sunscreens contain ingredients that wash off our skin (or down the drain) to harm coral reefs and accumulate in fish, even at very small concentrations. Using a "reef safe sunscreen" means that no ingredients in that product will cause detrimental effects to marine life. Remember that certain brands falsely claim to be "reef-safe" but actually contain harmful chemicals, so always check the label and prefer mineral-based sunscreens. Say no to sunscreens that contain any of following toxic ingredients: Oxybenzone, Benzophenones, Avobenzone, Octinoxate, Octocrylene or Parabens.
What is the shelf life of P4O products?
The shelf-life of P4O products is 3 years (36 months). You can find the expiry date at the very top of your sunscreen tube, on the back side of the seal. After opening, we recommend using your sunscreen within 12 months.
Why is your SPF30 sunscreen yellow?
Most people know carrots are good for the eyes, but carrot seed oil (Daucus carota sativa) is also beneficial for the skin. It is a strong antioxidant that is high in vitamins A, C, E and K, making it ideal for mature or sun-damaged skin. We add it to our sunscreen as it is a great emollient and highly nourishing.
Why P4O sunscreen tubes require shaking and kneading?
Our sunscreen formulas are 100% natural, and free from synthetics and fillers. One of the biggest challenges with natural sunscreen is the natural separation of the oils from the cream and the solidification of the zinc. We specifically designed our tubes and fill to address this problem, allowing shaking and kneading to be much easier and keep a fully blended product. In the event the product is transferred from extreme heat to cold, we suggest kneading product to address any oil separation that may occur.
How much sunscreen should I apply?
Sunscreen should be the last line of defence after clothing, a hat, shade and sunglasses. Research shows that sunscreens are effective when applied frequently and liberally. The Australian Government Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) recommends at least a teaspoon for each limb, front and back of the body and half a teaspoon for the face, neck and ears every two hours. You should apply one cupped adult hand (30 to 40 mL) of sunscreen for an adult body. When using an aerosol can, remember that some of the sunscreen may not land on your skin. Zinc oxide can be a health hazard when inhaled. This is why we don't offer aerosol-type or spray sunscreens.
Are P4O sunscreens water-resistant?
Yes, our sunscreens are approved by the Australian TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) for up to 3-hour water resistance when used in accordance with direction required for effective sun protection. We do recommend re-applying every 2 hours or more after swimming, sweating or towelling.
How often should I apply sunscreen?
Apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before sun exposure (the best is to apply it at home before going out in the sun), and reapply every 2 hours or more after swimming, sweating and towel drying.
Do P4O sunscreens leave skin white?
Don't worry, our sunscreens won't leave your skin pasty white. You may notice that characteristic white zinc colour at first, but it rapidly fades. Simply apply your sunscreen evenly, then rub mindfully to cover the desired area. This way, the cream will leave a reflective invisible screen, leaving your skin fully protected. A little goes a long way! Our sunscreens are enriched with nourishing ingredients such as shea butter, grape seed, carrot seed, coconut oil and lavender oil for a glowing, balanced and hydrated skin.
Are P4O products cruelty-free?
Yes, all our products are 100% cruelty-free. We don't test any of our products on animals.
Do P4O products contain fragrance or alcohol?
No, we don’t use any fragrances, perfumes or alcohol in our products, as they are skin-irritants and common allergens.
How/When to use the Hydrate Recovery Gel?
Our Hydrate is extremely versatile and a great all-rounder, it can be used first thing in the morning before applying your SPF. It is also a great pre & post sun treatment as it is packed with antioxidants and locks-in moisture in your skin. It works miracles as a sun-soother mask to reduce inflammation and instantly remove heat from skin after exposure (keep a tube in your fridge for an even more cooling sensation). In case of sun burn, apply and re-apply generously for instant cooling and to plump skin and reduce peeling. This revitalising face & body gel can also be used as a non-oily daily moisturiser in tropical climates or summer heat. Our male customers particularly appreciate its soothing properties on razor burns and as a scalp mask.