June 22, 2011

True Naturals Sunscreen Review

I read recently that True Naturals boasts that their sunscreen goes on 100% clear. Given that it has 17.5% zinc oxide and it is non-nanoparticle, I wasn't sure that was even possible! So I decided to give it a try myself.

First, I contacted them to find out what their secret was. As it turns out, they rationalized that the reason mineral based sunscreens probably go on with white residue is because the mineral particles clump together. They realized that if they could prevent clumping, they could eliminate ghostly white faces. So they dissolve their zinc in a coconut oil solution, and the resulting "liquid zinc" goes on clear.

When I popped open my bottle, my first impression was that the sunscreen smelled like orange wafers.

I squirted a pea sized amount of True Naturals onto my hand and rubbed in. And, surprise, surprise, it was clear before I even finished spreading it over the back of my hand! It was immediately obvious that this was the only non-nanoparticle sunscreen that I had encountered that applied this sheer.

1) Before, 2) Partially rubbed in, 3) After. No white!

This sunscreen matches the criteria I describe in my Ultimate Sunscreen Guide. It uses non-nano zinc oxide without retinyl palmitate, parabens, phenoxyethanol and synthetic fragrance. Also, it contains all kinds of skin food: aloe, cupuacu butter, shea butter, jojoba oil and cocoa butter. Cupuacu butter is thought to have some UV protective qualities as well as provide hydration for your skin. And the EWG has listed True Naturals sunscreen as one of the top beach and sport sunscreens. To top it all off, it's an SPF 40!

Some of you may be concerned about the presence of citrus oils in this sunscreen because of their reputed phototoxicity. However, True Naturals addresses that concern by including these essential oils at levels below the limits recommended by the International Fragrance Associate (IFRA). They use 0.4%, which is below the recommended levels of 0.5%.

My only qualm with this sunscreen is that it is a tiny bit sticky. After application, my skin seems to remain tacky for awhile. I might be getting a little zealous with my sunscreen application and applying too much though... Although I have found that the stickiness means that it is utterly waterproof. I went swimming and the water just beaded right off of me like I was an amphibian.

I have to say, it's quite refreshing to be able to manhandle my black backpack and black purses without worrying about getting white streaks on everything. Seriously guys, this sunscreen is utterly clear. Count me impressed.

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Ingredients in True Naturals Active Suncreen SPF 40:
Active ingredients: Non-nano, uncoated zinc oxide (17.5%). Inactive ingredients: aloe barbadensis leaf Juice*, beeswax*, caprylic/capric triglyceride, cocoa butter *, coconut oil *, cupuacu butter*, deionized water, glycerin*, jojoba oil *, lemon oil*, olive oil *, orange oil*, p-anisic acid, shea butter*. *Certified organic ingredients


  1. This is very interesting! I'm always on the lookout for more EWG-approved sunscreens. Shame it's a bit sticky. Do you find it drying by the end of the day? And how does it go under makeup? :)

  2. I know, me too! I love finding new ones! This one is definitely not drying at the end of the day. If anything it's still a little moist. If you have dry-ish skin it might work extra well for you. I haven't worn it under makeup yet (I wear makeup so infrequently). But I'll try that soon and let you know how it works!

    Have you tried Trukid sunscreen? It applies without any white residue, and doesn't leave you sticky, chalky or greasy. If you haven't tried it, it's worth checking out.

  3. I tested True Naturals out under makeup the other day and it worked like a charm! It actually seemed to behave like a primer would, providing a extremely smooth surface over which to apply foundation. It was great! No pilling or problems whatsoever.