Cruelty-Free Makeup, Skincare & Bodycare 

Our First Open House!

Posted on May 27, 2019 by ERIN WILLIAMS | 6 comments

Kendall, myself & Josey

We finally got to have people come inside!

Folks, it has been a doozy of a few months - while it has been amazing to have Erin's Faces out of my house for the first time in 8 years, we've had to wait on a fire alarm installation before we could let "the public" in.  And so for the last four months I've been a Sonic waitress - meeting people at, and in, their cars with their purchases, color matching by rear view mirror and having discussions about one serum vs. another over a stick shift.  All to say, I was READY to have our Open House earlier this month and wanted to share some fun pics:

Wildly Florals, my favorite local florist, came and decorated with beautiful flowers and had bouquets avail as well.  We had noshies and it was fun to have Kendall and Josey talking with clients as well instead of just me - they know a bunch!

I'm going to be honest and say I had no idea if anyone would come.  We have an amazing following online but a small one locally.  So we all decided if no one showed up we'd just fill and label products and eat the cheese plate ourselves :).  Well, nothing got filled that day I'm grateful to say - we were packed all afternoon and had an amazing time with our peeps - old and new!

We're going to continue to focus primarily on our online business but are so happy to have shop hours

Fridays 11-3

at 90 Laurel Avenue in Union, NJ 

Come and see us - we'd love to have you! 

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The FDA Proposed New Sunscreen Regulations - What's the Story?

Posted on May 19, 2019 by ERIN WILLIAMS | 0 comments

In Feb of this year the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a proposed rule that would update regulatory requirements for most sunscreen products in the United States.  Sunscreens are considered drugs in the United States and have active ingredients.  These active ingredients are where the question lies for this proposal along with dosage forms, SPF factors (ex: SPF 15 vs SPF 30), broad spectrum requirements and labeling of products. 

Quick answer - what's proven safe right now, in this moment, are

  • cream/lotion/stick sunscreens
  • that contain Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide as the active ingredients
  • in an SPF 15 or higher (but please use SPF 30!)
  • that's broad spectrum 

Want a deeper dive?  Let's break it down:

Active Ingredients - this is in the forefront for most people as it's the easiest place, in my opinion, to start.  The FDA is going to put all of the active ingredients up on the shelf to see if they are GRASE (Generally Recognized As Safe & Effective).  The only two ingredients that are GRASE right now, no testing needed, are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide (physical sunscreens).  That's it.  The other 12 active ingredients (chemical sunscreens) have not yet proven to be and so they will have to provide data/testing before being deemed GRASE.  In the meantime every store in your neighborhood will still be selling them.  Fun fact - this whole discussion with the FDA actually started back in 2015 and the "due date" for the reports is Nov of this year.

Why the issues? 

  • "High levels of four [chemical sunscreens] -- Avobenzone, Oxybenzone, Ecamsule and Octocrylene -- can enter a person's bloodstream after just one day of use. The chemicals remained in the body for at least 24 hours after the last sunscreen application."* 
  • In 2008 (2008!!) The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at urine samples from a government study and determined that 97% of them contained Oxybenzone.  
  • Oxybenzone messes with hormones of children and adults.
  • Not the reason the FDA is looking into it but as a side note, Hawaii, the Pacific nation of Palau and Key West recently banned sunscreens containing Oxybenzone and Octinoxate because they cause coral bleaching and kill the reef's ecosystems.

So, if you want to make an easy choice with a federally approved active ingredient then stick with mineral/physical/reef safe options that use Titanium Dioxide and/or Zinc Oxide.  Start there.  If it has anything else listed in the active ingredients (flip the bottle over because sometimes it will say "mineral sunscreen" on the front and then have a chemical sunscreen added) then I would skip it.  Our three SPFs are safe bets.

Dosage - Basically all of the things you can buy on the shelf at Target are proposed to be named as GRASE - sprays, oils, lotions, creams, gels, butters, pastes, ointments and sticks.  However, please pause with sprays as you were not meant to inhale the ingredients and it's hard to get the proper amount applied in the form of a spray.  EWG votes no on sprays as well.  

Powders are being being looked at for inclusion into the GRASE umbrella for dosage (we're not fans as you can breathe those in too) while wipes, towelettes, body wash and shampoo are not being included basically because the FDA's not buying their story.  So skip the towelettes even though they seem easy.  

SPF Value - this is in three parts to me - 

  • First, SPF 50+ will be raised to SPF 60+, provided the formula passes tests to deem it as such
  • Second, broad spectrum protection will be required for SPF 15 and higher products since most consumers are expecting that that's what's happening anyhow, even though it isn't always true.
  • Third, UVA protection will increase as the SPF level increases as UVA rays are not currently rated in the "number" of your SPF.  Currently your SPF number is in line with the UVB protection level.  UVB rays burn skin and are linked to skin cancer.  UVA rays rays are the ones that cause aging - wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation, etc and are also linked to skin cancer.  

Labels - bottom line, they want it to be easier to read.  The FDA wants it to look like a proper drug label so you know what's up when you're purchasing - active ingredients are in a box at the top and all of the rest of the ingredients (inactives) are down below.  They're also revising their statements on formats for SPF, broad spectrum and water resistance claims.

Bug Repellent - they are not into bug repellent (which is also recently being considered a drug) and SPF being combined.  These combination bug repellent/sunscreen products will not be GRASE.

If you have additional questions on sunscreen ingredients, how much to apply, how often to apply and more check out our post All of Your SPF Questions Answered!


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All of Your SPF Questions Answered!

Posted on April 20, 2019 by ERIN WILLIAMS | 0 comments

Why do I need to wear sunscreen?
90% of visible signs of aging (wrinkles, fine lines, brown spots, sagging skin) are from sun damage.  90%!  Sunscreen is the number one anti-aging thing you can do for your skin, it protects against skin cancer and free radicals and it literally keeps your skin from burning. 

We cover a lot of info in this video -

What's all this talk of physical and chemical sunscreens and why should I care?
This is important folks!  Check out EWG for in depth info but here's the breakdown on how to tell the difference:

Most chemical suncreens (with the exception of Mexoryl SX) have been shown to either affect reproductive systems/endocrine systems/cause skin allergies.  It's pretty bad news bears and since there are alternatives I say go with the physical.  Physical SPFs make the sunlight "bounce" off while chemical SPFs absorb it.

What's the difference between SPF 15/30/50?
SPF 15 blocks 93 percent of UVB radition, SPF 30 blocks nearly 97 percent.  SPF 50 blocks 98 percent.  So, generally it's recommended to do a 30+ and call it a day.  15 doesn't block quite as much but 50 doesn't block much more. 

Is it really waterproof?
Nope, they're not allowed to say that anymore.  As of June 2012 sunscreens can't be marketed as "waterproof" or "sweatproof" basically because they're not.  They can be marked as "water resistant" with the recommendation that they be reapplied after 40 or 80 minutes (it'll be marked on your bottle).

How often do I have to reapply for real? 
Okay, so to me it depends on if you're going to be in direct sun all day or not.  If you are - like you're going to the beach, zoo, park, BBQ, etc - you need to reapply every 2 hours and if you're swimming or sweating a lot you need to reapply every 40-80 minutes.  So basically we all need to buy stock in SPFs. 

How often do I need to reapply if I'm not at the beach?
"On a normal day, which generally means to and from work and a short walk at lunch, an effective amount of sunscreen applied in the morning is still going strong when you're done with work and on your way home" (Paula Begoun).

UVA, UVB or both?
Both.  UVB rays are what causes your skin to burn so we want to block those for sure.  UVA rays are just as damaging, you just can't see the damage with your eyes, so you want to block those too.  Using a sunscreen that is marked Broad Spectrum ensures that both UVA and UVB rays are blocked.  

What's best for babies under 6 months?
The FDA wants you to keep them out of the sun but Zinc Oxide is the only approved  active ingredient for little ones under the age of 6 months with permission from a pediatrician. 

How do I know what to buy?!
You can check the Environmental Working Group or scan a barcode on the new Think Dirty App - both tell you how "green" your product is (I'm super excited because Erin's Faces is going to be added to the Think Dirty database in the next week or so and both of my sunscreens are "in the green"!). 

Here are some Body SPF ratings from Think Dirty (and I chose the Natural/Baby SPFs from big brands since those are generally the most gentle - or so we think):

Erin's Faces Mineral SPF 32, Juice Beauty SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen, California Baby Super Sensitive SPF 30, Badger SPF 30, The Honest Company Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30
Banana Boat Natural Reflect SPF 50, Jason Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30, Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch SPF 30, Water Babies SPF 50, No-Ad Kids Sunscreen SPF 50
And some Face SPF ratings:

Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer, Coola Makeup Setting Spray, Erin's Faces Peptide SPF 30, Burt's Bees Renewal Lotion SPF 30, La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF, Neutrogena Age Shield Face SPF 70, Eucerin Daily Protection Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30
I've heard that some sunscreens can cause cancer - what's the story?
The jury's still out on this but the concerns are with chemical sunscreens.  Some folks say it's fine and others say it's no bueno.  I stick to physical SPFs since it takes the guesswork out.

Do I have to wait before I can go outside?
With chemical sunscreens, yes; with physical sunscreens, no.

Sprays and powders seem easier - can I just do those?
Short answer - they're not the best choice.  You can inhale nano and micronized zinc and titanium in powdered sunscreens and makeup (sidenote - this is why I have liquid mineral foundations in my makeup line and not loose powder ones) and in the spray of sunscreen and that's not good for your body.  We also tend to not apply enough SPF when we use sprays and powders.

Will I get enough Vitamin D if I wear SPF?
There are mixed studies on this - some say yes, some say no.  But you probably won't get skin cancer either so that's a bonus.  Check with your doc if you're concerned about Vitamin D deficiency - you can always boost your meal choices with items high in Vitamin D or take supplements.

How much should I wear on my face?
1/4-1/2 a teaspoon is what most dermatologists would like for you to be doing.  It looks like a nickel sized amount on your hand.  It's a lot. 

What about on my body?
Roughly 1 oz (the size of a shot glass) per two hours.  Or per 40-80 minutes if you're swimming.  Yep.  A 3 oz bottle should last you possibly one day if you're person at the beach.  It's annoying, I'm with you, but so are the things that can happen if you don't do it. 

What happens if I don't apply enough?
Your SPF 30 can quickly become an SPF 15 if you apply half of the the recommended amount..

Can I use my sunscreen from last summer?
Check the expiration date but probably not - most have a shelf life of one year.  And per the recommended usage if you have some left it probably also means you aren't using enough.

Okay, I put a lot on and now it's not rubbing in and I look like a ghost - help!
There are two ways you can go with this: 
1 - go in layers.  Apply one layer, make sure it's rubbed in and then go for layer two.
2 - give it 20-30 seconds and then rub it in - you'll like like a ghost and then it'll rub in really well after the wait is over.  

What is a facial sunscreen that won't break me out/antagonize sensitive skin?
Our Peptide SPF 30 is awesome for this - it won't break you out, contains tons of humectants to hydrate and soothe sensitive skin and it isn't greasy.  And Zinc is used in diaper rash ointment to soothe little babies booties - it's very gentle.

Should it be fragrance-free?
In my opinion yes - especially on your face.  That's not a hard and fast rule, but fragrance is super irritating (synthetic fragrance) and can break you out, cause rashes, etc. 

Do I have to put sunscreen on if I'm going out for dinner?
If there is still a sun in the sky, to any degree, I'd say yes (if you've been at home all day and haven't put any on yet).  Especially since we're going into summer and the sun sets later in the evening.

Is facial sunscreen a substitute for a moisturizer?  What's my skincare regime order?
For oily to  normal skin it can - especially in the summer.  If you did need a moisturizer it would go under your SPF.  SPF is the last skincare step before makeup.

Speaking of that, I have SPF in my BB Cream/Moisturizer/Tinted Moisturizer - isn't that enough?
If you're going to wear 1/4-1/2 tsp of it it is (you're not).  I wear a LOT of foundation, which has a physical sunscreen in it, but I use about a pea sized amount - nothing close to what I should be applying SPF-wise.  So I view that foundation SPF as a bonus.

So I have to do an extra SPF step?
YES.  Unless it's in your moisturizer and you use the proper amount.

What does it mean when it says Reef-Safe?
Long story short, Oxybenzone, Butylparaben, Octinoxate and 4-methylbenzylidene camphor were shown in studies to cause complete coral bleaching which causes it to die.  National Geographic had this article talking about it and every year about 5,000 TONS of sunscreen washes off of swimmers in coral reef environments.  So, look for Reef Safe options.

Does that matter if I'm not swimming in the ocean?
Short answer - yes.  Our water (after you shower from your day at the non-beach pool/backyard/etc) goes down the drain and into the world - it affects marine life whether you go to see them in person or not.

If I missed any questions just put them in the comments below!

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