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Why it's difficult to make natural sunscreen

In partnership with The European Commission
Why it's difficult to make natural sunscreen
Copyright euronews
Copyright euronews
By Andrea Bolitho
Published on Updated
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Producing organic sunscreens is a global challenge for cosmetics companies. A start-up based in Riga, Latvia, may have found the solution.

In Riga, the scientists at MADARA Cosmetics use their know-how and cutting-edge technology to develop natural cosmetics based on local raw materials.

"One of the biggest challenges - like ongoing challenges - for the cosmetic industry in general, is how to produce a sunscreen that would be based on natural substances, natural raw materials," says Lotte Tisenkopfa-Iltnere, co-founder, MADARA Cosmetics.

"Commonly the sunscreen molecules or sunscreen raw materials that we use are based on organic synthesis, so synthetic sunscreens and some of them have already been banned in some states in the US because of their environmental profile and safety profile. So it’s like a global challenge - how we can do better, how we can do clean?, she adds.

The production of natural sunscreen requires the use of minerals such as zinc oxide, which give sunscreen a heavy, unpleasant texture. MADARA seems to have found a solution to this problem.

"The way to produce a clean or organic natural sunscreen is by using minerals like zinc oxide but then again comes the second challenge that we bring here to our lab is because these minerals are basically they produce very heavy texture," Lotte explains.

"So using our high tech equipment and our knowhow of creating very fine emulsions that provide beautiful spreadability, we’re able to incorporate that - a mineral part to produce really beautiful spreadable sunscreen that’s safe, that has a beautiful environmental profile and was like pleasant to use," she says.

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