Certified palm oil free sunscreen that was TGA approved didn't exist for a long time. Australian brand Sunbutter Oceans changed all that, and while they were at it, they added 'plastic free' to the list of firsts. In any skin care or personal care brand, there are many products that are easy to formulate palm oil free, but sunscreen has always been a difficult one. Palm oil free sunscreen a few years ago was hard to find. Certified palm oil free sunscreen was impossible. The team at Sunbutter have now achieved 2 firsts in the natural sunscreen category in Australia, the palm oil free certification and the first mineral sunscreen TGA approved packed in a tin instead of a plastic tube.

Australia & the world's first palm oil free sunscreen

Sunbutter Oceans were the first mineral sunscreen in Australia registered with the TGA and not in a plastic tube. Other brands have since followed suit. The product did go through one packaging and formulation tweak to make the thread on the tin deeper and the consistency a little thicker to prevent it from being too runny when it was hot at the beach. If you only ever bought this sunscreen once when it launched and had issues, it's well worth trying again. It's so much more than a palm oil free sunscreen formula.

palm oil free sunscreen from sunbutter sunscreen tin open

Is Sunbutter Sunscreen palm oil free?

Yes. The second 'first' is Sunbutter is the first sunscreen company in the world to be certified palm oil free, certified with POFCAP. This palm oil free sunscreen uses a combination of coconut & castor oil in a water free 'non-aqueous' formula which also means it lasts longer and helps to moisturise your skin.

Sunbutter palm oil free sunscreen originally gained certification in 2019 with the Orangutan Alliance and one unavoidable supplier change and there's no way to guarantee that the one ingredient isn't potentially compromised somewhere along the supply chain. The palm oil industry still has an incredibly long way to go to clean up its act.

Sunbutter then started working with the Orangutan Alliance and POFCAP (Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark) who use the fees that brands pay them for accreditation to research the origins of all the ingredients. It is this in depth process that allowed them to end up with a palm oil free sunscreen formula that also passes TGA regulations and is plastic free.

It's not only the sunscreen, but every product in their range that's certified palm oil free. It is not a cheap exercise which is why in our store we mark our palm oil free status as 'Supplier Verified' and 'Industry Verified' so you understand what level of research has been done. We know there are brands that have spoken to all their suppliers who have told them their ingredients are palm oil free, and somewhere down the chain, something slips in that no-one is aware of. Still, there are very few brands that can afford the certification, the research and reformulation needed to completely get it out of their supply chain.

It is still our wish at Shop Naturally that the industry self regulates and cleans itself up as the alternatives to palm oil, while protecting the orangutan, can have their own issues that need to be addressed.

Is Sunbutter Sunscreen reef safe?

Yes. There's no law governing the use of this phrase, so anyone can claim to be reef safe, but industry leaders generally agree that the following ingredients are bad for the reef and our oceans and are best avoided. The tricky part of this conversation is that by law in Australia, sunscreen manufacturers do not have to disclose their full ingredient list, so you may never know.

Avoid the following ingredients:-
Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, plastic microbeads, 4-tmehylbenzylidene camphor, triclosan, parabens.

Why was this important? Co-founders of Sunbutter, Sacha Guggenheimer and Tom Hiney, were a marine biologist and conservation ecologist team learning about the negative impacts that chemical sunscreens have on coral reefs. They needed to wear sunscreen while working on their passion project on Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia and wanted to ensure they weren't harming the reef, and Sunbutter was born.

Shop the Sunbutter Sunscreen range online with us.