Should We Trust Sunscreens Again?
– Hello and hi everyone. Welcome to Skin Care with Hyram. If you don’t know who I am, my name is Hyram, I’m passionate about teaching you how to perfect your skin care routine. So make sure you subscribe to my channel and click the notification bell, so you can see my videos, every single week.
Aaaah! I don’t feel I’m ready for this video. I’ve been internally groaning about this one, but also trying to do the best research I can. If you have touched, even graced the skincare community, you will have seen the scandal, the controversy, fire and brimstone, surrounding the Purito sunscreen.
It’s been all over. It made international news. Everyone has been talking about it, since, I think it was the end of last year, like November, which you know, makes sense. It was (bleep) 2020. That year was terrifying.
But just in case you aren’t familiar with what happened, let me explain. So if you watch some of my videos, or other skin care content creators, you will have seen a sunscreen that has been recommended so many times: the Purito and Centella Sunscreen SPF 50.
Now, I will admit, and I’m kind of ashamed, but you know, it’s not my fault. I didn’t know, nobody knew. This was one of my favorite sunscreens of all time. I loved it so much because it didn’t feel like a sunscreen.
It felt like a moisturizer. There was no white cast whatsoever. They used innovative sunscreen filters specific to Korea, which is basically like the most advanced skin care place on the planet. Green Skincare is amazing.
But there’s a woman named Judit Racz, I am so sorry if I pronounced her name wrong, I will put it up here. I really don’t know how to pronounce her name. But she’s the founder of INCIDecoder. INCIDecoder is an awesome website, where you’re able to search any ingredient, and figure out what the function of that specific ingredient is And she saw that some cosmetic chemists were questioning the actual formula of the Purito sunscreen because it only used two sunscreen filters: 3% Uvinul A, and 2% Uvinul T.
Now some chemists were saying that in order to get a rating of above SPF 50, that they would need to be a higher percentage, or that there would need to be more sunscreen filters, for it to actually be that effective.
And she decided to do independent testing on the Purito sunscreen, to figure out if it actually had that SPF rating. Now, independent studies can be done, but often times they aren’t, just because they tend to take a long time.
And they tend to be expensive as well. But she decided to try it out, sent the sunscreen to testing, and the results came back. And the world broke. Through the independent testing, it was found that the SPF rating of the Purito sunscreen was actually way, way lower than what was labeled on the bottle.
And if you don’t know why that’s a big deal, let me explain, because it really is a big deal. When it comes to skin care in general, all different products have all different concentrators that are effective at different rates.
Some products will be barely effective. Some products will be really effective. And it doesn’t really matter too much, because at the end of the day, it just comes down to basic things like cleansing, moisturizing, exfoliation, and it’s largely up to the customer to decide like what strength they want.
So if an exfoliating product actually isn’t as high of a percentage as it says, well of course it’s misleading. It’s not a huge deal, because you aren’t hurting your skin. But here’s why it’s different with sunscreen.
Sunscreens are so important, because like I say on my channel, it’s the most important part of your skincare routine. The sun causes so much damage on the skin, and is largely the biggest contributor to the issues that we see, like dark spots, aging, acne, and way more severe problems like skin cancer.
And that’s why, in most markets, sunscreen is pretty highly regulated. If you look at the back of a sunscreen bottle, you will see that usually the sunscreen ingredients are not labeled in the same way as the rest of the ingredients.
If the sunscreen is from the U.S.A., you’ll see at the very top with the percentage. And that’s because it has to go through the FDA to get approval. There essentially needs to be official tests to determine if the sunscreen factor is going to be as effective as it claims.
And as opposed to just standard skincare products, it’s really important with sunscreen, ’cause like I said before, it’s preventing severe damage. And with people who use sunscreen, you have all different types of concerns.
Some people take medication that makes their skin extra sensitive to the sun. Some people spend more time in the sun. I’m in Hawaii and the sun is really, really strong here. So I need to make sure that I’m using a good sunscreen every day, to prevent as much of that damage as possible.
And if the sunscreen rating is lower than what it says on the bottle, you are potentially putting people’s skin and health at risk. So it’s a really big deal. And when I saw this, I was pretty shook. I made a TikTok about it.
I talked about it on my IG Stories, addressing some misconceptions, while also encouraging people to stop using it, as their sole sunscreen. Now while this is a big deal, and I obviously stopped using that as my primary sunscreen, I wasn’t too concerned, ’cause I figured this was an isolated incident, specifically focused on the Purito sunscreen.
And that’s also why I decided to wait to talk about it on my channel, because I just though that there needed to be more research, there needed to be more information, there needed to be more studies done, to figure out what happened, before I speak to it.
Because as we saw with this specific incident, there was a lot of misinformation. And honestly, this entire situation unveiled some pretty racist responses, which was what I was most concerned about, because I saw people making statements about Korean skincare as a whole, that was based on completely racist beliefs.
And a lot of people used this incidence to push their racist agenda. So I felt that it was important that I stepped back, and waited ’til more research was done, and more information was available to us.
And I just wanna say a quick thank you to two different channels that kept me up-to-date with what was going on: Mad about Skin, and No BS Beauty. They’re both channels that I love. They make amazing content.
I will have them linked in the description box below. I highly recommend you subscribe to them. But as time moved forward, I started seeing other companies who utilized the same sunscreen ingredients take their sunscreens off the market.
Another one being one of my favorite sunscreens, the Dear Klair Soft UV Airy Essence, as well as these other ones: the Keep Cool Soothe Bamboo Sun Essence, the Dr. Jart Solar Biome Ampoule, the Round Lab Birch Moisturizing Sun Cream, and the HYGGEE Relief Sun Moisturizer.
And when I learned all these sunscreens were taken off the market, I knew that there was a really big issue, because this was no longer a reflection of a mistake that Purito made. This was a reflection of potential sunscreen fraud by the actual manufacturers of those two sunscreen filters.
And before you freak out, and write off all Korean sunscreens, I just wanna say this has happened before. It’s happened in the U.S.A., it’s happened in Europe, it’s happened in Australia. If you are from the U.
S.A., you may remember when this this happened with AMA Labs. Sunscreen ingredient manufacturers over inflating their ingredient abilities, and not properly testing, is unfortunately something that happens all around the world, which obviously doesn’t make it any better.
But this is not a problem that is not specific to Korean skincare. I just wanna say that, because I know some of you bitches will use this opportunity to bash Korean skincare. That’s not what this is about.
It’s not accurate. This has happened before. And Purito responded to this whole incident be removing their sunscreens from the market, issuing refunds to people who have purchased them, and committing to doing independent testing on their sunscreens.
And two days ago, I actually was contacted by Purito, and yes they said that their independent tests did find that their sunscreens had a rating significantly lower than what was on the bottle. So, first off, and I know some of you guys will be wondering this, why the hell is this a big deal? It’s just a sunscreen.
While all the ruckus? Well in addition to concerns I expressed before, this goes so much further than just an individual company making a (bleep)-up. This is an issue with a sunscreen manufacturer that was largely trusted in Korea, that actually sourced to a bunch of major Korean skincare companies.
And it’s interesting to me, and one of the reasons I wanted to make this video, was because Purito got pretty much all of the backlash. They were the ones that got the brunt of the criticism, even though the manufacturer was largely to blame, and these other sunscreens from different companies, were in the same situation.
And I will admit, part of me feels really bad, because Purito as a brand, has ethics that I really look up to. I’ve always liked them as a brand. I’ve always felt that they’ve gone above and beyond, in ensuring skin sensitivity, listening to their customers, and making their products as accessible as possible.
And even in the way that they addressed this afterward, they did everything they could do to solve the problem, which is honestly a lot better than some of the other companies that I mentioned. (coughs) Keep Cool, who responded to this situation very unethically, and still haven’t even addressed it.
Purito took the majority of the blame, while these other countries got to slide under the rug, hide under the rug, hide under the table? I don’t know the term. But a part of me is also annoyed at Purito, and some of these other companies, because as a company, you really should be conducting independent studies and tests on your sunscreens, to ensure they’re as effective as possible, rather than solely trusting the manufacturer, and the internalized testing that they do.
When it comes to something as important as sunscreen, you have to absolutely make sure that it is going to be as protective as possible, and live up to the claims you’ve made. And you may think, well why don’t all companies do independent testing? Well, honestly, the testing is a time-consuming process.
It takes a while, and it’s typically a lot of money. And with companies knowing that they got the sign-off from internal testing, a lot of ’em just don’t feel the need to do independent testing. And if there’s on thing I hope this entire situation has taught us, is that companies should do independent testing to make sure that their sunscreens are as effective as possible.
So does this mean that we should ban Purito, or cancel Purito, never buy anything from them again? I personally believe no. Like I said before, I do believe that the brand Purito has good ethics, and that they’ve responded in the best way that they can, and that this is largely reflective of an industry problem, not a company-specific problem.
And I think in this situation, it’s important to look at how individual companies have responded to the situation, and also base our judgements off of that. I have to say, some of the other companies that were involved, have not responded in a way that I respect whatsoever.
And I largely believe that’s because they don’t wanna catch the fire that Purito did. And I feel like that does say a lot about those companies. So does this mean that you shouldn’t trust Korean sunscreens? Well, not necessarily.
There were more independent tests done on different types of sunscreens from Korea, that actually found that they were very effective, even when utilizing those same ingredients. It’s just the main sunscreens that only use those two ingredients, were the primary ones that were brought into question.
And like I said before, this situation has happened all over the world in the U.S.A., with the AMA Labs situation, that was a disaster, and definitely reflective of sunscreen fraud. And unfortunately, that’s the reality that happens sometimes.
So, what needs to be done? I would say that companies need to take the initiative when releasing a sunscreen, to do independent testing, to ensure that the sunscreen is as effective as possible. It’s not good enough to trust manufacturers and internal labs.
Companies need to go above and beyond in testing their sunscreens, to make sure they’re as safe as possible. And yes, it can take some money. But honestly, I think that’s a worthy price in order to ensure your customers are as safe as possible.
It’s not good enough for companies just to blindly trust the manufacturer testing, or the internal testing. I think it’s necessary for them to do independent testing, to ensure that these sunscreens are as safe and effective as possible.
Remember, this is sunscreen. You don’t mess around this sunscreen. I also think, and maybe this is just me being a little picky, I would love to see more transparency in the industry about the results from sunscreen tests.
I love to see it when companies are overly transparent about their practices, because it helps give trust to us as consumers, in an industry that’s so covered in marketing. Like, show us the data. I’d love to see it.
What should we do? What options does this leave us with? I would say it, don’t lose faith in sunscreen. I’ve seen so many people say that this is why they don’t use sunscreen, or that sunscreen is a lie.
Not true. There are so many good sunscreens that are very effective, and will properly protect your skin from the sun. But I do think that this is a good wakeup call for all of us to realize that sunscreens can be imperfect, and that just as important as sunscreen is, sun protection is equally as important.
I get it. You’re like, Hyram, sunscreen’s not protection? I thought they were the same thing. Actually, no. While sunscreen yes, can be really effective in protecting us from the sun, the best thing you can do to make sure you’re protected is by just avoiding the sun where you can, using physical barriers like clothing, hats, staying in the shade, staying inside.
Honestly, that’s the most effective thing you can do to protect yourself from the sun. I get it. It may not seem as glamorous or as fun. But truthfully, that’s the best thing that you can do to protect yourself.
Most people, first off, aren’t even applying the right amount of sunscreen. Technically we should be using a tablespoon worth of sunscreen, and reapplying that shit every two hours. And even if you’re outside all day long, you’re still gonna be seeing some damage, even if you’re wearing sunscreen.
It’s natural. Sunscreen can only go so far. Honestly, sunscreen should be the last resort, and staying out of the sun should be the primary focus. Now obviously, balance is important. It’s important to go out, have fun, get some fun, but be mindful and be careful.
Keep using sunscreen. But be aware that you can’t be reliant on an SPF rating alone. There are other factors you have to keep in mind and practice. And if you’re someone who does have one of these sunscreens, don’t worry.
You don’t need to through it out. I would just recommend using it as a moisturizer, and then following up with a good sunscreen that you love. If you are looking for sunscreen recommendations, I have made so many videos about the best ones, and which ones I recommend.
Thankfully, each of these companies are no longer selling their sunscreen. So even if they are in my recommendation videos, people will no longer be able to purchase them. But, although the sunscreens I’ve recommended in my videos are great, I highly recommend trying them out.
And those are my thoughts. This has been an intense video because wow, this is a tricky topic to talk about, because it’s so friggin’ complicated. But I hope I simplified it a little bit, and made it easier to understand.
And I hope that this will help you in your journey towards finding a good sunscreen. Let me know what you guys think in the comments section down below, and if you have any other sunscreen recommendations.
And if you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to my channel, and click the notification bell so that you can see my videos every single week. And I’ll see you guys in the next one.