Ask our experts

Part 1: Q & A with our experts in Grenzach

In “Experts explain," we present the questions we receive from consumers and customers and answer them with the help of our sun protection experts in Grenzach. In the first installment of our FAQs, we will be talking about UV filters, babies and care rituals, among other things.

UV filters

Inorganic UV filters are often described as natural filters. But why are inorganic UV filters either better or better tolerated than organic UV filters, as many consumers believe?

Generally speaking, we don't talk about chemical and natural or physical filters because this classification is misleading. The so-called natural filters are actually not natural. The inorganic filters are also chemical filters. Why do we say that? Because to be used in personal care they are  modified chemically; they need to be purified by chemical process, and for TiO2 additionally coated.

Baby skin

Should I apply sun cream to my baby?

Your baby should not be exposed to direct or indirect sunlight, as a baby's natural skin barrier and their skin's own protection are not yet as strong or as robust as in adults. This means that a baby’s skin is still very sensitive to the sun. Shadows, clothing, caps, and hats cover up, and provide effective protection for toddlers, and application of a sunscreen is an additional mean to protect toddler. This also applies of course to adults.


Is it true that UV nanofilters can penetrate the skin and have a negative impact on health?

Safety and health are our top priorities. Like soluble filters, UV nanofilters are closely investigated and evaluated by a scientific committee. Incidentally, whether a substance really gets or could get under your skin does not only depend on the particle size of the molecule. The particle size is one of the parameters which accounts for penetration. In fact, nanoparticles are actually much larger than soluble filters.

Find out more in an interview with our colleague Myriam here.

The most recently registered UV Filters mainly include nanofilters, which means that these have been evaluated according to the latest and strictest human safety requirements. If all the scientific data to show the safety of the molecule are available, approval is granted. For end users, this clearly means: products that contain approved UV filters can be used without any worries or concerns. We are convinced: nanotechnology is key to innovation in many areas.


Why should I pay more for an SPF 60 (50+) than for SPF 30, even though it only stops 2–3% more UV radiation from reaching my skin? How can this be justified?

To dispel this myth, let’s take a closer look at this difference. Let’s say an SPF 30 can filter out about 96.7% of UV rays. And let’s say an SPF 60 filters about 98.3% of UV radiation. Looking at it this way, we see a difference of 1.6%. This does indeed seem to be a very small difference in efficacy. But, and now comes the big and important BUT: This reasoning and way of looking at it is INCORRECT. When we calculate the sun protection factor, it’s not just about how much UV radiation is blocked or filtered. Instead, we need to look at the amount of UV radiation that can reach and penetrate our skin to cause damage to it. When we look at it from this more relevant angle, we arrive at the following differences: 

- SPF 30 sunscreens allow 3.3% of UV radiation to hit our skin. 

- SPF 60 sunscreens allow 1.7% of UV rays to hit our skin. 

We still have a difference of 1.6%. However, the effectiveness of an SPF 60 is double that of an SPF 30. So the performance of a higher SPF is not just slightly better, but much better. One more thing needs to be mentioned: The highest SPF factor shown on products in Europe is SPF 50+.


If I apply a day cream care product with SPF 15 and then add sunscreen with SPF 30, do I automatically have a sun protection factor of 45?

The answer depends on a number of factors. Among other things, it depends on whether the various products/formulations on your skin are compatible. Some different formulation types may not blend when applied to the skin, which would significantly reduce UV protection. It can sometimes even lead to an incompatibility you can see because “clumps” form.

Care ritual

Thinking of sun protection, does it matter whether I apply the day cream first and then the sun cream or vice versa?

If important, the order of application might rather matter in terms of the effectiveness of the skincare products. Indeed skincare products may contain active ingredients that generally work in the skin and therefore need direct skin contact. Therefore, it makes sense to apply skincare products first. Applying the sunscreen afterwards also makes sense, as UV filters have to stay on the surface of the skin to work there. Our recommendation is therefore: Apply day cream first and then sunscreen. 

But if we are talking about makeup, for visual reasons it would naturally make sense for the makeup to sit on the surface of the skin without being covered up by sunscreen. In this case, the sunscreen would hide or dilute the desired effect, such as the color, matte effect, glitter.

Proper application of cream

Do I need to remove the old sunscreen after a while before applying a new layer?

No. Generally, when it comes to sun protection: more is better. It makes sense to apply sunscreen regularly, as the effect of the sunscreen decreases after some time because it gets physically removed. This decreasing effect over time may be accelerated, for example, by swimming, sweating, or by drying the skin with a towel. Although modern sunscreens are photostable, which means that the filters maintain their protection, the mechanical loss during daily activities must be factored in, as above.

Skin cleansing

How can I remove sunscreen properly from my skin? What kind of products should you use to do this?

Normal sunscreen products can be removed with soap and water. In most cases, just plenty of water is enough, e.g. a warm shower. Alternatively, you can also use mild shower gels. However, it is not really a problem if some sunscreen remains on the skin.

First aid

It's too late, sunburn is already visible and can be felt. Is there any first aid or any kind of old-fashioned home remedy?

First of all, you must get out of the sun immediately to avoid further damage. If you have “caught” a slight sunburn that “only” affects a small area of your body, rapid cooling can provide enormous relief. Use a wet towel or, if available, a cooling gel and cover or smooth into the burnt area. 

If the sunburn is severe, you should immediately seek medical treatment, which can relieve your pain. It’s best to avoid the many recommendations on the Internet. Did you also see the one about onions and lemon juice? If so, then delete these “household remedies” from your list. 

Unfortunately, we cannot prescribe anything here, but we would like to say one thing again very clearly: sunburn must be avoided, as this is an alarm signal from the skin and indicates that damage has already occurred.