Sunscreen FAQ’s

What are sunscreens?

Sunscreens are products that protect the skin from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. There are two types of UV rays, UVA and UVB, which damage the skin, age it prematurely, and contribute to skin cancer. UVB rays are the ones that cause sunburn, while UVA rays are mostly associated with skin aging. UVA rays are implicated in exacerbating the effects of UVB rays, and causing skin cancer on their own, so it is important to choose a broad spectrum sunscreen and protect against both types of rays.

What does “SPF” mean?

SPF — or Sun Protection Factor — is a measure of a sunscreen's ability to prevent UVB rays from damaging the skin. SPF values give you an idea of how long you can stay in the sun before damage occurs. For example, if your skin goes red after 20 minutes in the sun, SPF15 theoretically gives you 15 x 20 minutes, or about 5 hours, before your skin will redden. Another way of looking at it is to consider that SPF15 filters out approximately 93% or UVB rays; SPF 30 filters out approximately 97%, and SPF 50 keeps out 98%. No sunscreen blocks all of the sun’s rays, no matter how high the SPF.

An important note to remember is that no sunscreen stays effective after 2 hours without reapplication. And, “red” skin doesn’t tell you how much damage has occurred from UVA rays – plenty of damage can occur before your skin goes red!

Broad spectrum sunscreens offer protection against both UVB and UVA rays.

How does sunscreen work?

Sunscreens work by providing a physical barrier against the sun (natural sunscreens, using an active ingredient like zinc oxide), or chemical sunscreens that soak into the skin and absorb UV rays before they can cause any damage. Chemical sunscreens need a lot of different chemicals to provide both UVA and UVB protection, and as a result they may cause irritation, allergies, and because they are absorbed by the body, they raise concerns over other negative health effects. Natural sunscreens will not harm you, or your children, because they contain no harmful ingredients, and are not absorbed into the skin.

How much sunscreen should I apply?

To get the full SPF protection on the label, you need to apply about 1oz (or a shot glass full) of sunscreen. Studies show that most people don’t use enough! For a day at the beach, with sunscreen applied all over your body and face, one person should use at least 60 ml of sunscreen.

How often should I reapply?

Reapply every two hours, and after swimming, towelling off, or sweating. For lip products, reapply every hour.

Can I apply on my face, under makeup, or mix it with makeup or other skin care products?

You can definitely apply our sunscreens to your face. We do not recommend mixing makeup and sunscreen together before applying, as this usually results in too little sunscreen being used.

If you plan on putting makeup over the top, wait for the sunscreen to bond to the skin first. Make sure you use enough sunscreen to protect your skin, even though you are putting makeup on over the top.

Is it safe to use on my child/baby, and how much should I use?

All of our sunscreens are safe and effective for your whole family. If you plan on using sunscreen on babies under 6 months of age, Health Canada recommends consulting a doctor first. The same quantity guidelines apply for children and adults.

What if it’s ingested or if it gets into my eyes? 

Our sunscreens contain the safest natural ingredients available, but they are not meant to be ingested. If you child licks their hand after applying sunscreen, that should be fine, but if they have consumed a significant amount, seek medical attention or contact a poison control centre immediately. Make sure you take the package so the health practitioner knows what has been ingested. If your children get sunscreen in their eyes, wash thoroughly with water and seek medical attention.

How do I remove sunscreen from my skin?

Warm soapy water will remove sunscreen from the skin.

Is Rocky sunscreen waterproof?

Our sunscreens have not been tested for water resistance. This is something we will be doing for the 2017 summer season!

Is Rocky sunscreen really non-whitening?

Yes, our sunscreen is non-whitening. However, any product containing zinc oxide has some degree of whitening when first applied. However, once the product is absorbed, any whitening disappears completely.

Why is the colour of your sunscreen turning off white or brown?

We use 100% natural and toxin free ingredients in our sunscreen. The vanillin that we use is known to turn colour over time when exposed to oxygen. This change in colour does not impact the effectiveness of the sunscreen, so it can still be used until the expiry date.

Will sunscreen stain my clothes? How do I remove stains?

Sunscreen may stain some fabrics. The best way to remove a stain is to apply watered-down rubbing alcohol (50/50) directly to the stain, then dab gently to lift the stain. 

If you do not have alcohol on hand, stains resulting from natural oils may be removed that same way you would remove a salad dressing stain: apply a dish soap directly to the stain (because regular laundry detergent does not contain oil-removing properties), then launder as normal.

Staining can be minimized by letting the sunscreen absorb into the skin before allowing fabric to touch it.

Does sunscreen expire? Where can I find the expiry date?

Our sunscreens have a shelf life of one year, and we recommend you use the product within one year of opening, or when the expiration date is reached.

Am I missing out on Vitamin D when I wear sunscreen?

There have been a number of studies in the past few years showing that when used normally, sunscreen does not result in vitamin D deficiency.

I am allergic to peanuts, do I need to worry about the inclusion of arachidyl alcohol and arachidyl glucoside in the SPF31 lotion?

Arachidyl alcohol and arachidyl glucoside are not necessarily derived from peanuts, or indeed any nuts, and in the case of our ingredient, the source company has confirmed they definitely are not derived from a nut oil. The source vegetable oil is rapeseed seed (not Canola, which is a hybrid of rapeseed) and wheat seed.