"Sunscreens should not be the first choice for skin cancer prevention and should not be used as the sole agent for protection against the sun."

International Agency for Research on Cancer

Further questions that might concern you...


What material is used to pack the product?

If you are ordering from Amazon they send in cardboard with a paper void fill. If you are purchasing directly from us, we will send in a small cardboard box, with 100% biodegradable and compostable 'Eco Flo' starch void fill or 100% biodegradable, compostable bubble wrap.


How many applications approximately are in a 100ml tin?

This is very hard to say, similar to the "How long is a piece of string?" - there are many variables - is it for one person, several people, just the face and arms or whole body? We think this size is suitable for a couple for a long weekend, but how long is spent in the sun and how many people are sharing it, whether it's all-over or just small surface areas are factors that need consideration. The cream does go a long way, but will need reapplication several times per person and especially if being used when in and out of water or sweating.


Is Shade 'reef safe'?

Shade does not contain any of the ingredients in the HEL list, which are:


Any form of microplastic sphere or beads; Any nanoparticles like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide; Oxybenzone; Octinoxate; 4-methylbenzylidene camphor; Octocrylene; Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA); Methyl Paraben; Ethyl Paraben; Propyl Paraben; Butyl Paraben; Benzyl Paraben; Triclosan.


Although we haven't yet sought certification from the Haereticus Environmental Laboratory, we have not yet been able to find any research that claims the non-nano zinc oxide in Shade we use is be damaging to coral or marine life,, all the studies point to nanoparticles as a threat. So although we as the manufacturer don't as yet make a 'reef safe' claim specifically, many people who advocate its use in the sea believe it is safe.


Does Shade dry to a powdery finish or is it greasy?

It doesn't dry to a powdery finish, and most people don't find it greasy. It has a high oil content for sure, but most people find it rubs in well without leaving a greasy feel. If in doubt, there is a small 15ml tin which is perfect as a tester.


Is the tin made of aluminium?

Yes, the tin is made of aluminium, which is recyclable. Stability tests have demonstrated that there is no leaching from the tin into the product.


Will you ever make a tinted or vegan version of Shade?

You have been reading my mind...we're going through testing as we speak...subscribe to our newsletter on www.not-the-norm.com or watch this space for news...!


ShadeTM Reviews

(see more here on Amazon)



Matt Miller on Sep 23, 2014


"We have used quite a few sunscreens in our day, and most have been greasy, leave you white, and make our children's skin irritated and red. They also contain chemicals, which we don't like.

We used Shade on a recent trip to Queensland, and we couldn't be happier. It is quickly adsorbed into the skin, leaves your skin smooth and is not greasy at all. Best of all, we didn't get burnt. Shade is a fantastic natural alternative to other sunscreens.

Shade is now the only sunscreen we will use."


Matt Miller

B.Sc. (Honor's), B.Sc. (Analytical Chemistry), Ass. Dip. App. Sci. (Manufacturing), MRACI


Amazon Review:

5.0 out of 5 stars

Amazing for sensitive skin

By Nicky E Tutt on 10 July 2016


"Myself and my daughter suffer from very sensitive skin and au cream is normally a real problem. All the ones we have tried have made her skin very sore, often leading to her scratching so much she bleeds. I was introduced to shade and tried it myself first, the difference was amazing. My skin was soft and not agravated, it gave great sun protection and is easy to apply once it has melted a little in the heat. My daughters skin has also appreciated 'shade' we managed to have a three week holiday in Africa where for the first time she could really enjoy the sunshine as we had found a cream that works. Thanks for making summer for this family much much easier."


I want to sell it!!

Carmen on Nov 20, 2015


"I love Shade! It’s been really hot here over 35 degrees every day and I’ve been putting shade on my sons arms and face when he goes to school. Usually after a day or two of sunscreen an awful rash starts to come up and he hasn’t had it and better still no sunburn. Australia has very strict laws when it comes to selling sunscreen. I need to do a bit of research, but I’m going to look into if we can sell shade here because it’s great."


Frequently asked questions


Who is ShadeTM suitable for?

Suitable for all skin types, of all ages. We get feedback from people with sensitive skin who normally react badly to chemical sun creams that they can use Shade™ without any reaction and it soothes their skin. People with oily skin have found it to be fine for them also - zinc oxide is naturally astringent and so will help to dry out any excess oils. People who like to use the Shade™ daily to prevent sun and wind damage in winter for example have found it useful to apply a little moisturiser and allow time for it to absorb before applying Shade™ to counteract the drying effect of zinc oxide.


How should I apply it?

If it’s cold and quite firm, rub it vigorously with warm fingertips to make it softer, or scoop some out of the tin and warm it between your hands, then apply generously at least 15min before exposure to the sun, and then reapply regularly, particularly after exposure to water or after sweating.


What consititutes 'Apply Generously'?

'Applying generously' means you need approximately a teaspoon for an adult face, and a shotglass full for an adult body. Be aware that putting an inadaquate amount of sunscreen on effectively square-roots the SPF! So an SPF50 is rendered an SPF7, SPF25 is rendered an SPF5!!


How does SPF actually work?

SPF25 means that the protection is 96% - that also means that 4% of rays are still reaching the skin. The '25' means that you are approximately protected fro 25 times the length of time it would normally take you to burn, under the same environmental conditions, without any protection whatsoever.


Unlike many chemical sunscreens, Shade™ does not contain burn inhibitors which switch off the burning sensation. If you feel you are beginning burn, it's your body's warning to you that you have been exposed for too long, and the sensible approach is to cover up by wearing clothing or move out of the sun altogether. Applying more sunscreen only ensures you are still covered for the original 25x timeframe - it does not extend the amount of time you can stay in the sun - those 4% of rays are still doing their damage. It's important that you listen to your body and its signals - the danger of sunscreens that contain burn inhibitors is that the damage is still being done, but you just can't feel it - a bit like taking painkillers that mask the pain - ignoring the body's messages that there is a problem does not resolve the problem.


Does ShadeTM protect against UVA as well as UVB?

Shade™ offers broad spectrum protection, the SPF25 covers the UVB and the UVA emblem on the bottom label refers to the UVA protection.


The UVA Star rating system can no longer be used by sunscreen manufacturers such as ourselves other than the higher priced ones Boots itself sells and Boots own brands, as it is trademarked by Boots the Chemists, so we have been unable to use this test specifically to give it stars based on this testing system.


However the UVAPF Mean in the SO24443:2012 test conducted on Shade All-Natural Sunscreen (Unscented) came in at 24.77, giving it a PA++++ UVA grading, and if we were to be able to use the star system it would come out at 4/5 stars.


Does ShadeTM leave a white cast on the skin?

Shade™ can leave a white cast on the skin, this is the mineral non-nano zinc oxide sitting on the skin rather than being absorbed into the skin, and it's the active ingredient that protects you from the UVA & UVB rays. When you see a white cast on your skin don't dismay, be pleased! You can see that not only are you physically helping to protect yourself for the dangerous rays, you can rest assured we are only using non-nano particles of zinc oxide, which is why they sit on the skin as a physical barrier and don't absorb into the skin and the bloodstream - the very safest form of active ingredient for sunscreens. When it comes to doing something recognised as dangerous, such as exposing yourself to strong sun, we believe it's important to put safety above vanity...

Why do you only make an SPF25?

We only make an SPF25 because the recommended ideal SPF is between 15 and 30. As SPF25 protects you from 96% of the sun's harmful UVB rays which cause burning, we believe that users will not be as complacent as they would be about using a high SPF, and if you need it to be a really super sunblock lay it on thick. Also, very high SPF is only achieveable with chemical active ingredients, something we're tryng to avoid.


We are inclined to agree with the Environmental Working Group about the pitfalls of high SPF products. You can read them here.


How can I trust that it's a really effective sunscreen?

Test results confirm that not only is ShadeTM an effective broad spectrum sunscreen which helps protect against UVA radiation which can penetrate deep into the skin and cause ageing, it is also an effective SPF25, which blocks up to 96% of the UVB rays which cause burning. We believe it’s better to use an SPF in the range of 15 - 30, because your burning mechanism is your early warning system which is really best not switched off! SPF25 covers 96%, SPF50 covers only 2% more at 98% and SPF100 covers only 99%...by offering only SPF25, we hope people will use ShadeTM responsibly, and not be complacent about the dangers of sun exposure. Higher SPFs we believe can lead us into a false sense of security. Please read our blog post 'A Word of Warning about Natural Sunscreens', and this Excellent Article, 'Can Sunscreen Ingredients Increase Your Risk of Cancer?' which highlights all the issues with using sunscreen to prevent skin cancer.


A Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 25 does not mean it is half the strength of an SPF 50 – it means you can remain exposed to sun with it adequately applied for up to 25 times the length of time it would normally take you to burn in the same environmental conditions you would if you did not apply any sunscreen protection.


When many of the chemical ingredients found in mainstream high-street sunscreens have been found to be carcinogenic in their own right, it makes sense to choose a sunscreen which only uses the most basic, nourishing skin-protecting natural ingredients. This eliminates the risk of adverse reactions, chemical absorption through the skin into the bloodstream, and the highly undesirable ‘switching off’ of your early warning signals. Of all the radiation dispersing and adsorbing ingredients available to sunscreen manufacturers, we have opted for the most naturally-occurring one which happens to be the only one which proves offer the broadest protection available – the mineral Zinc Oxide.


The non-nano zinc oxide we have chosen for Shade™ is able to protect against both UVA and UVB ultraviolet light and is a physical UV blocker being capable of scattering solar radiation and is excellent for those who are sensitive to the sun.


What tests has it undergone?

Stability testing, microbiology testing, broad spectrum sunscreen testing of effectiveness against UVA & UVB rays, and SPF validation tests. All tests conducted to EU standards by Alba Science of Edinburgh.


  • ISO24443 In vitro Broad Spectrum Protection.
  • ISO 24444 In vivo with 13 live subjects. A Cosmetic Study to Determine the In-Vivo Sun Protection Factor of a Sunscreen Formulation.
  • Cosmetic Product Safety Data Analysis, conducted by Luciano Molinaro BSc Forensic Science & Investigative Analysis (Hons) (Kingston University), Forensic Chemistry and Trace Analysis, Analytical Methods in Forensic Science (Kingston University).
  • Accelerated Stability Test


ShadeTM is listed on the Cosmetic Products Notification Portal (CPNP), as per EU requirements.


Is Shade tested on animals?

No way! Absolutely not! Only human volunteers have taken part in Shade™ testing, unless you consider myself and my family to be guinea pigs...! As an anti-vivisectionist, animal lover and a vegan, I would never allow it, and besides it's illegal to test cosmetics on animals in the UK. We're proud to display the 'not tested on animals' icon on our labels. So, if I'm a vegan, why do I allow beeswax in my formula? The answer is that I only became vegan three years ago, a few years after Shade™ was originally formulated. Since then I have been working on the development of a vegan formula, but beeswax is a hard wax to mimic with very few ingredients. We are getting closer though, so please watch this space.


So what's so bad about commercial, chemical-based, sunscreens?

Where do I start? How about digging around in the back of your bathroom cabinet, and pulling out last year's 1/3 full tube with the crusty, gunky lid that won't close anymore, and taking a look at the ingredients?


The first question you need to ask yourself is ...how do you even pronounce that? Exactly. These manmade chemicals are not something we as humans have evolved with, like 'nut'  or 'oil'. They are incredibly new to us on the evolutionary scale, and if you take the time to type some of those ingredients into your search bar on your browser and add 'health risks' then you will discover for yourself why many people are beginning to question why they're relying on this stuff to try and prevent skin cancer.


Also, many chemical sunscreens have ingredients which switch off the burning mechanism. That's all well and good, but we burn for a reason - it's our skin's early warning system telling us we've had too much time in the sun and we need to do something about it. It's easy to avoid burning if you reapply your sunscreen regularly, and at the height of the sun's strength, wear suitable clothing to cover up.


And all that's without mentioning the plastic packaging, which is choking our beautiful oceans and killing our marine life...


What is Shade’s shelf life?

Once opened use within 12 months, otherwise it has a 3-year shelf life.


Why is it packed in a tin and not a bottle or a tube like other sunscreens?

Firstly, it's not plastic, and we hate plastic. So much plastic waste is found discarded on our shorelines it's shameful. Secondly, it can be reused for anything you want it to be reused for, thirdly, you can use up every last bit of its contents because you can easily get at it - even if it's not sunny, if the expiration date is looming, and there's no sun in sight, just use up the cream for its wonderful moisturising properties. It's great if you have itchy skin or patches, insect bites or stings etc. and even as a fantastic lip salve in winter, it's also an excellent aftersun. Lastly, if you can't find any further use for the tin you can recycle it...and don't worry, unless you let it get to over 64 degrees, it won't melt, it'll just soften, so it won't leak from the tin!

Oh...and it looks funky. :o)


Can I buy ShadeTM in shops yet?

Yes, we have over 150 independent retailers selling Shade™ around the UK in their shops with more coming on board each week, which you can find on our store locator map here, also in Norway, Iceland and Bermuda. We also have an ever growing list of zero waste and pastic free online retailers selling Shade™ if you'd like to support them.


I have another question that isn't answered here ...

Then please contact us and we'll do our utmost to answer it.

Research and useful links

Does what it says on the tin!

Contact us


01865 355515


+44 1865 355515

Or write to us here


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