Āma - Nature’s Armour Sunscreen
A high quality, sustainable and natural sunscreen that works is finally here!
As a beach lover and avid swimmer, sunscreen is something that I use regularly and need consistency from. As someone who is also looking to use natural products as much as possible and reduce my impact on this earth, I’ve been on a journey for a few years to hunt for something that ticks all my boxes. I’ve tried natural sunscreen in plastic tubes, zinc pastes that I really tried to love but just wasn’t practical for my day to day, sunscreen in plastic-free packaging that just didn’t last swims and so on and so on. I have tried and tested Nature’s Armour SPF 30 Sunscreen and I am totally sold. Here’s why.
Why do I choose to support āma? - The rundown.
I first used bumped into āma about four years ago and have been using their products ever since, so when I heard that a sunscreen was in the making, it had me very excited. My continued support for āma is largely because I know that their core values are reflected in the way they operate and create products meaning I don’t need to worry about asking a million questions before trying a new product.
Some of āma’s commitments that I admire are:
- Packaging: Heidi’s has a commitment to not only using as little plastic as possible but also to reuse existing material wherever she can too. Don’t be surprised if your order is sent in a box or mailer with different branding, celebrate that it has been given a second life! The new sunscreen comes in highly recyclable aluminum tins, no plastic in sight!
- Natural ingredients: Sustainability and natural products are often assumed to go hand in hand but this isn’t always the case… however with āma I know that I will always be able to not only understand all the ingredients but be able to find out exactly what they are if I have any questions.
- Handmade in Aotearoa: Āma operates from Auckland, Tāmaki Makaurau and handmade by a collection of talented makers including Heidi herself. When I support āma, I know I am supporting local creators.
- Reef safe: All āma products are made with the environment in mind, so of course this sunscreen is reef safe! But what does that actually mean?
What makes some sunscreen eco-friendly?
This is a good question, and the short answer is a few things but unfortunately, many terms that we see on sunscreen labels are largely unregulated. Ocean-friendly, reef safe, and eco friendly are not related to any specific certification so can mean very different things so navigating this all can be a little tricky.
One thing you can look for is ‘Hawai’i bill compliant.’ Hawai’i passed a bill in 2018 that bans the use of certain ingredients (such as oxybenzone and octinoxate) in sunscreens due to their potential damage to coral and other sea life. This became an unofficial benchmark for other countries and businesses to follow suit. All āma sun products are compliant with the Hawai’i reef-safe sunscreen bill.
What is actually in the sunscreen?
The main ingredients are Zinc Oxide which is a natural mineral that is insoluble in water - meaning it stays well on your skin underwater! - that does the ‘protecting’ part from the sun.
Coco-Caprylate/Caprate and Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, which are both derived from natural ingredients like coconut oil which do the job of moisturizing and replenishing our skin.
The extra goodies include almond oil, beeswax, surfactant made from olives, kawakawa, mānuka honey and so much more. Both kawakawa and mānuka plants are used topically in traditional Māori herbal medicine or Rongoa for wounds and abrasions as well as some infectious skin conditions, making this sunscreen not only protecting against the sun but also soothing and healing for your skin.
What you won't find are any ingredients believed to cause coral bleaching or a petroleum base for products - did you know that many sunscreens have a base oil made from oil that takes years to biodegrade!
Does it really work?
Yes, it sure does! After many runs, swims and beach outings, I can confidently say that not only does this sunscreen rub on clear without the thick pasty feeling, but it holds the test of time. Being a SPF 30 certified product, I feel confident using it in midday sun and throughout the day without the need to reapply too often. It has protected and nourished my skin through many hot days and cold waters so I can confidently say that this is my sustainable sunscreen of choice.