Q&A with Love Sun Body Founder Dr. Terry Zickerman

New to Pharmaca, Love Sun Body is a line of natural-origin sunscreens that was the first in the US to be certified COSMOS NATURAL by ECOCERT—one of the most stringent certifications on the market. The products launched in 2018, and include scented and unscented versions in both SPF 30 and 50.

To learn more about the birth of this lovely line, we spoke with founder Dr. Terry Zickerman, whose background in business, biology and chemistry—along with a doctorate in chiropractic—set him on the path to creating a better sunscreen.

How/why did you make the transition from the finance industry to natural sun care?

My family and I were taking a weekend break at Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. We were looking to purchase natural sunscreen and could not find one sunscreen with all-natural ingredients. As a doctor and scientist, I am conscious about what I put on my skin, knowing what can be absorbed into the body. My wife, brother-in-law and I started discussing sunscreen brands and our past experience with natural sunscreens. We questioned why so many natural sunscreens did not deliver sufficient protection, often leaving us sunburned. We felt there had to be a better solution and set out to make a product that was natural, safe and effective.

You spent years in research and development for the line. What was the formulation process like?

When we founded the company in 2012, we immediately started researching sunscreen ingredients, efficacy—both chemical and natural products. We found that many chemical sunscreen ingredients are considered harmful to the environment (i.e. coral reefs, marine life, etc.) but also are believed to pose a risk to humans, too. We discovered why companies use them—to keep costs down, make formulas more ‘pleasing’ to consumers and speed up formulation times.

We also identified a lot of the frustrations and shortcomings of existing natural or mineral sunscreens—too white, too thick, hard to use, etc. This research just made us more determined to create a product that would be a truly safe and effective alternative to chemical sunscreens and also, a natural mineral formula that consumers would really love using. This wasn’t easy and took years, because no one had done it before. There are a lot of natural sunscreens out there but none that could meet FDA, European and Canadian requirements as well as achieve COSMOS NATURAL certification by ECOCERT.

Why was it so important to ensure that the line was COSMOS and cruelty free certified?  

ECOCERT COSMOS NATURAL is a way to ensure consumers know they are truly getting a natural sunscreen. As we conducted our R&D, we found that US regulations on sunscreens and natural products are not strict enough, and it creates loopholes that some companies exploit. For example, there are some very popular sunscreen brands that claim to be natural, but include a lot of the harmful chemical ingredients that are being banned.

Unfortunately, in the US, as long as some of the product’s ingredients are natural and the rest are chemical, the company can still claim “natural sunscreen” on the packaging. This is really a form of greenwashing. We chose to work with ECOCERT, a governing body for natural and organic cosmetics, because they only certify a product as natural if it meets their formulation, manufacturing and packaging standards. COSMOS NATURAL certification requires the brand to declare on the bottle exactly how much of the formula is natural. If the product contains only 60 percent natural ingredients, that is what must be stated on the package. We made the effort to ensure our formula is 100 percent natural and we’re proud to have the ECOCERT COSMOS Natural certification to prove it.

At Love Sun Body, we care about the environment and all living things from the coral reefs to marine life and other animals. We are proud to have a formula that is cruelty-free and vegan. None of our formulas or raw materials were tested on animals and we do not use any animal-derived ingredients.

Tell us more about your sustainability initiatives and why that’s an important part of your mission.

At Love Sun Body, our mission is to be “safe for your body and the planet.” We believe in the importance of sustainable manufacturing practices for the health of humans and our planet. We use plant-based ingredients from manufacturers that start with natural raw ingredients sourced using sustainable practices and using methods that are environmentally sound. All of our products are biodegradable, our packaging is recyclable, kept to a minimum and is environmentally friendly. Our manufacturing even incorporates natural cleaning ingredients, and no chemicals.

Do you have plans to expand your product offerings? 

Yes, we are working on new products that will continue to provide effective, natural and safe sunscreen solutions for 2020.

Finally, why did you decide to partner with Pharmaca?

Pharmaca is a great partner for Love Sun Body because of their innovative approach to health and beauty. They share our vision for natural, clean and sustainable products. They are building a community where people like us can go to find alternatives to products made with harmful chemicals. We are thrilled to be chosen to join their impressive collection of brands.