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Episencial Sunny Sunscreen (and the very hungry caterpillar)

October 3, 2011

How many of us actually read the small print that covers the outer packaging of the newest addition to our bathroom cabinet?  Well, I probably spend more time reading it than most which is partly due to the fact that I write some of it but mostly because I’ve always been a bit nerdy like that. I remember as a kid trying to read the back of the henna shampoo bottle advert style as I washed my hair in the bath.  I also remember getting cross with myself for constantly stuffing it up before I wrapped the imaginary add up (note to self, I am not destined to be a hair ad voice-over artist)…..

Anyway, waffle over. I was reading the back of the Episencial sunscreen pack and found this interesting bit of text:

“I feel that taking the time to tell a story, read a book and play with your child is so important”

So do I but isn’t that a bit of an odd thing to put on a sunscreen???

And then it clicked (yup, not quick either).  This sunscreen has been licensed to use the artwork of Eric Carle, author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar!  What a quaint little touch and I must say, the guys have done a great job with the branding.

The Product.

This sunscreen claims to offer an SPF 35 which is amazing being as though it contains only 5% of Zinc Oxide and 5% of Titanium Dioxide. Usually I would not expect an SPF of more than 18 with this blend, 20 at the most but by some magic of science we are up at 35!   The sunscreen feels very zincy on the skin and while it goes in quite easily it does leave your skin feeling a little dry which won’t suit everyone.  It also smells kind of chalky and minerally which is not bad but not that fab either.

Otherwise this sunscreen contains a mix of organically certified and natural actives and extracts to make up its bulk. The main carrier ingredient is aloe vera juice and there are a couple of nifty emollients in there to help boost SPF (which may account for the higher reading) plus a PVP  based film former which I suspect is key to getting this formulation right up into the SPF 30’s.  Other ingredients of note are the stabilized vitamin C, the green tea, comfrey and natural preservatives.

The Positioning.

This is definitely a brand that any parent of a toddler would look to buy as I don’t know any child (me included) that didn’t fall in love with the Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Most parents would also love the fact that the bottle is made from recycled material, the product is made (at least in part) using sustainable solar power and the product contains organic ingredients.  But the biggest pull for many parents would be the charitable links to the Healthy Child Healthy World foundation plus the brands support of various other health initiatives.

The only thing that lets this brand down for me is the usual jump-on-the-bandwagon marketing that is ‘FREE FROM’ and all of that jazz. I totally get why people do it but do feel that with so many positive messages espoused by this brand, this corner of negativity is unneccessary.

This 118g (4oz) pack retails for around $15 which makes it pretty affordable for a mineral-only sunscreen and that, plus everything above makes this a winning formulation.

Pretty good stuff and yes Eric, we agree that reading to our children is tops.


PS: This product is not certified organic.



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