Brand Break Down: Mother SPF

Updated: Mar 16

*This feature is not sponsored or paid for in any way by Mother SPF or any other invested party

We know now that sun exposure can cause problems from aging the skin all the way to skin cancer. So for many of us, sunscreen is one of the most important parts of a skincare routine. However, there’s a lot of things about sunscreen that a lot of people have problems with. Some sunscreens have ingredients that are toxic to corals and marine life, and there are some concerns about whether the chemicals used in sunscreen are toxic to humans as well. These concerns are why MOTHER SPF was created. When her mum was diagnosed with leukemia, Tandia, one of the founders, sought to help her eliminate toxic chemicals in her skincare while getting treatment. After facing difficulty finding a good mineral sunscreen suitable for everyday use, she made her own.

We loved the idea behind it and the fact that it's reef-safe, organic, cruelty-free, vegan, and all-around sustainable, so we reached out to founder Tandia to learn more.



OWNERSHIP


MOTHER SPF is registered as Mother Sun Protection Company PTY LTD and is owned by founders Tandia Walsh and Elle Peter, friends from Perth, Australia.



INGREDIENTS & RAW MATERIALS

MOTHER SPF founders Tandia Walsh and Elle Peter

MOTHER SPF ingredients are certified organic, non-GMO, and sustainably sourced. They also do not contain any palm oil or animal by-products. And because they believe less is more MOTHER SPF only has 9 ingredients:

  • Non-Nano Zinc Oxide: the main ingredient responsible for protecting the skin against UVA and UVB Rays

  • Coco-Caprylate / Caprate

  • Polyglyceryl-3 Polyricinoleate

  • Isostearic Acid

  • Caprylic Capric Triglyceride

  • Organic Coconut Oil

  • Organic Castor Oil

  • Organic Candelilla Wax

  • Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E)



And in the spirit of transparency, you can read more about these ingredients and the reasons they are in the product on their website.


Their formulation is also quite different from the usual, mainstream commercial sunscreens which can contain up to 85% water. MOTHER SPF contains no water at all which means it requires no preservatives (microorganisms need water to grow). This also means MOTHER SPF needs no synthetic emulsifiers, stabilisers, and thickeners.

The brand has no cruelty-free certifications yet (as they need to be operating for 2 years to get certified), but founder Tandia has assured us that they and their suppliers do not test on animals, nor will they sell in mainland China.


They also have no independent vegan certifications but they do not use any animal-derived ingredients and have made the effort to find a good alternative to beeswax to make their product vegan-friendly.

SOURCING & MANUFACTURING

All MOTHER SPF ingredients are all sustainably sourced, non-GMO, and palm oil-free. Their plant-based botanical ingredients are certified organic by the ACO. However, the product itself cannot be certified organic as they use natural mineral zinc oxide, which, being a mineral that is mined and not grown, is not considered “organic” by the ACO.


MOTHER SPF is also manufactured in Australia with 100% solar power.

PACKAGING & RECYCLING OPTIONS

MOTHER SPF is committed to not contributing to the planet’s problem with waste. So they’ve developed packaging that’s not just minimal, but also sustainable. When you order MOTHER SPF, all you get is the product, a protective recycled box, and a mailer bag.

Their tubes are made via a closed-loop, post-consumer recycling system. This means that plastics that would normally end up in landfill are washed, dried, made into pellets, crystallizes, and then made into MOTHER SPF tubes. A bonus benefit of using this process is not just diverting plastic from landfill, this process also uses a lot less energy and water than making them from raw materials. These PCR tubes are also 100% recyclable.

The outer packaging for PCR tube is a cute reusable bag made of organic cotton which we think is perfect for keeping small items like your keys, sunnies, and lip balm handy at the beach.


MOTHER SPF mailer bags are also 100% biodegradable and home-compostable. They are made of 70-80% PLA (completely biodegradable copolymer) and 20-30% PLA (aka corn starch). The mailing bags break down within 90 days in a compostable environment and will also break down in landfill and leave no waste or methane gas behind.


Any promotional materials you get with your order are made from recycled cardboard and printed with vegetable dyes.


The courier they use, Australia Post, has also committed to being 100% carbon neutral.

MOTHER SPF does not offer a recycling program but as previously mentioned, all of their packaging is recyclable or compostable. As for a refilling option, Tandia tells us that this is unfortunately not a possibility for their product since the Therapeutic Goods Administration, which regulates sunscreen in Australia, does not allow sunscreen to be a refillable product as they consider it medicine.



GIVING BACK

& ADVOCACY

Being a recently launched brand (they’ve only been operating for 10 months as of October 2020), they haven’t found charity partners or held programs to give back as a company yet. However, Tandia tells us they are currently in talks with a number of charities to hopefully organize ocean cleanup events over the summer.

DIVERSITY & INCLUSIVITY

At the moment, MOTHER SPF is just founders Tandia and Elle. However, Tandia tells us that when they start to expand and hire, “diversity will be extremely important.”




We should all religiously use sunscreen, especially when going for a swim at the beach, and we think that shouldn’t come at the cost of marine life and added waste in landfill. A lot of sunscreen brands like MOTHER SPF understand that and are making it possible for us to not have to choose between our skin and the planet.

We love seeing new brands launch with sustainability already at the center of the business instead of it being an afterthought and MOTHER SPF is one of those brands. So why not make a simple change to support a more sustainable sunscreen that won’t kill marine life and won’t add more plastic to landfill? Because aside from all the good stuff they can boast about sustainability-wise, MOTHER SPF can also boast about the great reviews coming in from happy customers. We encourage you to give MOTHER SPF a try if you’re looking to combat the harsh Aussie sun but not so keen on the plastic and harm to marine life that usually comes with that.

MOTHER SPF is available in online and in stockists Australia-wide, as well as select international stockists.