Summer is coming, not that it isn’t already sunny enough where I live, and I’m currently testing over a dozen different sunscreens. (Not kidding.) You could say sun damage has been on my mind. But no matter how much I like any of the sunscreens I’m trying, none of them solve one of the most basic problems skincare and anti-aging fanatics face with their UV protection:
AM I USING ENOUGH?!?!?!?!?!
Thing is, the labeled SPF on sunscreen packaging is based on the protection the product provides when applied at 2 mg/cm2, which works out to approximately 1/4 tsp for face alone. (This varies depending on the size of your face, but I don’t see many of us running out to get the exact surface areas of our faces measured and then commissioning custom measuring spoons to provide perfect dosage. Honestly, I think 1/4 tsp is just fine as a guideline.)
Below that 1/4 tsp, however, protection drops dramatically.
Whether or not most of us truly need the full labeled SPF of a product on an everyday basis is up for debate, but I think most of us would like to feel we’re getting the protection we paid for. And like I said, that can be hard to judge in the mornings when you’re just trying to slap on your products and get out the door.
That’s why I was so excited to learn that my friend Angela, one of the two hilarious and beautiful bloggers behind Beauty and the Cat, had come up with an idea for a moisturizer/sunscreen combo that would come pre-dosed in single-use pearls–balls, for the uncouth among us–measured out to deliver the protection promised on the label. Ingenious! Not only had Angela envisioned these great balls of SPF, she’d also submitted it to Volition Beauty, a beauty company that sources product ideas from user submissions and public voting.
Angela’s balls need your votes to progress to the prototype stage. So to help spread the word and build some support for her balls, I sat her down (virtually, over email) to discuss how the idea came about and what she hopes will happen next.
Fair warning: Much juvenile humor incoming. Mostly about balls.
FIDDY: Can you tell me more about your balls? How and when did they start growing (from an idea into a project) and when do you expect them to drop?
Angela: The growth of my balls has been explosive and unexpectedly fun. The idea began as a modest challenge to myself when I learned about Volition’s unique business model: turning ideas for beauty solutions from ordinary people into actual, marketable products.
You can see my vision represented in the product photo and description on the campaign page, but my balls are yet to be fully formed. Only once we reach the vote goal does Volition proceed with formulating prototypes and samples for me to test. I truly hope my balls will be ready to drop soon after.
FIDDY: I know Volition hasn’t started making prototypes yet, but have you had any conversations about the contents of your balls? That is, the filters and finishes you’re considering?
Angela: Those aspects of my balls haven’t been shaped yet, but I’m eager to get into more detailed discussions with Volition once the campaign ends.
I worry sometimes that my idea is a skincare unicorn. (To its credit, Volition doesn’t think so.)
What I’d like is an all-in-one timesaver that moisturizes, provides strong UVA and UVB protection, and has a soft, smooth, non-shiny finish that’s wearable on its own or under foundation. The finish is very important to me because I’m used to super shiny formulas that require powdering or foundation, so I’d love to render that step optional.
FIDDY: Volition’s business model means you can’t keep your balls under wraps during development. People end up seeing your balls at an early stage. Do you worry that a big cosmetics company may spot your balls and decide to make and drop their own balls before you can?
Angela: At this point, thousands of people have seen my balls–or at least a mockup of them. Now that my balls have been exposed, copying is certainly a possibility. While I hope that doesn’t happen, I don’t know what the legal options would be. As a practical matter, I would hope that we work towards completion as fast as we can and create the better product.
Do you think Angela’s balls are worth supporting? Are you as excited as I am to put these balls on your face? If so, please vote for them here. As an added bonus, when you vote, you’ll be automatically entered in a giveaway to win over $200 worth of Volition products!
Looking for a good sunscreen to tide you over until Angela’s sunscreen balls are a reality? Check out my Sunscreens category and check out my Instagram, where I’ll be posting periodic updates on my dozen-plus sunscreen adventures!