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SPF Marketing You Need To Be Aware Of

SPF Marketing You Need To Be Aware Of


SPF brands and manufacturers have come up with a lot of innovation in developing sun protection products in recent years. Due to their efforts, many people have happily embraced sunscreens. But the way sunscreens are marketed globally has become a unanimous practice. A certain aspect has become a market standard, and another appealing feature is used in abundance to attract consumers to buy the products. In today’s post "SPF Marketing You Need To Be Aware Of", I intend to inform you about those points and if you know them, you would find it helpful when buying your next sunscreen. As SPF market is growing, brands are imparting more awareness to consumers. So, while you're getting informed and knowledgeable about the products, I’d help you a bit there too. So let's get to it.

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SPF Marketing You Need To Be Aware Of

Sunblock Quantity

As awareness of wearing a sunblock throughout the year increases, people get inclined to use more. There has been a lot of innovation in sun care products and sun protection products. It was something people never liked or wanted to wear a few years ago. I was among those people too. The texture was not cosmetically elegant, it did not feel nice on the skin, and the ingredients were both strong and harmful. But thanks to the efforts, R&D, and innovation SPF manufacturers/companies are doing are very commendable! They have changed the SPF game forever. Now sunblocks are made resembling all kinds of skincare routine steps. You would see sunscreens in the form of essences, mists, serums, creams, and among the latest trends are sticks and cushions.

Not only that, but sunblocks are coming as safe, clean, vegan, reef friendly, and also combines the benefits of skincare and SPF. And now that it is the summer onset across the world, brands are launching more sun protection products. Keeping all the efforts and innovation in mind, it is not surprising to say that the product is expensive. Maybe, inevitable too. No matter which sunblock for face you choose, it would usually be expensive. Now let's talk quantity.

Forget the sunblock quantity thinly spread on four hand fingers SPF brands and reviewers are recently marketing (I find that funny). Just remember that you simply need to wear around a teaspoon of sunscreen on your face, neck and ears. That equals around 5 ml per application. Whereas the products in the market usually come in 50 ml packaging. If you use it with this ratio, your product would last ten days. But then, you also need to re-apply at least twice a day if you're out in the sun for longer duration.

So here is my point – A sunscreen is ridiculously expensive, because it comes in less quantity of 50 ml. This 50 ml has become a market standard. You need to apply liberally around 5 ml per application, and then you also need to re-apply at least twice a day.


What I think about this?

It is all marketing! If one company makes a 50 ml, every other company follows suit! To the extent that now 50 ml in cream formulation has become a market standard. And it is even quite less in stick formulation.


Suggestion to SPF Brands

Now this is what I want to suggest to SPF makers. The way it is with moisturizers and creams, for which packaging varies from 30-120 ml, I would suggest that you up the sunblock packaging to around 100 ml. I understand you would be increasing the price too, but that increase would optimize the increase in packaging size.

My second suggestion is that you also need to make more SPF products for the body. I know a few brands that make it, but sunblocks for body are still far too less in the SPF market. And it is very much a need. One wears less and lightweight clothing in summers, so more skin is exposed; and then sunbathing or hiking may also be involved during that time. For body SPF, I would suggest you increase packaging size to around 200 ml. That's too much to ask for? I think not.



The White Cast

The second topic, and a very controversial one too that I want to talk about is the "white cast". You might know that there are three types of sunscreens available. 

1. A physical sunscreen

2. A chemical sunscreen, and 

3. A hybrid sunscreen.

A physical sunscreen, also called a mineral sunscreen contains the two main UV blockers i.e. Titanium Dioxide, and Zinc Oxide.

A chemical sunscreen contains a range of chemicals to block UV rays such as Avobenzone, Octocrylene, Octisalate, Methylisothiazolinone, and more.

A hybrid sunscreen is a mix of the above two.


Now, what gives the white cast? A mineral sunscreen, and a hybrid sunscreen.

The two major ingredients and physical blockers in a physical sunscreen i.e. Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide are white salts. And that is why the white cast is there. Now depending on the formulation, the white cast can be a very minimal subtle hue such as a tone up effect to a more visible white. But, like I said, the white cast would only be in physical and hybrid sunscreens. If it is a chemical sunscreen, physical blockers would not be present, in which case brands do not need to advertise it by saying that the “chemical sunscreen has no white cast” because it does not make sense. Otherwise they might be added in very negligible quantity to act as catalyst to chemical blockers’ performance along with other SPF boosters. In this case it would more reasonable to say that the chemical sunscreen has no white cast because the white salts are in the formulation, though barely there. Although the term certainly holds true for hybrid sunblocks.

My Thoughts:

The term "white cast" appearing in EVERY sunscreen product’s marketing is nothing except marketing! It is only marketing to attract consumers to buy the product because it looks cosmetically elegant without the white cast. This marketing is also done assuming that the consumer does not have full knowledge of their purchases.

A purely chemical sunscreen is never to give a white cast, and does not need to be marketed as such. Same as with almost all reviewers and influencers boosting the products on the internet not needing to say 'the sunscreen with no white cast' to every sunblock they review, because it does not technically hold true in every case. But if you want to use the term to educate the audience right, then nothing better, go for it! Otherwise this would just be marketing confused or consumers misled, either by the brands, or by reviewers.

The claim that almost all brands make, reviewers make it too. And this is where the brands are going wrong. The term should be used to educate and not to lure consumers. If they market it wrong, consumers would remain confused. Because a consumer knowing or unknowingly, would also think in the same lines. If every other sunblock in the market comes with an attractive tagline of no white cast, consumers would never find out the difference and reasons to that.

I believe this marketing and awareness should change. Consumers need to know the different aspects well to be able to relate to it properly to a certain product. So I would say to look at what the product is and does, i.e. read the product description and function – what exactly it is supposed to do, and should it technically give a white cast. That would depend entirely on the type and formulation of the sunscreen.

To sum it up, I think the “no white cast” does not need to be linked to every sunscreen in the market, either through marketing or reviewing.



The packaging size of 50 ml as the set market standard, and marketing the sunscreen as ‘no white cast’ to attract and increase sales is all marketing! So I would suggest to consumers to please be aware and knowledgeable of all you need to know about sunscreen before you buy one. As you need to use the SPF product a lot, right information about them would certainly help you in buying the suitable and relevant product to your needs.


That's all for now. I hope you enjoyed reading this post and found it helpful in better deciding your next SPF purchase. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this. I'll see you soon. Bye. 

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  1. This was a really informative post about sunscreen and marketing tactics used. I have noticed that sunscreen for the face does come in smaller amounts (the Isntree sun gel is also in a 50ml packaging) whereas the sunscreen I use for the body is available in 200ml. Also, I have seen the term "no white cast" used many times for sunscreens, but I had no idea white cast isn't actually a thing with chemical sunscreens.

  2. Kristen Osborne23 March 2023 at 19:37

    This such an informative post. Very interesting. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Hi. Thank you for visiting and reading my page. Can you share your link so i can have a look at it too please? xx

  3. This is truly informative. The 'white cast' is an eye opener. And now I can proceed to purchase my next bottle without dread.

  4. Interesting to know about the white cast and SPF. And to know that is growing more. Thank you for sharing this lovely post!

  5. This was an interesting breakdown of what to be aware of and how to use this to inform us as consumers. Thanks so much for this information!

    1. Glad you found that helpful, Molly! Thanks for reading.

  6. Informative post, I hate the white cast makes me look very unnatural. I also wished they came in larger bottles.


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