Frequently Asked Questions
Kabana Skin Care is located near Denver, Colorado in the town of Louisville. Normal business hours are 9AM – 5PM MST; our toll-free line is monitored during business hours, but if we don’t answer, please leave us a message and we’ll call you back as soon as possible. 888 517 0414.
Ordering Questions (7)
Kabana ships domestic orders via USPS First Class or Priority rates based on weight. Rates start at $2.75 and go up to $10.85.
International shipments are carried by USPS International First Class or Priority, also based on weight. Most shipments to Canada go via USPS International First Class and begin at $3.05. Shipments to other parts of the world go via USPS International Priority, beginning at $16.95. Almost all orders will ship at this rate, unless you’re placing a very large order.
If you need special express service, we also offer that. Please email email@example.com or call 888 517 0414 if you would like to request overnight shipping.
If you’re purchasing bulk or wholesale quantities we normally use FedEx Ground or USPS Flat Rate Priority – whichever is most economical for your order.
We normally ship your order quickly! Our typical turnaround time is by the next business day. Generally US customers will receive their order less than 5 business days after it’s placed on the website.
Yes, we can do this for you. Please call 888 517 0414 to place this type of order.
Kabana ships USPS priority mail to all US addresses for orders 14 ounces or more, this service generally takes 2-3 days. Smaller orders ship USPS First Class which has a similar delivery time.
We do our best to ship by the next day as well, so you receive our wonderful products quickly.
For international orders except to Canada, we ship USPS Plobal Priority, which takes 6 to 10 business days. Canada orders are generally shipped via International First Class as this passes through customs more easily.
We have a comprehensive guarantee policy that can be found here.
Yes, Kabana uses SSL by directing customers to our payment security provider’s website at checkout. All customer payment information is protected by through SSL encryption.
Yes, we offer our products under all three business models. We wholesale to both online and brick and mortar retailers. We also offer bulk packaging (quart and gallon pumps) for institutional users. If you’re interested in the private label option, please contact us. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888 517 0414.
Product Questions (15)
Yes, Green Screen® Organic Sunscreen, and all other Kabana products are safe for use on children. In fact, Zinc Oxide is the only FDA approved sunscreen active ingredient that is safe for use on babies under the age of 6 months. Zinc Oxide is also the active ingredient in diaper rash treatments, which puts the ingredient on the most sensitive skin on earth – an inflamed baby’s bottom.
Yes! We disclose all our ingredients on both labels and on our website. Transparency is one of Kabana’s primary business objectives.
FDA requires sunscreen manufacturers to provide a 2 year shelf life on sunscreen products. This is because petrochemical sunscreen active ingredients degrade with time, heat and sunlight exposure. Zinc oxide however is a mineral, and as a result it never loses its sunscreen activity because being a rock, it cannot degrade as do the carbon-based sunscreen chemicals. As long as you can spread the product on your skin, you’ll be UV protected! Kabana still must put an expiration date on our products to comply with FDA regulations despite the fact that our product’s active ingredient is immune to degradation concerns.
While the Zinc Oxide never becomes ineffective, Green Screen®’s natural and organic formula can eventually oxidize and become rancid. We have not observed this to occur readily since we fortify the formula with vegetable vitamin E, which is an excellent antioxidant, good both for your skin and for preventing rancidity. Zinc Oxide also acts as a preservative, since in addition to it being the best and safest sunscreen on the planet, it is also antimicrobial and antifungal. (And is the number one active ingredient recommended by pediatricians for treating diaper rash. Diaper rash is generally caused by a fungus. Try our Dream Crème Diaper Rash Treatment!)
No, we do not use nanoparticles in our products. We are one of the few manufacturers that explicitly states we do not use nanoparticles. Sunscreen manufacturers can be misleading by saying they use micronized particles because nano is still technically in the micron size range. There’s also a difference between ‘micronized’ and ‘micron-sized’ because micronization is a process that grinds larger zinc oxide particles into smaller ones and always results in a significant number of nanoparticles. Confusing? Unfortunately it is a bit. The zinc oxide Kabana uses is in the micron-size range, but the particles are produced via a special process to be that size directly, instead of being ground down, and thereby our zinc oxide does not contain ANY nanoparticles.
All useful mineral sunscreens are either in the micron-sized range or nano as anything larger than the micron size becomes the size of fine sand which is useless in a sunscreen preparation and impossible to evenly apply.
Unfortunately the answer to this question is complex. Nanoparticles are particles defined as less than 100 nanometers in diameter, or 0.1 micron. Most nanoparticle sunscreens in the marketplace have particle sizes of 15 nanometers or 0.015 micron. Micronized sunscreens are created by grinding larger particle sizes into smaller ones. Typically micronized particles are between 0.1 micron and 100 microns, however the griding process may result in nanoparticles called ‘fines’ which are smaller. Kabana uses neither nanoparticle (size) zinc oxide, nor micronized (manufacturing process) zinc oxide. Instead Kabana uses micron-sized particles, created by a clean gas phase process that involves no griding and maintains a tight particle size distribution in the micron range, average size 0.260 +/- standard deviation of 0.012 microns, which is 20x larger than most nanoparticle sunscreens. Given this tight size distribution, there are statistically zero nanoparticles in our zinc oxide. This particle size range has been used in products for decades and is considered safe.
For reference, 100 microns is 0.1 millimeter, which is the size of a fine grain of sand and as a sunscreen, would be useless because it would be impossible to evenly apply (and gritty!). All mineral sunscreens on the market are micron-sized, micronized or nano. Some companies advertise they are using micronized particles, but may still be using nanoparticles because nanoparticles are technically also a finer version of the micronized form. The only way for you to know that a sunscreen active ingredient is not nano is if the company provides you a particle size number. Zinc oxide in Kabana products are in the micron range (0.26 micron = 260nm) and are non-nano.
Nanoparticles have received some bad press recently by the media, largely based on some publications about other nanotechnology based compounds (Buckminsterfullerene, otherwise known as buckyballs or C-60) that are, however, entirely unrelated to sunscreen active ingredients. The primary question regarding nanoparticle sunscreen ingredients is whether or not they have an increased capacity to cross the skin and get absorbed into the blood. Kabana has not encountered any well controlled scientific experiments or publications that state this to be the case, however there hasn’t been a large amount of research. The answer to the nanoparticle question therefore remains somewhat uncertain. It’s Kabana’s ethical policy to always use common sense. The use of nanoparticles does not increase sunscreen effectiveness significantly, so Kabana avoids nanoparticle zinc oxide in all of our products because there’s no reason to expose our customers to increased risk.
The answer is Zinc Oxide is a much safer and more effective sunscreen than Titanium Dioxide. Kabana uses Zinc Oxide instead of Titanium Dioxide for the following four reasons:
- Titanium Dioxide’s UV absorption spectrum is not as broad spectrum in UVA and UVB as is Zinc Oxide; Zinc Oxide is a better absorber across more wavelengths which results in better, safer protection for you and your family.
- Titanium Dioxide creates more free radicals that do oxidative damage to your body and skin cells, and increases aging processes.
- Zinc Oxide is the only sunscreen active ingredient that’s been tested and FDA approved for use on babies under 6 months of age and children – this illustrates its high degree of safety.
- Titanium Dioxide contains titanium, which is just another toxic heavy metal in our bodies; Zinc is a critical mineral nutrient. You won’t find Titanium in your vitamins, but you certainly will find Zinc.
Yes, Kabana does not pursue any animal testing, period. We do test our sunscreens on humans using the FDA sunscreen monograph testing protocol to generate the SPF number for labeling purposes. This process is mandated by law in the federal register.
Yes, Green Screen®, as well as other Kabana products, are safe for the environment, reefs and fish. Our products are biodegradable and contain none of the petrochemicals known to have estrogenic effects in the environment, coral toxicity or bioaccumulation problems.
Unfortunately, unlike the food industry’s USDA organic labeling criteria, there exist no standardized obligatory laws governing what constitutes ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ in personal care products. This means that manufacturers who use these terms can legally claim natural or organic products on the front label, but still use petroleum ingredients. Kabana has encountered competitors in the natural space who argue that petroleum is natural because it comes out of the ground. NSF has recently established a voluntary standard – NSF 305 – which manufacturers are adopting, but it isn’t well understood by the marketplace. Kabana’s manufacturing facility is both USDA NOP and NSF 305 certified compliant.
Since no real regulation exists, the sole way consumers can determine whether or not a product is safe and good for them to use is to read ingredient labels and know something about ingredients to avoid. Kabana has chosen to make this easy by exclusively using simple to understand, edible grade and common ingredients that offer superb nourishment and protection for our skin and bodies as a whole.
Kabana has also established a very strict definition of what constitutes ‘natural.’
In order for an ingredient to be deemed natural by Kabana’s rigorous standards it must be directly derived from a living organism via a sustainable process and free of petrochemicals, or is a mineral that has a proven safety record for use on and in the human body, such as with our spring water and non-nanoparticle zinc oxide. Kabana’s ingredients are of the highest quality, chosen specifically to ensure good health and environmental sustainability.
Green Screen uses Zinc Oxide as its active ingredient. Zinc Oxide it a white pigment, which can turn skin white depending upon how much is applied and how dark your skin is naturally. At the rated SPF and application of 2 milligrams per square centimeter of skin, which is the density at which FDA makes sunscreen manufacturers test their products, it is principally transparent. This amount is about the equivalent of 1 ounce applied to your entire body when wearing a bathing suit.
Kabana also makes a tinted version that uses the biomineral iron oxide to provide a flesh-colored tint that reduces the chalkiness of the regular SPF 20 formula. Iron oxide is the same mineral that makes blood look red. Many of our customers find this more aesthetically pleasing. We may be releasing additional tinted products in the future to better match the skin tones of sunscreen users. Iron oxide is also the primary tint used in the highly popular mineral makeups.
Zinc Oxide is an excellent sunscreen because it has the broadest UV protective spectrum and cannot be absorbed into your blood, unlike all the petroleum-based sunscreen chemicals. It sits on the top of your skin where it needs to be, effectively providing a layer of armor against damaging UV rays.
Zinc Oxide is, however, an extremely misunderstood active ingredient in the suncare industry. Most manufacturers, dermatologists and media report that zinc oxide reflects and scatters UV radiation, an assumption they make because it looks white. This is completely wrong. It looks white because it does indeed reflect and scatter visible light, however it behaves entirely differently in the UV spectrum. It would look black in the UV spectrum because it absorbs UV radiation via a process of electron excitation called band-gap absorption. Since energy always has to go somewhere, and UV is quite strong, zinc oxide absorbs UV and turns it into comparably harmless infrared, which it disposes of as heat.
Comparably, one of the issues with titanium dioxide is that although it absorbs UV, it cannot convert it as easily into heat, instead dumping the absorbed energy on nearby electrons and creating free radicals that cause oxidative damage to your DNA and other critical cellular structures.
There are several reasons petrochemical sunscreens are bad for you:
- Petrochemical sunscreens penetrate the skin, resulting in bioaccumulation and systemic exposure. They often end up in your or your children’s blood, and can accumulate in fat deposits. These compounds are toxic in themselves and will do direct DNA damage over time. Many of them also mimic estrogen in our bodies, which is associated with numerous diseases, including cancer and early puberty in young girls. Many fail to biodegrade, can accumulate in the water supply and ocean sediments, feminize fish and damage coral. You will find when you travel to tropical locales that most aquatic parks have banned petrochemical sunscreens for this reason. You can use Green Screen® in these parks however because it doesn’t contain the banned chemicals.
- Using petrochemical sunscreens trades UV-induced damage for chemical-induced damage. Although they absorb UV in certain wavelengths, no single petrochemical sunscreen is broad spectrum. Petrochemical sunscreens also do not convert UV energy into harmless energy as well as Zinc Oxide does. Instead, UV energy can ‘photodegrade’ the active ingredients. This means break chemical bonds and effectively not only inactivate the UV absorbing capacity of the molecule, but also create reactive free radicals that further damage your body.
- Petrochemicals used in sunscreen products result in extremely high exposure levels (thousands to millions of times!) compared to other environmental contaminants present in our air, food and water, yet using a zinc oxide-based sunscreen such as Green Screen® is a simple way to limit the risks associated with such chemical contaminant exposure.
- Since petrochemical sunscreens are photosensitive and their chemistry can be damaged by UV light, they oftwn create additional free radicals that react with other biochemicals in your skin. In addition to being a precursor for the development of cancer, these irreversible chemical changes can cause a severe inflammatory response in your skin that may be red and very painful, it’s effectively a chemical burn.
We have not conducted the FDA-mandated testing for water-resistance, largely because we believe telling our customers that the product stays on you in the water is misleading and unethical, since no sunscreens can do this adequately. The term ‘waterproof’ was excluded from the approved marketing terminology in FDA’s 1999 final monograph governing the manufacture of sunscreen products, because nothing on the planet is waterproof, and this term provides consumers a false sense of security while using the product. Terms that were excluded from the approved marketing language in the 1999 monograph but are still often used by unethical companies seeking to mislead their customers about the effectiveness of their products are:
Implies the product blocks the sun. No suncare product blocks the sun entirely, they only provide a measure of screening, which does indeed result in some UV exposure and subsequent damage.
Because no sunscreen product can possibly be waterproof, all will wash off eventually. Be wary of sunscreen manufacturers who make this claim – they are in violation of FDA law established to keep consumers safer.
Same reason as waterproof.
“All day protection”
No sunscreen performs throughout the entire day; they either wash off or photodegrade and become useless UV absorbers.
Effectively, sunscreen manufacturers that use these terms are not only violating FDA labeling law, but also actively increasing skin cancer rates because consumers think they are more protected than they actually are and expose their bodies to longer duration UV damage as a result.
FDA announced in June 2011 that they would be enforcing the 1999 OTC monograph rules on labeling beginning in the middle of 2012. Kabana views this as a positive development, as Green Screen will no longer be as disadvantaged in the marketplace as a result of our ethical marketing policies compared to the competition.
This is absolutely true. SPF 15 equates to 93.3% UV absorption, which means by applying such a product 93.3% of the UV your skin would otherwise be absorbing is getting absorbed by the product. Doubling the SPF value to 30 provides 96.7% UV absorption, or only 3.4% more UV protection with a possible 100% more petrochemical exposure, and this only works as long as the product stays on your skin, which sunscreens don’t do well. Each additional SPF unit above SPF 15 provides only a fraction more protection, but significantly more petrochemical exposure. Take a look at this graph. If it isn’t on your skin, even an infinite SPF won’t do you any good.
It is for these reasons that the American Academy of Dermatology recommends you use an SPF 15 sunscreen and reapply about every two hours, or more often if you swim, sweat or even roll over on your towel.
The graph above was mathematically derived by our founder, Erik Kreider, however afterward we discovered it was also published originally by RM Sayre, in Photochemistry & Photobiology, 1979. An interesting paper on UV and sunscreens that cites Sayre can be found here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3460660/.
Kabana Skincare is the only company selling sunscreen that makes our testing data publicly available. See below for the links to the original testing reports from the independent contract lab we use. Many sunscreen companies apply a mathematical formula based on active ingredient percentage to calculate the SPF number. This is illegal and totally unethical, because the SPF number is not linearly related to active ingredient content, as described by the graph below. Many companies will also use UV absorbing chemistry that is not approved for use as a sunscreen to boost the effective SPF. However since it costs about $5000 to properly test for the SPF on humans according to FDA’s 2011 OTC Monograph on Sunscreens, no one (not even the FDA) is currently ensuring products sold as sunscreens actually provide the protection they claim.
Green Screen SPF 31 Original:
Green Screen Original SPF Testing Data
Green Screen Original UVA/Critical Wavelength Data
You can observe from the graph that for SPF values above 20, the user gets very little additional effective UV protection. This graph concisely illustrates how an SPF value higher than 20 is a marketing gimmick.