Updated: Sep 18
By Renata Block, MMS, PA-C
I had the pleasure of experiencing a new brand that is so much more than SPF. Sonrei, the Spanish verb for "smile," is just what it wants you to do. On top of being against animal cruelty, the formula is fragrance-free, vegan, and reef-friendly. The goal of the company is to donate 1% to the planet, yes, Mother Earth.
Though the ingredients include "chemical" components in this gel sunscreen, in particular Octocrylene, Octisalate, Avobenzone, and Homosalate (in the SPF 50), I was reassured these components don't fall into the categories banned by Hawaii and also in Key West starting in 2021. A bonus is that it is a translucent gel that is not greasy, and a non-GMO, alcohol, and paraben-free sunscreen! It is excellent for skin types/tones and will not clog your pores, so it is perfect for the face as well. A one-stop-shop!
The formulation is unique because it has "Organosheild" ™ technology. This applied science is a proprietary anhydrous organogel that mainly consists of a uniform lattice structure. The structure holds ingredients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Ferulic Acid to provide your skin with extra antioxidant power that gives your skin an extra boost of protection against free-radical damage that causes fine lines and wrinkles! Voila!
I called the company to clarify their claim to be "reef-friendly" due to it not having the typical Zinc Oxide ingredients seen in such claims. I honestly was surprised not to see these common "reef-friendly" elements in the ingredient list, but now can appreciate an updated definition of "reef-friendly" options out there. They further reassured me by stating that based on the Hawaii ban, the two chemical components known as Oxybenzone and Octinoxate, are also not in their sunscreens.
In my mind, there had to be a reason why they chose the ingredients they did. The company informed me that their "chemical" sunscreen formulation was more compatible with the complex photoprotectant antioxidants and vitamins than the "mineral" components available. All of the information made so much sense because, in the end, the product then delivers what it promises!
Sonrei products provide clean, broad-spectrum UV protection options. I have been assured all ingredients are sourced clean, explicitly talking about Bentonite Clay (which cannot be placed in the organic label as it is an inorganic compound from the earth, duh). I do SEA CLEARLY now and am happy that the brand focuses on sustainable products that are great for all skin types, as well as using ingredients that come from the earth, naturally. Fingers crossed for a zinc formulation and more exciting products that come from Mother Earth. GiGi Approved for sure!
Diva Tip: For reassurance of chemical sunscreen use, please visit the FDA for more information on status and safety.
Renata Block is the creator of Savvy Derm Diva, an online resource for proper skin care. GiGi Approved is a monthly column discussing cruelty-free skincare options! Make sure you follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter! Need a dermatology consult? Please visit Advanced Dermatology & Aesthetic Medicine, LLC or Call/Text 847-802-9667 for a TeleDerm appointment. MUAH!💋