Sunscreen a Great Promotional Item - Things to Consider

Megan Polston Product Safety Promotional Product Advice Sunscreen

Sunscreen as a Promotional Product

Holly Polston
Promotional Marketing Expert - helping meet your goals and protect your brand.  Owner of Garment Graphics and Promotional Products  - 28 years assisting our clients.

There is nothing worse than spending time, money, and effort finding a product only to see it wind up in the trash.

 If you’re going to make the investment, you want the product to be used! Now, companies make mistakes when they take the lazy route and push the cheapest, easiest product to clients without considering the goals, both immediate and long-term, of their client.

Take sunscreen, for example. Sunscreen has recently become a great marketing tool for schools and businesses alike. It’s the perfect product to slip into a goodies bag, provide for a field trip, or give as a gift at an outdoor event.

In this case, spending a bit more time working with a knowledgeable company to find the sunscreen that meets your event’s needs is worth it! Here are the top five considerations we take into account when recommending a sunscreen to our clients.

1)    Sunscreen’s impact on the environment

 I grew up under the impression that the more sunscreen you wear the better. Recent studies, however, have started to indicate that our use, and sometimes over-use in my case, of sunscreen has had some major repercussions on our world’s oceans and coral reefs. Chemicals such as Oxybenzone wash off swimmers’ skin and linger in the water threatening the coral reefs that supply millions of ecosystems and house many creatures. Now you may be thinking that your school luau or company golf retreat is nowhere near an ocean. However, further studies have shown that these same chemicals absorb into our skin within 30 minutes and appear in our waste, which, you guessed it, makes its way into the ocean.

As an organization, is it a priority for you to represent yourself as environmentally conscious? Would you prefer to select from a product or vendor list that avoids what some scientists call the “Awful Eight”  ?

2)    Chemicals that have an impact on skin and long-term health

Unsurprisingly, those same chemicals that harm our reefs can have long-term repercussions on our own health. Sunscreens come in two categories: physical blockers and chemical blockers. Physical blockers contain natural minerals like zinc and titanium oxide that block UV rays. Chemical blockers typically contain a cocktail of chemicals designed to “scatter” UV rays.

Lab studies show that some chemical blockers can cause disruption in our bodies’ ability to produce hormones - a side effect that children are more susceptible to than adults. ( Sunscreens that contain physical blockers rather than chemical are more likely to have nourishing peptides and antioxidants that actually aide in safe-sun practices. They also typically block the broadest spectrum of light, and dermatologists call them a cleaner alternative to chemical blockers. ( Do you want a sunscreen that actively nourishes the body? Are you looking for a product that contains a moisturizing element? Do you want your product to be unquestionably safe for your consumers? 

Reef Safe Sunscreen

3)    Spray vs. Lotion

This one is simply a look into what would be the most practical for an individual event. Lotions tend to linger on hands and may not be ideal for a school luau where it can be tough to hold onto a wriggling 3rd grader long enough to effectively cover sun-exposed areas. A lotion may be better suited for a larger company or women’s retreat looking for a moisturizer that contains SPF protection.

4)    Sweat and Water resistance

If your event is outdoors, odds are there may be any number of occasions for your sunscreen to rub off. Where do you want the attention of your guests: constantly reapplying their sunscreen or enjoying the atmosphere you have created? Do you want the product to be versatile enough to be used either indoors or outdoors for future use?

5)    Of course, effectiveness

This pretty much speaks for itself, but all of the above considerations are moot points if the sunscreen doesn’t actually work. Skin cancer affects around 5 million people each year, but it’s also one of the most preventable forms of cancer. (  No one likes waking up the next day with a crispy, itchy sunburn. In order to effectively, safely, and responsibly enjoy a day in the sun the product actually has to work! The truth is, there are plenty of brands that meet a wide range of priorities and stand up to both environmental and health concerns.

 Accomplishing all of this is an easy process once you work with a company that will listen to your priorities, understand your goals, and has a catalog of products that fits your needs. Some companies encourage clients to throw money at product without taking the time to consider the product differences that may make one option more effective over another. Others may provide you a host of options and leave you with the work of wading through them.

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