Living Locally   /   Style / Personal Care Products   /   Health & Wellness

Protecting your skin from the sun naturally

Rocky Mountain Soap Company launches locally made, all-natural sunscreen

June 23, 2016 by Centaine Hlushak on Rocky Mountain Soap Company

For people with sensitive skin, it can be difficult to find a sunscreen that doesn’t result in skin irritations or a pasty residue. If you are conscientious about using only skin care products with natural ingredients, finding a clean sunscreen that works and has an appealing texture may seem downright impossible.

Thankfully, Rocky Mountain Soap Company now has a solution: Broad spectrum SPF 31 face and body sunscreen. Like all of the company’s products, it’s handmade in Canmore and contains no sulfates, parabens, phthalates or other nasty ingredients.

Sunscreens on the market protect by forming chemical or physical barriers. Chemical sunscreens are the most common, and use chemical compounds that are absorbed by the skin to protect it; however, adults with sensitive skin or babies under the age of six months have reportedly been prone to allergic reactions to the synthetic chemicals used.

Physical sunscreens protect by laying on top of the skin, scattering and reflecting the UV rays that hit it. This type of sunscreen uses the mineral compound zinc oxide as a natural protectant, but it’s less popular as it leaves a visible white layer on the skin that’s hard to wash off.

Patrick Hemalal, head of research and senior chemist at Rocky Mountain Soap Company, has perfected a physical sunscreen recipe that’s both aesthetically pleasing and adequately protects from UVA and UVB rays without the use of synthetic chemicals. Plus, it’s naturally scented with vanilla and coconut.

The challenge according to Patrick was finding the perfect balance of zinc oxide to create a proper SPF. The finished product is SPF 31 (20% zinc oxide) which Patrick says will provide 97% protection from the sun.

Patrick has been a chemist in the cosmetic industry for 10 years, and used to work the global circuit with companies like Colgate in East Asia before he joined Rocky Mountain Soap Company’s team last year. He says it’s a pleasure to be working in a lab where he can combine knowledge and technology to create a product people enjoy.

“When I go to the shop, I look around and nobody notices me, but I’m very happy to see people selecting it. I’m like ‘oh my goodness, I made that!’”

“It’s a priceless job.”


  1. Click here to read more about the sunscreen on the Rocky Mountain Soap Company blog.
  2. Peruse the online store or head to any of these retail locations to get your fix.
  3. Follow Rocky Mountain Soap Company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
  4. To learn more about the ways in which this local business is demonstrating leadership for the community and the environment, check out Rocky Mountain Soap Company's Sustainability Profile.