Aesop SPF 25 Facial Lotion: Under the Cap [Part 3]

July 01, 2019 5 Comments

Aesop SPF 25 Facial Lotion: Under the Cap [Part 3]

We’re back with our third episode of ‘Under the Cap’! Click here for part 1 on Dove Soap and part 2 on Nivea Face Wash.

After a nice warm summer weekend in London, a sunscreen review is certainly in order. And while everyone knows you should wear sunscreen (see below), the complexity of choosing a good one is not lost on us. Physical vs. chemical, SPF number, white cast or not, it’s a confusing world out there.

➔ I'm still not convinced. Why should I wear sunscreen everyday?

Applying sunscreen prevents many bad things from happening (e.g. skin cancer, sun damage, sun burn), and is therefore one of the most critical steps in any skincare routine. You might be aware that 80-90% of skin aging comes from sun light, and UVA rays contribute significantly to signs of ageing and skin cancer. A quick refresher from school days: the sun transmits 3 types of ultraviolet radiation - UVA, UVB, and UVC rays. UVC rays are stopped by the ozone layer and don't penetrate the earth’s atmosphere, but UVA and UVB can affect our skin in dangerous ways if we are not careful.

Even if you have a darker skin tone and don’t show traditional signs of ‘sunburn,’ your skin might be hiding signs of skin cancer. You can read more about that here

➔ How should I choose one that’s right for me?

Whether you choose a chemical or a physical sunscreen, we recommend finding one that you feel comfortable applying every single day. This means if the white cast in a physical sunscreen means you’ll feel hesitant to use it on a normal working day, find a chemical one that works for you.

There are many different chemical ingredient options, each with a varying degree of ‘toxicity.’ You can refer to the EWG’s Sunscreen guide for more information: click here.

For this week’s Under the Cap, we chose to feature Australian brand Aesop’s new sunscreen. Aesop is famous for its stunning design, packaging, and unique in-store experience. While it has never claimed to be ‘natural,’ or ‘organic,’ many associate the company with these virtues. Below, we take a dive into the ingredients in its Protective Facial Lotion SPF 25.


Just as you do when buying food, check the ingredients in your skincare products and make sure you’re aware of what you’re putting on your face. Take a look below! 

Homosalate (9% w/w)
Sunscreen ingredient
Known hormone disruptor for men and women. Found in mothers’ milk.
Octocrylene (7% w/w)
Sunscreen ingredient
Octyl Salicylate (4% w/w)
Sunscreen ingredient
Butyl Methoxy
dibenzoylmethane (3% w/w)
Sunscreen ingredient
Also known as Avenobenzone, considered one of the less toxic chemical sunscreens
Water Purified
Helps keep the texture of the sunscreen thinner so it applies more easily.
Coconut-derivative that acts as an emollient and emulsifier. It improves the "glide" of products during application, and leaves a non-greasy soft after-touch.
Tribehenin PEG-20 Esters
PEG stands for polyethylene glycol - petroleum based compounds used as thickeners, and emulsifiers. Some people find PEGs irritating on broken or damaged skin, and studies show PEGs have estrogen-mimicking properties that can be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.
Also known as glycerin, helps prevent moisture loss.
Silicon Dioxide
Thickening Agent
Silica is a mineral that can be found naturally or made synthetically.
A lipid that is found naturally in plants/animals, and the skin's sebum. Used to be taken from shark's liver, now olive oil is a common source.
Squalene (with an 'e') is hydrogenised to make squalane.
d-alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, dl-alpha-tocopherol, beta-Tocopherol, delta Tocopherol, gamma-Tocopherol
Different forms of Vitamin E; all very moisturising. 
Soya Oil
High in antioxidants, and a moisturising oil.
Converted to Vitamin B5
Lavandula Angustifolia Stem Oil

Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer

Film Former

Increases viscosity and is used as a film former.
Rosemary Oil

Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate
Skin Conditioning
Cellulose – Microcrystalline
Slip Modifier/Thickening Agent
Made from from refined wood pulp and used for many purposes in cosmetics/food industry, including thickening, texturising and bulking.
Sodium Hydroxide
pH Balancer
Highly alkaline ingredient which can be used in small amounts to hold the pH of an ingredient. (Sodium Hydroxide is also known as Lye. When used in soaps to turn oils into what we know as 'soap' - the sodium hydroxide is no longer present in the finished product and therefore not in the ingredients list).
Carmellose Sodium
Typically used in eye drops.
Sodium Carrageenan
Film Former/Thickening Agent
Gooey substance extracted from seaweed, then dried and powdered. When put in contact with liquid it rehydrates and can thicken.
Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract
Green tea extract helps with inflammation and is an antioxidant.
Daucus Carota Root Extract
Also known as the wild carrot, it can have antioxidant properties.
Sodium Chloride
Sea Salt
Lactic Acid
Linalool, d-Limonene, Geraniol
Fragrance components
When in quantities of .01% or greater, these fragrance components need to be listed out separately because the IFRA (International Fragrance Association) deems them to be allergens.
Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate
To prevent products from growing mould and bacteria, preservatives in products are necessary. There is some controversy over the use of Phenoxyethanol.

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