6 startups making BP-3 and Octocrylene free cosmetics as per EU Guidelines

In 2022, the EU passed a regulation (2022/1176) to strictly limit Benzophenone -3 (Oxybenzone in the United States and Canada) and Octocrylene. Almost every brand you can name uses these as two major sunscreen ingredients. As per the regulation, companies have until July 28th, 2023, to remove non-compliant products from the market. This came after the SCCS shared that using BP-3 and octocrylene over a certain concentration (varying as per the products) is unsafe for consumers. As a result, companies are moving towards octocrylene and Benzophenone-3-free sunscreen.

Additionally, some tropical places, such as Hawaii and the Palau Islands, have already banned sunscreens containing BP-3 because it harms local fish and coral reefs.

Looking ahead, there is a possibility that benzophenone-3 and octocrylene will be banned altogether due to their harmful effects on both human health and coral marine life. 

Considering this, several start-ups are launching products that adhere to the EU guidelines and are making sun-care products with safer alternatives.

Let’s take a look at them. 

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1. Upcircle – natural, vegan and cruelty-free

Founded in 2016 with headquarters in London, Uk. Upcircle promises a sunscreen that is 100% vegan, certified cruelty-free, plastic-negative, and, most importantly, reef-safe. Available in markets since the year 2022, it is completely benzophenone-3 and octocrylene free with an SPF 25. 

Upcircle took more than 3 years to perfect the product. It is made with high-quality non-nano zinc oxide that protects the skin. While another one of its ingredients, raspberry seed oil, acts as a powerful antioxidant to defend against radical sun damage. 

Awards and Recommendations

Popularly known as the ‘mineral sunscreen,’ this product has now been privy to several awards. It has won the Natural Health Beauty Awards 2022 and the Global Makeup Awards 2022. While also bagging a gold in the Good Design awards.

According to reviews, this sunscreen leaves no white residue after application and provides a non-greasy look, which is a rare feature in zinc-oxide-based sunscreens. It is especially a great option for acne-prone people as two of its components include lavender oil- which is used popularly to avoid breakouts and non-comedogenic sunflower oil. Source.


Upcircle is a private European company. It ran a crowdfunding campaign in 2022 and has raised more than £400,000 to date. Source.


2. Suntribe – 100% free from synthetic chemicals

Suntribe was started in 2017 by three friends wanting to make a difference in the beauty industry. They aimed to do that by creating sunscreens completely free of synthetic chemicals such as Benzophenone-3 and octocrylene. 

Headquartered in Sweden, Suntribe manufactures a variety of sunblocks. They cater to people in different environments and suit different skin types. However, the commonality in all sunscreen products is that they are 100% natural, cruelty-free, water-resistant (so one can ride those waves all day long), and packaged in recyclable materials. 

Suntribe offers its natural mineral sunscreen in three different containers. A classic tube made of sugarcane, a sun-stick made of cardboard, and a tin container, all of which can be reused or recycled. 

The Suntribe R&D team faced issues while formulating their sunscreen- Face and Sport, as its application was too hard to be applied in colder weather. But, committing to their goal of making natural sunscreen available to all, they found a substitute in a softer version of beeswax that retains the product’s functionality in all weathers. 

Awards and Recommendations

They produce products in a GMP and COSMOS organic-certified facility in the heart of Switzerland. And reviews call it ‘invisible’ on the skin as it is available in 4 different color variants, therefore suiting most skin tones. Source.


ALMI Innovation, Leapfrogs, and VentureLab (Lund University) have invested in Suntribe. Source.


3. Amazinc – reef-safe sunscreen

Amazinc, based out in the Czech Republic, develops skincare products that are oxybenzone and octocrylene free. It was started in the year 2015 with a vision to create a sunscreen that was not just skin friendly but also environmentally sound. 

Their sunblock boasts of being unwashed in the face of water and sunlight, so a single application stays for a long while. With the presence of only a few natural ingredients, it is both reef-safe and skin-safe. It uses almond butter to nourish and a composition of magnesium oxide and NON-NANO zinc oxide to achieve a product with 50 SPF. Furthermore, it claims to block both UVB and UVA rays and is also safe for children of all ages. Most of their sunscreens are specially tailored for people in sports and outdoor events. 

Additionally, they also have a line of mineral body butters. These butters are created to be used as every day moisturizers with sun protection. They are armed with sun-shield ingredients like magnesium oxide and zinc oxide. While their main ingredient, almond butter, also contains probiotically active substances that are good for the skin. They are available in variants of SPF 30 and SPF 50. Source

According to sources, Amazinc has not yet opened its doors to outside funding.


4. Balmy Fox – organic and ethically sourced ingredients

Balmy Fox was incorporated in 2018. The startup aims to create sun protection products for people who work outdoors all the time. The creators of Balmy Fox always suffered from dry skin. Therefore, one of the major ingredients in all their products is beeswax sourced from their own farm in Mid Wales.

They are socially conscious, as they source 80% of their plant-friendly ingredients organically. They aim to increase that number to 100% in the upcoming years. 

One of their more popular products is their SPF 25 sun protection lip balm. It is an all-time favorite among marathon runners and swimmers as it prevents dry, cracked, chapped, and irritated lips. These lip balms contain natural oils and butter along with Zinc oxide to protect from sun damage. They are available in the market in three variants to tackle different environmental conditions,

Products from Balmy Fox are octocrylene and oxybenzone-free sunscreens. They are especially an excellent choice for people with dry skin due to their composition of essential oils and beeswax. Source.

Balmy Fox currently has no known funding rounds. 


5. Summer Fridays – Microplastics-free sunscreen

Summer Fridays has its headquarters in Beverly Hills. It was founded in 2019 by two beauty influencers who wanted to create good, effective products with clean ingredients that are gentle on the skin. 

Shadedrops- milk sunscreen with an SPF 30 is one of their best-selling products. It lacks harmful chemicals such as benzophenone-3 and octocrylene and glides on the skin like a serum. Additionally, unlike other sunscreen products, its application is non-greasy and with a tint that blends perfectly with all skin tones. Due to the presence of chamomile and squalene and their soothing properties, the overall effect of this product results in hydrated, firmer, and plumper-looking skin.

Awards and Recommendations

They have also been featured in several top publications, such as Vogue, Forbes, and Allure, due to their sunscreen not leaving a white cast and blending perfectly under makeup. Source.


Summer Fridays led a seed funding round in 2019 of an undisclosed amount with Prelude Growth Partners as one of their investors. Source.


6. Sol de Ibiza – Zero waste products

Sol de Ibiza was born in 2015 from a dream to use sunscreen that does not smell like a bleaching agent after being exposed to water.  It is based out in Ibiza and is an environment-friendly, plastic-free company. That combines aloe vera and coconut oil to create products that nourish and protect. Their sunscreen, in particular, comprises silica that is used to coat zinc particles for a smoother application. It comes in two variants of SPF 30 and SPF 50, respectively, and in stick and container form. 

Sol de Ibiza also has an SPF 15 lip balm comprised of shea butter and almond oil that protects and nourishes the lips from all environmental factors.

Additionally, it is waterless, suitable for all skin types and ages, and comes in tin containers that are recyclable or reusable infinitely. Source.

Sol de Ibiza currently has not invited funding from outside sources.


These are just a few of the many start-ups working on sunscreens that follow the EU guidelines. Wish to receive updates on the startups adhering to various EU cosmetics regulations?

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Authored by: Moksha Jain, Marketing Team

Next Read5 Innovation Trends Shaping the Cosmetics Industry.

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