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FAQs

All About Sunscreen

Sunscreens are made up of Active and Inactive ingredients designed to protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Only Active ingredients (pharmaceutical compounds) can actively block or absorb ultraviolet sun radiation on your skin.

Sun Protection Factor is a way of measuring how long sunscreen will protect your skin from UVB rays.

There are two types of UV rays, UVA and UVB. UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin, causing long-term damage like aging and wrinkles. UVA is also responsible for that tan look people like, when in fact this is a sign of DNA damage- our skin darkens as a defense against further damage. 

UVB rays are shorter and burn the surface of your skin, causing immediate damage like sunburns and skin cancer in the long run. 

Broad Spectrum - protect against UVB and UVA rays. But it's important to note that ultra-high SPFs are not much more protective than SPFs of 30 or 50. SPF 15 blocks 93 percent of UVB rays. SPF 30 blocks 97 percent. The increase in protection is even more gradual after that, 98 percent for SPF 50. The FDA allows a maximum SPF value of sunscreen labels to read  “50+” since there is no data to show that products with higher spa values yield any greater coverage. 

UVA (ultraviolet type A) rays penetrate deep into the skin, causing long-term damage like aging and wrinkles. 

UVB (ultraviolet type B) rays, on the other hand, are shorter than UVA rays. They burn the surface of your skin, causing immediate damage like sunburns and skin cancer in the long run. 

Yes, if it contains Zinc Oxide which is the ONLY active ingredient mineral that is full broad spectrum.

Broad Spectrum sunscreens cover both UVA/UVB

Physical sunscreen contains ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide which physically block and scatter ultraviolet rays before they can penetrate your skin


Chemical sunscreen contains ingredients such as oxybenzone, avobenxone, octisalate, etc., which absorb UV rays and disperse them as heat on the surface of your body before penetrating your skin. In order for this to happen a chemical reaction must take place between your cells and the active ingredients.

• Look for Zinc Oxide as the active ingredient (choose non-nano zinc oxide if possible) with NO other active ingredients

• Avoid water/aloe based sunscreens. Water is a rapid breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and fungus and requires synthetic preservative additives. Oil-based products are cleaner and diminish bacteria, mold, and fungus growth and so do not need synthetic preservative additives.

• Avoid Fragrance. FDA allows hidden ingredients under the “Trade Secrets” rule. This rule allows for any ingredients the company deems secret to go unlisted on the label. It could be anything, you would never know!

• Be cautious of sunscreens that have a high claim of SPF; anything over SPF 50 is a marketing ploy to sell you a false sense of better protection. FDA allows for claims up to SPF 50 - there is NO DATA to support those high SPF claims. Read the label! See our section on ingredients to avoid.

“Natural” is an unregulated term. There are no set rules on what makes a sunscreen natural, however here are a few rules we follow when choosing natural products;

• Free of synthetic ingredients.

• Made in a natural oil base (i.e olive/coconut oil) avoiding the use of water as a base which requires synthetic preservatives.

• Mineral active ingredients. Non-Nano Zinc Oxide or Non-Nano Titanium Dioxide

• Free of Fragrance

• Non-Nano minerals only. If the label does not state “Non-Nano” contact the company for molecule size

• Must be FREE of oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate

A natural sunscreen is ideal for sensitive skin, making it much safer for kids. Truly natural products will be environmentally friendly and harmless for human consumption.

Yes, sunscreen is proven to reduce the risk of skin cancer and early signs of aging. However, it is important to remember that the FDA has not investigated nor researched individual sunscreen ingredient effects on humans. Independent studies have been conducted and show that chemical active ingredients can disrupt hormones, alter DNA, and increase free radicals - all of which are linked to cancer, infertility, thyroid issues, and so on. Please see our ‘Sunscreen  Ingredients to Avoid’ to learn more. 

Always seek shade when possible, wear hats, long sleeves, and UV shirts. Take extra precautions if you have not been in the sun for a while and remember to RE APPLY often!

Any sunscreen that is oil-based is highly concentrated. 

An 8oz liquid water-based sunscreen will not last as long as oil-based sunscreen half that size. 

Plus chemical ingredients are extremely cheap, add plastic packaging and the cost comes down even more

The FDA no longer allows the labeling term ‘sunblock.’  No product can completely block UV rays. Products either absorb or scatter rays. “Sunscreen” is the labeling term approved by the  FDA for these products

Applying and Removing Sunscreen

Our sunscreen is a true non-nano zinc oxide with large particles; it is meant to sit on top of your skin as a physical barrier, not absorb into your skin.

As a rule of thumb, use enough sunscreen to cover the desired area with a visible layer of sunscreen then gently rub in until you achieve the desired look.

Apply every 2 hours when out in the sun. Apply every 40-80 min when going in and out of water or sweating or after toweling. We can’t stress enough how important it is to reapply your sunscreen. REAPPLY and REAPPLY again!

YES! We love the sunscreen as a BB cream, it helps even skin tone, dark spots, pores and it makes for a great SPF under your make-up.

We would recommend if you have oily/very oily skin to set the sunscreen with a powder before applying makeup.

Our long time customers report using our Body & Face tin as a daily facial moisturizer too.

Remove sunscreen by washing with a good soap: lather, water, and rinse. Some customers like to use a wet cloth or baby wipes before showering especially if they have a thick layer on the skin.

Our sunscreen is rich in moisturizers and can be felt for hours after wear.

The tinted line may stain lighter colored fabrics; although it does wash out in most cases. We recommend treating it like makeup foundation. The tinted works great on older children and adults, however, we have found that small babies tend to spread the tinted over everything and would recommend the original line which carries no stain risk.

Tinted sunscreen can be removed from fabrics by spot treating with a 50%water/50%alcohol solution before laundering.

Health & Safety

While we don’t recommend ingesting the sunscreen; it's non-toxic and won’t harm humans. Our sunscreen is safe to apply to your lips. Our ingredients are unaltered from mother nature; what you see in the ingredient list is exactly what you are getting. Period.

Yes, however finding a sunscreen that doesn’t irritate your skin can be challenging and expensive. Read the ingredient label!  Avoiding fragrances, synthetics, and preservatives. 

Dermatologists and doctors recommend using a zinc-based sunscreen to avoid irritating your skin.

Short answer: Yes!

Long answer: Yes, but know the facts about children’s young skin and immature filter systems before choosing a chemical sunscreen vs. a mineral sunscreen.


A) Chemical Actives: 

Chemical sunscreens are loaded with chemical actives that must be heat activated on a cellular level to initiate the sunscreen effect. Since kids have a  larger body-to-weight ratio, they proportionately absorb more sunscreen through their thinner, more vulnerable skin than adults absorb. Why is this important? A child’s young, immature liver is less efficient in filtering out chemical sunscreen additives.  Chemical sunscreen is not dosed based on weight or age; it is formatted based on SPF.  How can you possibly know how much chemicals absorbing into your child’s body is too much for their small system?

B) Mineral Actives:

Non-Nano (large particle) zinc-based mineral sunscreens are designed to remain on top of the skin- not to be absorbed through the skin. Trace amounts of zinc that may be absorbed do not cause harm.  Zinc is common in diaper rash creams. 

The best mineral-based sunscreen should always contain non-nano zinc with < 5ppm of lead.  The FDA allows up to 10ppm of lead in cosmetic products; we recommend <5ppm of lead. All mineral-based products contain heavy metals, but they can be filtered out to trace amounts. Most companies do not choose trace zinc because it is more expensive and studies are inconclusive as to harmful effectsaffects.  Little Hands Hawaii will always err on the side of caution when it comes to zinc and choose one with  <5ppm.

Everything we source is from mother earth and will not harm you in small amounts. However, if a large amount is ingested contact your PCP and has the container with the ingredients available.

We recommend applying the sunscreen to both your eye lids and lips for protection; these sensitive places we sometimes forget to cover.  Do avoid direct contact with eyes. If direct contact occurs, simply rinse with warm water.

Our sunscreen will not sting or run into your eyes.

Our Sunscreen

We believe those spray sunscreens are a health and environmental risk. If a spray is zinc-based the risk of inhalation and lung damage is very high. Sprays may seem convenient, however, studies show that only a fraction of the spray actually makes contact with your skin, increasing your risk of sun damage.  Aerosols are extremely bad for the environment because spray sunscreen can travel for miles in the air landing on surrounding wildlife, water, and foliage.

Little Hands has a shelf life of 2 years.

While our sunscreen does rub in, we always recommend leaving a visible layer on your skin. Zinc oxide is a physical sunscreen, meaning it is designed to block the sun and create a layer between you and the sun. 

No, the sunscreen won’t run or sting your eyes. We don't us any chemicals or preservatives ( this is what stings).

No, we use beeswax sourced from a rescue bee farmer in Hawaii making our product non-vegan.

No, we do not use nanoparticles. Our Zinc oxide is made with large particle 300-500 mesh size.

In addition, our Zinc has gone through extra filtering that yields <5ppm of lead content (most zinc is 10-20ppm lead).

The term “Reef Safe” has not been adopted by the FDA and is not a regulated term. Generally, companies use ”reef safe” to mean any product that does not contain Oxybenzone and Octinoxate .

However, the only proven safe ingredients for coral reefs are Non-nano zinc oxide and Non-nano titanium dioxide.

Our Company

Rosalyn started making sunscreen in 2011 and entered her first retail store in 2014.

Our daughter Ella helped with the very first batch of sunscreen ever made. From then on she helped to mix and apply labels. We decided to name the company Little Hands knowing every thing we are doing is for the future of all the 'little hands.'

Little Hands was founded in Kapahulu. Home is now on Big Island.

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