Sorry all, but perhaps because I don’t really like “extremes” in anything, I caution you to balance your fears about the SPF controversy and spotlight on the never ending arguments over which active ingredient(s) is better than another to protect the skin (Don’t freak out but UVC rays are also getting a bad rap and are the new enemy to add to the list).
I think it makes sense for chemists and raw material manufactures to do their due diligence and compound properly, test properly, manufacture sun protection products in an FDA licensed facility and make safe product. The ingredient witch hunt that is epidemic on the internet would make your head spin. I guess you can focus on that, or on growing your business and helping customers learn ways to make healthy lifestyle changes that not only protect their skin, but give them options.
Most professional skincare brands are manufacturing with integrity and with true SPF’s. Whether the sunscreen uses a higher percentage of zinc than titanium, or another active ingredient, if the product is reducing the exposure to UVA & UVB rays, and providing you an SPF 30-50 you are likely in good shape.
The big problem lies in application of the sunscreen (usually people do not apply enough), forgetting to reapply several hours later, or after swimming. Most of the women I know want a tan, and do not properly wear sunscreen on purpose. (How dare they do that!).
The media has done a great job letting us all know that the sun causes photo damage and we would all agree that most people will wear a sun protection product if it is convenient or if they are actually going outdoors and it is warm outside and they do not want to burn.
I think your challenge in the spa is getting your clients to wear and apply it more than a few times per week or when they are going to the beach. That is where you need to focus and get creative. Let me know if you have any great ideas in this regard.
P.S. Please merchandise your SPF’s well this summer. They need to be at eye level and have testers all over the spa. Make it upbeat, fun and hand out something cute like “fascinating sun facts” to engage them.