Not the Norm - Natural Alternatives - About Us

We have hand-selected and developed a small range of products that truly make a real difference to peoples' lives. 

At Not the Norm Ltd, with over twenty-five years of trading experience, our dedication to innovation, sustainability, and exceptional customer service is unwavering. We pride ourselves on curating and crafting products that challenge norms, using natural ingredients and prioritising effectiveness. Our Shade All-Natural Sunscreen, celebrated for its formulation excellence and eco-friendly approach, has garnered accolades, including being recognized as one of the UK's top ethical sunscreens by Ethical Consumer magazine.

In addition to our commitment to quality, we've forged partnerships with esteemed organisations such as Amnesty International, Eden Project, and National Geographic. These collaborations underscore our shared values of environmental stewardship and social responsibility. By joining forces with like-minded entities, we're able to amplify our impact and contribute to positive change on a global scale.

Our dedication to excellence extends beyond product development; it's ingrained in every interaction with our customers. Glowing reviews on platforms like Trustpilot attest to our unwavering commitment to providing outstanding customer service. With a rich history of innovation, ethical sourcing, and community engagement, we're proud to lead the way in redefining industry standards and paving the path towards a more sustainable future.

About the Founder of Not the Norm

With a background in Fine Art followed by Reflexology, my journey took an unexpected turn in 1997. I paused my bustling London-based Reflexology practice to embark on a period of travel and then to embrace the joys of motherhood with the arrival of my first child.

Life took an unforeseen twist when my partner faced sudden redundancy, leaving us without income or savings to rely on, with a 6-month-old baby in tow. It was during this challenging time that I crossed paths with Jerry Yamoa, who introduced me to a remarkable product promising transformative relief for asthma and hay fever sufferers – Yamoa™ Powder.

Intrigued by the potential, I distributed Yamoa™ Powder to friends and clients afflicted with asthma, and the remarkable testimonials affirmed its efficacy. This discovery ignited my mission: to make Yamoa™ accessible to those in need worldwide. Thus, in 1999, I embarked on countless nights at the computer, laying the groundwork for what would evolve into the Official Yamoa™ Website.

Through the years, navigating the balancing act of motherhood and entrepreneurship with scant resources, with a healthy dose of perseverance, I made strides toward my vision. Over the span of 25 years with Yamoa™, tens of thousands have benefitted from its transformative effects, shaping countless lives.

In response to the 2008 credit crunch, I seized the opportunity to diversify, expanding the Not the Norm product line-up with equally unique and effective natural remedies. Among them is our Pure, Non-Activated Hardwood Charcoal – a gentle yet potent daily detox aid, and Arthromend™, a joint care supplement hailed for its efficacy, even prompting individuals to postpone knee surgeries.

Shade All-Natural Sunscreen™ embodies simplicity and effectiveness, featuring only four ingredients and earning acclaim as the go-to sunscreen for families with sensitive skin. CDQZ Immune Support is also a pivotal addition to the Not the Norm product family.

If you have inquiries about our products or wish to open a trade account, please don't hesitate to contact us. We await the opportunity to connect with you and share our passion for wellness.

 

Tania Wedin
Founder and Managing Director

Not the Norm Ltd, 635 Bath Road, Slough, Berkshire, SL1 6AE.

Reg. Co. No.: 04728383
VAT Reg. No.: GB800114600


Why Shade?

Shade™ contains only four natural, moisturising and sun-resistant ingredients to make our highly effective sunscreen.

Shade™ is a mineral based broad spectrum sunscreen for every body - even those of you who are unable to use any other sunscreens.

There are no toxic chemicals, no unnecessary fragrances, no liquid polymers or microplastics that could damage your health or the environment!

Carefully selected ingredients

We've chosen Soil Association certified organic unrefined Shea Butter for our formula. Not only is Shea Butter an edible ingredient, it is also anti-inflammatory, prevents premature ageing and is highly moisturising.

We use our favourite sustainable Coconoil™ unrefined virgin organic Coconut Oil which is also Soil Association certified.

Widely acknowledged as offering the safest, broadest-spectrum sun protection possible, we have used a pharmaceutical grade uncoated, non-Nano Zinc Oxide, which also has a cooling, slightly astringent, antiseptic, antibacterial and protective action on the skin, making Shade™ a perfect aftersun also.

We use a pure, sustainably-sourced unrefined beeswax which is completely non-toxic, locks in moisture, has excellent water-repellant properties and naturally nourishes the skin. In cosmetics, beeswax is an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-allergenic and a germicidal antioxidant making it a perfect sunscreen ingredient.

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Frequently asked questions

1. Who is Shade suitable for?

All skin types, of all ages. Many people with sensitive skin have reported that Shade™ is the only sunscreen they have been able to use, and many of our customers like to use Shade™ daily to prevent sun and wind damage in winter, and do so without finding it dries their skin or makes it oilier.
If it’s cold and quite firm, rub it vigorously with warm fingertips to make it softer, or scoop some out of the tin and warm it between your hands, then apply generously and then reapply regularly, particularly after exposure to water or after sweating.
'Applying generously' is the general guideline for sunscreens, however, ShadeTM is no normal sunscreen. Compared to bottled high street lotions, it is thick and balmy, and unlike chemical sunscreens its mode of action is to sit on the skin and reflect the rays, rather than absorb into the skin like chemical formuals. The thickness of ShadeTM means you will probably apply less in volume than you would regular sunscreens, but just be aware that it forms a barrier on your skin and will need topping up regularly. You want to be able to clearly see a thin sheen of zinc oxide on your skin, to be sure you are adequately protected on each application. Be aware that putting an inadaquate amount of sunscreen on effectively square-roots the SPF, so an SPF50 is rendered an SPF7, SPF25 is rendered an SPF5!!
The '25' in SPF25 means that you are protected for approximately 25 times the length of time it would normally take you to burn, under the same environmental conditions, without any protection whatsoever. To work out percentage of efficacy, see how many times 25 goes into 100, then take that number away from 100 and you have a percentage of efficacy at protecting from UVB rays. In the case of SPF25, it means that 96/100 photons are prevented from reaching the skin (provided an adequate amount of sunscreen has been applied) - meaning that 4 photons are still reaching the skin. SPF50 only enables 2 photons in every 100 to reach the skin. Whatever sunscreen you use, if you feel you are beginning to burn, it's your body's warning that you have been exposed for too long, and the sensible approach is to cover up by wearing clothing or move out of the sun altogether. Applying more sunscreen only ensures you are still covered for the initial 25x timeframe - it does not extend the amount of time you can stay in the sun - those 4 photons reaching your skin are still doing their damage. It's important that you listen to your body and its signals.
Yes, Shade™ offers broad spectrum protection, the SPF25 covers the UVB and the UVA emblem on the bottom label refers to the UVA protection. The UVA Star rating system can no longer be used by sunscreen manufacturers such as ourselves because it is trademarked by Boots the Chemists and is only allowed to be used by certain brands Boots sell and Boots' own brands, therefore we cannot apply a star rating based on this testing system. However, the UVAPF Mean in the SO24443:2012 test conducted on Shade™ came in at 24.77, giving it a PA++++ UVA grading, and if we were to be able to use the star system it would come out at 4/5 stars.
Shade™ can leave a white cast on the skin, this is the mineral non-nano zinc oxide sitting on the skin, and it's the active ingredient that protects you from the UVA & UVB rays. When you see a white cast on your skin don't dismay, be pleased! You can see that not only are you physically helping to protect yourself from the dangerous rays, you can rest assured we are only using non-nano particles of zinc oxide, which is why they sit on the skin as a physical barrier and don't absorb into the skin and the bloodstream - the very safest form of active ingredient for sunscreens. When it comes to doing something recognised as dangerous, such as exposing yourself to strong sun, we believe it's important to put safety above vanity...
We set out to make a sunscreen with as few natural ingredients as possible to provide an option to those who cannot use regular formulas due to skin allergies etc., and were able to make ShadeTM with only four. A very high SPF using only four ingredients is not easy to achieve without having a very thick, impractical, chalky white formula, which many people would be tempted to apply more thinly, thus dangerously reducing the claimed SPF, this would be counter productive, and we'd need to look at adding other actives to achieve something more practical whilst retaining the efficacy. There are many brands which have achieved a higher SPF with more ingredients than four, so we don't feel we need to reinvent the wheel as these options are already out there. We are inclined to agree with the Environmental Working Group about the pitfalls of high SPF products. You can read them here. In some situations however, SPF25 is simply not strong enough, such as at high altitude where the atmosphere is thinner allowing more UV rays to reach you, and in snowy conditions where there is a much higher level of reflection (up to 80% more). In these situations, cover up as much as possible and lay your Shade™ on thick, almost like war paint (!) or find an alternative high SPF if you cannot keep adequately covered.
Test results confirm that ShadeTM is a broad spectrum sunscreen which helps protect against UVA radiation which can penetrate deep into the skin and cause ageing. It has a mean SPF of 24.8, which blocks up to 95.97% of the UVB rays which cause burning. SPF25 prevents 96/100 photons from reaching the skin,. By comparison SPF50 prevents 98/100 photons reaching the skin and SPF100 prevents 99/100 photons reaching the skin. The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) means that provided you have applied adequate sunscreen, you can remain exposed to sun for up to the stated number of times more than it would normally take you to burn in the same environmental conditions if you were not to apply any sunscreen. For example, SPF10 means you can stay ten times longer in the sun than you would be able to before buring if you had no protection; SPF50 means you coud spend fifty times more time in the sun without burning. SPF should ONLY be considered a guide though, as the actual SPF provided will depend largely on the person applying the sunscreen, skin type ad environmental factors involved, and all sunscreens should be used as just one method of sun protection amongst a number of approaches. Of all the sunscreen 'actives' available to manufacturers, we have opted for the most effective one, non-nano Zinc Oxide. Non-nano zinc oxide is widely recognised to protect against both UVA and UVB ultraviolet light and is a physical UV blocker being capable of scattering solar radiation and is excellent for those who are sensitive to regular sunscreens. But...don't just take our word for it or rely on lab-based test results - read the reviews of our many happy customers! "The proof in the pudding is in the eating", as they say.
Stability testing, microbiology testing, broad spectrum sunscreen testing of effectiveness against UVA & UVB rays, and SPF validation tests. All tests conducted to EU standards by Alba Science of Edinburgh. ISO24443 In vitro Broad Spectrum Protection. ISO 24444 In vivo with 13 live subjects. A Cosmetic Study to Determine the In-Vivo Sun Protection Factor of a Sunscreen Formulation. Cosmetic Product Safety Data Analysis, conducted by Luciano Molinaro BSc Forensic Science & Investigative Analysis (Hons) (Kingston University), Forensic Chemistry and Trace Analysis, Analytical Methods in Forensic Science (Kingston University). Accelerated Stability Test Shade™ is registered with the Office for Product Safety and Standards.
ShadeTM has not been tested for water resistance. Why? Because we weren't convinced the lab tests replicated real-life situations adequately. We didn’t want to apply a claim to our product that could make the user more complacent and risk them not applying it often enough. We were vindicated when Which? released their report on sunscreen waterproof claims. We don’t claim ShadeTM is waterproof, yet the high level of oil and wax (88%) does go some way to keeping the product on the skin. Despite this we always recommend reapplying after exposure to water, sweat or towel drying. We have a number of surfing and diving outfits in the UK and abroad which use and retail our product because they believe it is excellent for their purposes. It also does not degrade neoprene etc., keeping wetsuits in good condition when in contact with the product. Check out some reviews from people who have used ShadeTM in water and think it's great!
No way! Absolutely not! Only human volunteers have taken part in Shade™ testing, unless you consider our founder and family to be guinea pigs...! As an anti-vivisectionist, animal lover and a vegan, our founder would never allow it, and besides it's illegal to test cosmetics on animals in the UK. We're proud to display the 'not tested on animals' icon on our labels. So, we hear you ask, if she's vegan, why has she allowed beeswax in the formula? The answer is that she only became vegan five years ago, a couple of years after Shade™ was originally formulated. Since then we have been working on the development of a vegan formula, but beeswax is a hard wax to mimic with very few ingredients. We are getting closer though, so please watch this space.
Where to start? How about digging around in the back of your bathroom cabinet, and pulling out last year's 1/3 full tube with the crusty, gunky lid that won't close anymore, and taking a look at the ingredients? The first question you need to ask yourself is ...how do you even pronounce that? Exactly. These manmade chemicals are not something we as humans have evolved with, like 'nut' or 'oil'. They are incredibly new to us on the evolutionary scale, and if you take the time to type some of those ingredients into your search bar on your browser and add 'health risks' then you will discover for yourself why many people are beginning to question why they're relying on this stuff to try and prevent skin cancer. The Environmental Working Group's Sunscreen Guide is a great place to start to learn more about the ingredients in sunscreens. All that's without mentioning the plastic packaging which the vast majority of chemical sunscreens are sold in, which is choking our beautiful oceans and killing our marine life.
Shade™ does not contain any of the ingredients in the HEL list, which are: Any form of microplastic sphere or beads; Any nanoparticles like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide; Oxybenzone; Octinoxate; 4-methylbenzylidene camphor; Octocrylene; Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA); Methyl Paraben; Ethyl Paraben; Propyl Paraben; Butyl Paraben; Benzyl Paraben; Triclosan. Although we haven't yet sought Protect Land + Sea certification from the Haereticus Environmental Laboratory, we have not yet been able to find any research that claims the non-nano zinc oxide in Shade™ that we use is damaging to coral or marine life - all the studies point to nanoparticles as a threat. So although we as the manufacturer don't as yet make a 'reef safe' claim specifically, many people who advocate its use in the sea believe it is safe.
Once opened use within 12 months, otherwise it has a 3-year shelf life.
Firstly, it's not plastic, and we hate plastic. So much plastic waste is found discarded on our shorelines it's shameful. Secondly, it can be reused for anything you want it to be reused for, thirdly, you can use up every last bit of its contents because you can easily get at it - even if it's not sunny, if the expiration date is looming, and there's no sun in sight, just use up the cream for its wonderful moisturising properties. It's great if you have itchy skin or patches, insect bites or stings etc., and even as a fantastic lip salve in winter, it's also an excellent aftersun. Lastly, if you can't find any further use for the tin you can recycle it...and don't worry, unless you let it get to over 64 degrees centigrade, it won't melt, it'll just soften, so it won't leak from the tin! Oh...and it looks kinda cool. :o)
NATURAL PROTECTION

Enoy the sunshine

Shade™ All-Natural Sunscreen Unscented SPF25
Regular price
$4.00 USD
Regular price
Sale price
$4.00 USD
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Award winning product Shade™ All-Natural Sunscreen is an effective, natural mineral sunscreen. With only 4 ingredients to moisturise and protect skin from the broadest spectrum of damaging UVA and UVB rays, Shade™ has been developed to keep your skin naturally healthy whilst blocking rays that can burn and cause sun damage. Suitable for all skin types and all ages.

 

Ingredients:

Unrefined Organic Shea Butter*, Virgin Unrefined Organic Coconut Oil*, Non-Nano Zinc Oxide (18%), 100% Pure Unrefined Natural Beeswax

*Certified Soil Association Organic Ingredients

Store above 18 degrees centigrade to keep soft. High wax and oil content will otherwise make the product harder to apply if stored in colder temperatures.

Application: 

Apply generously. Works immediately. Reapply regularly at least every 2 - 3 hours or after exposure to water or after sweating.

Please read our blog posts, "A Word of Warning about Natural Sunscreens" and 'The Three Variables of Sun Protection' for further information on how Shade™ works, and how to stay safe in the sun.

 

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