I have been itching to hit the beach as of late. The weather’s perfect and getting baked in my own room is not my idea of a perfect summer. Except that I’m not equipped to head to the beach and soak up some Vitamin D just yet. I need to have the essentials. One of everybody’s must-haves is an effective bottle of sunscreen.
I don’t think I’ve met anybody who’s really checked what’s in their bottle of sunscreen. Usually, we just search for the letters ‘SPF’ and the highest number next to it and think, ‘this will do’. However given the research around the ingredients in our skincare and suncare products and how they impact our health and the planet, we know there’s more to choosing sunscreen than that.
In America, the non-profit health advocacy and research organisation Environmental Working Group (EWG) implemented an annual sunscreen guide. This organization empowers people to live healthier lives by doing rigorous research around toxic chemicals, harmful substances and pollutants found in consumer products such as cosmetics and skincare. Hawaii legislators have passed a bill just last month to ban the selling of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate. Oxybenzone is the most common chemical ingredient found in sunscreens and it is believed to cause hormone disruption and cell damage that may lead to skin cancer. In laboratory tests, it was shown to cause coral bleaching and coral death.
Keen to make the switch from toxic sunblock to healthier, eco-friendly sunscreen? Here’s a few to try:
Offering broad spectrum protection, Badger SPF 35 Sport Sunscreen uses a reef-safe mineral Zinc Oxide and contains no oxybenzone, octinoxate, or other harsh chemical active ingredients. The unscented, biodegradable and ocean-friendly sunscreen is 100% certified natural and 94% certified organic. The tube is recyclable too!
Life Basics SPF 30 All Natural Sunscreen is a natural, vegan-friendly sunblock is made in Australia and contains active ingredients Zinc Oxide and other naturally-derived ingredients such as calendula, green tea and and reship oil which help to nourish the skin.
Thinksport SPF 50+ Sunscreen eco-friendly sunscreen contains 20% non nano Zinc Oxide which is safer for the oceans and free from other biologically toxic chemicals such as oxybenzone, paraben, phthalate, avobenzone and has been rated by EWG skin deep database with a good rating for its low risk to environment and health (rating ‘1’).
Wawai’s Organics Ph goal is to protect the ocean one wave at a time. This ocean-friendly, all-natural, Philippines-made sunscreen is also made to protect your skin all the time. This eco-friendly sunscreen is packaged in refillable canisters to support the zero waste campaign.
The Raw Elements Certified Natural sunscreen offers broad spectrum protection against UV-A and UV-B rays. It is perfect for the face and body and contains 97% certified organic ingredients and is 100% certified natural, featuring non nano Zinc Oxide (which is why it’s reef-safe and ocean-friendly) and it’s also one of the top rated sunscreens on EWG’s Skin Deep database for its all-natural, certified organic properties.
This sunblock lets you sunbathe, surf and swim without worry. Human Nature is the first all natural, reef-friendly sunscreen made in the Philippines. It shields the skin from the skin-ageing UVA rays and it is made from a 100% natural formula that is also designed to protect coral reefs. They also have suncare products for babies and kids too.
After reef-safe tanning lotion and sunscreen? Ao Organics Hawaii has you covered. This product meets strict EWG standards and is made up of all-natural ingredients that will protect the ocean and our skin from harmful toxins. It’s also packaged in eco-friendly and reusable containers and has been made without harming animals.
A trusted Australian brand offering 20 years of sun protection to outdoor lovers, Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen SPF 30+ contains no parabens, fragrances, oxybenzone and its main active ingredients titanium dioxide and Zinc Oxide contains non-nano particles so is reef-safe and ocean-friendly. For extreme outdoor enthusiasts and sun worshippers, this is the brand for you. There’s also a baby and kids range of eco-friendly sunblock too.
Co-created by coral gardener and marine biologist Louise Naima Lang, People4Ocean SPF30 sunscreen is 100% natural and free of any ingredient proven toxic to coral reefs and ocean life such as paren and oxybenzone. The brand is eco-friendly and ocean-friendly and offers broad spectrum protection from the sun’s harmful rays. For every suncare product sold, People4Ocean donates $1 to Great Barrier Reef conservation and rehabilitation projects.
Solistick Tinted Surf and Sport Face Stick is a tinted mineral sunscreen made from the highest quality, vegan, and natural ingredients for superior skin protection. This sunscreen can serve as foundation while blocking UV rays. You don’t even need to wait for a few minutes after application to let the sunscreen take effect unlike most chemical sunscreens. It contains no parabens, nanoparticles, oxybenzone and other harsh chemicals.
WOTNOT Naturals, a natural skincare range created by Australian moms, Sinead Roberts and Sioned Guard, have also produced sunscreen that is safe for the whole family and one that is composed of earth-friendly ingredients. WOTNOT Sunscreen SPF 30 is also skin-friendly and ocean-friendly, consisting of a main active ingredient zinc oxide (protecting the skin from UVA and UVB rays). Made in Australia, it’s also cruelty-free, gluten-free, palm oil-free and is rated by the EWG Skin Deep database as low risk with a rating of 0-2.
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Disclosure: The curated list is based on the writer and editor’s research and does not fully take into account all ethical considerations that are unique to each individual. Before making a purchase, we encourage you to do your own research paying particular attention to ingredients, product reviews and skin allergies and sensitivities. This list also contains affiliate links. For more information, click here.
Title image credit: Chasing Coral.