“Two ingredients, oxybenzone and octinoxate, commonly found in chemical sunscreens are bad for marine life—in particular, the coral reefs. How serious is this? In May 2018, Hawaii passed a law that prohibits the sale of sunscreens containing these chemicals, and officials in Key West, Florida, recently voted for the same ban.” – Best Health
I’m sorry, what? Are people aware that those same sunscreen ingredients are being used throughout North America? Every shop you turn to has sunscreens with those common two ingredients. So we’re all basically just killing the fish. Great.
Well, more than that. They cause coral bleaching, damage their DNA and cause growth abnormalities. Even better. We’re killing the ecosystem.
It’s time to be more aware of this people. MYSELF INCLUDED. I had no idea.
Although oxybenzone and octinoxate are bad enough to be banned in Hawaii, they’re not the only bad ingredients.
Here’s a list of ingredients that are harmful to the environment:
- 4-Methylbenzylidene camphor
- 3-Benzylidene camphor
- nano-Titanium dioxide
- nano-Zinc oxide
So which sunscreens are safer for the environment?
Mineral sunscreens, because they’re usually made with zinc or titanium oxide, which are safer for coral reefs. But that’s not quite specific enough, the zinc or titanium oxide particles need to be larger than 100 nanometres—also known as “non-nano.”
Why? Because “nanoparticles are so small that they can dissolve in the ocean and threaten aquatic life. What’s more, our skin can absorb them, and they can enter the bloodstream.” So we don’t want those.
Here are some products that are more environmentally friendly:
- Attitude Sunscreen, $30; shoppersdrugmart.ca (made in Canada)
- Green Beaver, $21; greenbeaver.com (made in Canada)
- Ava Isa Pure SPF, $52; thedetoxmarket.ca
- Coola Face Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Matte Tint Natural Beige, $41; well.ca
- Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30, $49; beautycounter.com
Some of them get a little pricey, so here’s a bunch more you can check out: https://www.snorkelsandfins.com/reef-safe-sunscreen-brands/
In short, do your homework. Don’t just buy any old sunscreen. Don’t go without it and burn either though, skin cancer isn’t cool.
Have you found a better sunscreen? Which one are you using? Let us know!