If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere then summer is knocking on the door. If you’re not, maybe you’re planning a trip down south to enjoy a sneaky summer holiday.
Either way, we all know that summer means beach, bikinis, surf, and sunscreen.
We need to be extra careful about which sunscreen we choose to use during those hot summer months.
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Why is regular sunscreen no good?
Regular sunscreen, sunscreen which is not eco-friendly, often or more likely than not contains some super harmful and potentially toxic ingredients.
Not only do these toxic ingredients slowly cause harm to our bodies, but they are also doing serious harm to our environment.
These toxic ingredients include things like:
Yeah, you need a Ph.D. to even begin to understand what those are, if you want to find out more about each ingredient check out the EWG report for a look at the harm and toxicity of each.
Each of the above ingredients works to absorb various types of ultraviolet (UV) light. This UV light is what damages our skin, and cause dark spots, skin pigments, freckles and cancerous spots.
These ingredients are used in sunscreen in order to prevent the UV light from damaging our skin, how can it be a bad thing?
The same ingredients used to protect our skin is actually doing damage at the same time, after years of use your body absorbs these ingredients and it can mess up the good balance you have going in your system.
What I’m concerned about here is the damage that these chemicals and toxins do to the environment.
We load up with sunscreen, then go for a surf, swim or scuba in the ocean and all those chemicals go with us.
May sunscreens are water resistant, but resistant is the keyword here because 6000 – 14,000 tonnes of sunscreen is washed into the ocean each year.
Why does this matter though? Well, let’s find out.
What harm does regular sunscreen cause?
The majority of this sunscreen is washed into areas which are tropical touristy areas, like the Caribbean, Australia and South East Asia.
Once these chemicals are in the oceans they cause harm to one of our ocean treasure, the coral reefs.
Coral reefs are important because they support a hugely diverse marine ecosystem, as well as protecting our coastlines from wave damage and tropical storms (I don’t think we need to go into the effects of tropical storms last year).
Coral reefs act as great protection for marine life and our shorelines, they also balance carbon and nitrogen in the water.
It goes without saying, coral reefs are worth saving and protecting. More reason to use an eco-friendly sunscreen.
Regular sunscreen damages the reefs by deforming their DNA and by making the coral grow its own coffin around itself.
It also increases what is known as coral bleaching. Coral bleaching is when the coral lets go of the algae which grow on the coral.
Coral and algae need each other to survive, the same way we need food and water. When the algae are released from the coral, the coral then starves, loses its color and dies.
This is why eco-friendly sunscreen is your number one purchase this summer.
What to look out for in an Eco-Friendly Sunscreen
There are a few things that eco-friendly sunscreens have which regular ones don’t. Here’s what to look out for.
No harmful ingredients
Make sure the sunscreen you choose doesn’t have any of those harmful ingredients we mentioned above. If you can’t see any ingredients then it’s more than likely a fake product, so that’s a serious no go.
Any good eco-friendly sunscreen is biodegradable. Which means when it goes into the ocean or even on land it will naturally break down, causing no harm to land or sea.
Protection of SPF 30+
When buying any sunscreen it’s advised to grab one with a sun protection of SPF 30 or higher. Especially if you’re in unavoidable direct sunlight.
Super Food like Ingredients
Not only do eco-friendly sunscreens not contain harmful ingredients, but they are usually packed with a bunch of amazing natural ingredients which will work to improve your skin while protecting it. Look out for banana extract, avocado oils, tea trees and aloe extract.
5 Eco-Friendly Sunscreens to Check out
1. Badger Natural & Organic Sunscreen
What is it?
Badger is a well-known brand in the eco-friendly market, and they have an entire range of eco sunscreens to check out. They are also very transparent and informative about their products.
How does it work?
Badger sunscreen work to protect your skin using mineral ingredients known as zinc oxide. They also include fantastic ingredients like sunflower oil, olive oil, jojoba oil and vitamin E.