A few years ago if I was asked to name the differences between a natural sunscreen and a chemical sunscreen I would have chosen the cheapest one with no real interest behind the ingredients used for either of them. I used to think if I got the cheapest sunscreen at the supermarket I could spend my money on fancy skincare, until I started checking out the ingredients.
There is no doubt the cheap fillers and chemicals in supermarket sunscreens are toxic to our health and killing the coral reefs. Over the past 50 years there has been a huge increase in the number of synthetic chemicals the manufacturers are putting in the sunscreens that we use. Many of us have no idea how these chemicals affect us and neither do the manufacturers.
What we do know is mineral based sunscreens are the safest natural sunscreens. The best ingredient to look for is zinc oxide. Zinc oxide is a natural mineral ingredient that blocks the sun's radiation and forms a barrier on the top of your skin to block harmful UVA and UVB rays. Zinc is the safest UV blocker available. It is a physical barrier so if you can see it you will be covered. It's also safe for our reefs.
The two nasty chemical ingredients found in supermarket sunscreens that are bleaching and killing our coral are: oxybenzone and octinoxate. This issue is so pressing that Hawaii have now made it illegal to purchase and use sunscreen containing these two ingredients. Coral reefs are exposed to these chemicals when they wash off our skin in the sea. The chemicals are absorbed by the coral, the coral become infected and perish, the reefs die off and never renew. The fish, marine life and the whole eco system is affected and depleted.
Two of our fave plastic free sunscreens here at Econique are the Sun & Earth Natural Zinc for the face and the Surf Mud both made here in Australia and packaged in reusable metal tins. Ingredients are all completely natural and include Zinc Oxide, Beeswax, Organic Olive Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Raw Cacao Powder, Organic Cacao Butter. The ingredients are so simple yet effective and suited to different skin tones. They can be worn every day as a tinted face moisturiser.
Another huge favourite is the Simple as That Sunscreen for adults and kids with sensitive skin. It's a light-weight mineral sunscreen, non greasy, moisturising and rubs in completely clear. It doesn't leave a white cast under your makeup and is nourishing as a primer underneath your foundation. We also love the WotNot Sunscreen made in Australia that is so popular with families and has a kid version. Its non irritating and packed with nutritious ingredients.
Australia has the best people out there working in small businesses doing the right thing and making products with natural ingredients that are effective and good for us, preventing sunburn and skin damage and good for the earth too. Let's support them.
A link to our suntanning range is below:
I’d love to hear from you if you know about any other great natural Sun products with clean ingredients. Buying clean beauty products and sunscreens has a positive effect on our environment and ecosystem. This is a journey that I've only just started and I'd love hints and tips on what works for you. Send me a message!