A few years ago if I was asked to name the differences between a physical sunscreen and a chemical sunscreen I would have chosen the cheapest one with no understanding behind the ingredients of either. I used to think if I got the cheapest sunscreen at the supermarket I could spend more money on fancy skincare, until I realised the damage the sunscreen was doing.
After doing a bit of research I now know that the safest natural sunscreen ingredient to look for is Zinc Oxide. It's a natural mineral ingredient that blocks the sun's radiation and forms a barrier, sits on top of the skin protecting you from getting burnt.
There are two chemical ingredients found in mainstream sunscreens that are bleaching and killing our coral - oxybenzone and octinoxate. This issue is so pressing that Hawaii have now made it illegal (ban beginning January 1, 2021) to use sunscreen containing these two ingredients.
The coral are exposed to these chemicals in their habitat and become vulnerable to infection, the reefs die off and never renew. The fish, marine life and the whole eco system is compromised and depleted in some way.
Oxybenzone is found in a person's urine just 20 minutes after applying sunscreen. Within 26 seconds our skin has absorbed and processed what we apply to it. So, it's best to use ocean-friendly sunscreens that don't compromise our health and don't pollute our reefs.
It isn't that hard to find out about the added synthetic chemicals and cheap fillers in sunscreens. Just look at the ingredients if you see names that you can't pronounce chances are your cream is toxic to the environment and to you.
My personal fave and the one I always use is the 100% Natural Simple as That Sun Lotion SPF 30 that rubs in clear but has the awesome zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to keep those awful rays away from our skin. It also contains Green Tea and Rosehip Oil, well known for their antioxidant properties, as well as their signature ingredient, Red Raspberry Seed Oil for its natural protection against UVA and UVB rays. Even better it is free from parabens, silicones and synthetic fragrances.
Another one of my faves is the Sun & Earth Natural Zinc from Byron Bay packaged in a reusable metal tin. 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.
Giselle's Reef Friendly Sunscreen with zinc oxide handmade right here in Western Australia is extremely effective at preventing sunburn, comes in a 250ml metal tin and once agian, there's no plastic waste.
There are a huge range of natural and toxin free businesses out there that are doing the right thing and making products with ingredients that are good for us and good for the earth. 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 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!