As we engage in outdoor activities, we often reach for a bottle of sunscreen to protect our skin from harmful UV rays.
But have we ever given a thought to whether the sunscreen we use is as kind to the environment as it is to our skin?
The truth is, many sunscreens on the market contain chemicals that are harmful to marine life, particularly coral reefs.
This article will provide a comprehensive guide to choosing the best eco friendly sunscreen that not only protects your skin but also the environment.
The importance of sunscreen
Sunscreen is a crucial part of our skincare routine, regardless of the season. Contrary to popular belief, sunscreen is not just for summer.
It’s essential to protect your skin from harmful UV rays throughout the year.
UV radiation can cause premature skin ageing, sunburn, and even skin cancer, which is why it’s so important to use sunscreen regularly.
For those seeking a sun-kissed look, consider using an eco-friendly sunless tanner instead of baking in the sun.
The dark side of sunscreen
Sunscreen, though beneficial to humans, can be detrimental to marine life.
Studies reveal that up to 14,000 tons of sunscreen enter our oceans each year.
The chemicals found in many sunscreens, notably oxybenzone and octinoxate, can cause coral bleaching, impair the neurological and reproductive abilities of fish, and increase the risk of disease in coral reefs.
The packaging problem
In addition to the harmful chemicals, the packaging of many sunscreens also poses an environmental problem.
Many come in plastic tubes that are difficult to recycle, adding to the global plastic waste problem.
Therefore, it’s essential to look for sunscreens that come in eco-friendly, recyclable, or biodegradable packaging.
When choosing a sunscreen, look for one that offers broad-spectrum protection.
This means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays, both of which can cause skin damage.
In particular, UVA rays are associated with skin ageing, while UVB rays can cause sunburn.
The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is another essential consideration.
SPF is a measure of how well the sunscreen protects against UVB rays.
An SPF 15 sunscreen, for example, filters out about 93% of all UVB rays.
Best eco friendly sunscreen 2023
Now that we understand the potential harm caused by conventional sunscreens, let’s explore some eco-friendly alternative sunscreens.
These sunscreens are made with natural, organic ingredients and are eco friendly plus reef safe.
Broad spectrum protection sunscreens products
- Scent free sun cream – SPF30 200ML: Best overall sunscreen with eco-friendly and reef-safe credentials.
- Hydrating after sun 200ML: Best moisturising after sun lotion that is, natural, kind to sensitive skin and also vegan.
- Organic children scent free sun cream – SPF30 150ML: Eco-conscious protection for your children’s skin, with SPF30 and soothing aftercare.
- Organic children aloe vera lotion & after sun 150ML: Suitable for sensitive skin prone to eczema, psoriasis & dermatitis and is vegan
- Children’s sun bundle: Eco-conscious protection for sun-kissed skin, with SPF30 and soothing aftercare.
- Scent free facial sun cream – SPF30 50ML: Gentle and fragrance-free sun protection for the face, in a convenient 50ml size with SPF30.
- Day solution cream SPF15 50ML: Protective day cream with SPF15, providing moisturisation and sun defence in a 50ml size.
- Age defy+ tinted DD moisturiser SPF 15 – LIGHT 30ML: Green People’s moisturiser offers light coverage, SPF15 protection, and comes in a handy 30ml size.
Sunless tanning lotions
Self tan lotion 150ML: Gives you a natural looking tan without harmful sun exposure & is certified organic.
Many sunscreens on the market are chemical-based and designed to absorb UV rays before they hit our skin.
However, some people may have allergies to these ingredients.
On the other hand, mineral-based sunscreens provide a barrier between our skin and the sun and are generally considered safer
To maintain effective protection, it’s recommended to apply sunscreen every two hours, especially when spending time outdoors.
Reapply more frequently if swimming, sweating heavily, or towel-drying. Remember to use sunscreen even on cloudy days.
The recommended SPF (Sun Protection Factor) for sunscreen depends on your skin type and sun exposure.
Generally, a higher SPF, such as 30 or above, is advisable for fair or sensitive skin, while a lower SPF may suffice for darker skin.
Additionally, consider the amount of time you’ll be spending outdoors and the intensity of the sun’s rays.
If you’re planning on extended outdoor activities or if you’re in a location with strong sunlight, opting for a higher SPF is a good idea.
Remember, SPF measures protection against UVB rays that cause sunburns, but it doesn’t provide a complete shield against UVA rays that can penetrate deeper and cause long-term damage.
So, it’s always a good idea to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that offers protection against both types of rays.
Choosing an eco-friendly sunscreen not only protects your skin but also contributes to preserving our precious marine ecosystems.
Remember to check the ingredients and opt for products that are free from harmful chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate.
Protecting your skin from the sun doesn’t mean you have to harm the environment.
Disclaimer: Before making a purchase, please do your own research, paying attention to the ingredients and product reviews. If you have skin allergies or sensitivities, consult with a healthcare professional before using any new skincare product.