Why you should choose clean & reef safe sunscreen + my sunscreen picks
Okay guys, I’ve rounded up a ton of information + my personal sunscreen picks because like most products in the “beauty” industry, choosing a clean sunscreen is hard to navigate. You may think the sunscreen you’re applying is “clean” because the packaging is super misleading so I wanted to first chat about what ingredients in sunscreen you should be avoiding & why + the importance of reef safe, giving you the tools to choose what clean+ reef safe sunscreen is best for you! I hope you find this post helpful!
ingredients you should be avoiding:
Active Ingredients you should avoid: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate & octinoxate.
The inactive ingredients should also be noted as well since they typically make up over half of the sunscreen. The Environmental Working Group recommends you avoid methylisothiazolinone* as it’s shown skin reactions in testing- this chemical can also be found in baby wipes. *source
FDA testing show that after a single application of sunscreen, “six commonly used chemical active ingredients were absorbed into the body and continued to be absorbed through the skin for days or longer. They even found that nearly three weeks after applying sunscreen, it was still possible to detect the chemicals that had not yet been absorbed into participants’ skin. Levels on the skin went down significantly in the days between the first and third weeks, but most likely because the sunscreen was absorbed into the blood.*” *source
In recent FDA testing, all non-mineral sunscreen chemicals were found “absorbed into the body and could be measured in blood after just a single use, and many sunscreen ingredients have been detected in breast milk and urine samples.*”*source
So, why does this matter that these chemicals were found circulating in the bloodstream after just one use?
The chemicals on the avoid list are classified as “endocrine disruptors “, meaning that they may cause disruption on the reproductive system, thyroid function, & oxybenzone (one of the most common FDA-approved active ingredients in sunscreen) was even shown to cause moderate anti-androgen; associated with altered birth weight in human studies.* *source p.s. oxybenzone can also be found in hair spray, nail polish, & makeup. If you’d like to read more about oxybenzone & why you should avoid it, I’ve linked the Environmental Working Group’s report here.
The importance of reef- safe:
It’s estimated that “up to 6,000 tons of sunscreen are estimated to wash into coral reefs around the globe each year*source. Recent studies found that “baby coral exposed to oxybenzone and octinoxate exhibited signs of distress, including coral bleaching—a condition that leaves coral vulnerable to infection and prevents it from getting the nutrients it needs to survive—as well as DNA damage, and abnormalities in their growth and skeleton”*source“other studies have also found the ingredients to be harmful to other marine organisms, such as fish, sea urchins, and shrimp.”*source.
What’s considered reef- safe:
Sunscreens without Oxybenzone (we just chatted about this chemical above) & octinoxate. Also note, it’s always better to choose non spray as it’s more eco-friendly.
Ingredients you should look for:
Active Ingredients you should look for: zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide.
My clean + reef safe sunscreen picks:
P.s. linking my 100% eco-friendly + biodegradable oversized linen beach coverup here! I’m wearing a medium/ large for reference! xx