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Ocean friendly suncare: Why chemical sunscreen is on the way out…

Ocean friendly suncare: Why chemical sunscreen is on the way out…
Team LF
Writer and expert2 years ago
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It's World Ocean Day on the 8th June, and with sustainable beauty becoming a widely-discussed topic, there's never been a better time to look at eco friendly sunscreens for summer.

We might not realise it but the everyday sunscreens we wear are actually having a more than detrimental impact on our environment. Let's face it, we slather suncare all over our body without thinking about the effect it has on coral-reefs and marine life when we get into the water. But, with scientific backing and more and more American states to look at ban certain chemicals, it's time to look at ocean friendly suncare and update our mineral SPF wardrobe.

Eco friendly suncare: Why?

It's estimated that 14,000 tons of sunscreen end up in oceans and coral reefs every year, just by us slathering on SPF and going into the water. Oxybenzone in particular is one of the worst culprits. It is poisoning coral reefs in a similar way to how we would see everyday pollution; by bleaching the coral, it disrupts its growth and reproductive abilities, leaving young corals deformed and stunting new growth.

In Hawaii, sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate are set to become a thing of the past, and we're expecting even more American states and countries around the world to follow suit, meaning there's never been a better time to invest in more natural SPF formulations.

What should I look for in eco friendly sunscreens?

  1. Look out for mineral-based SPF formulations instead of chemical ones. Key ingredients include zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are better for the ocean than chemical ones. Take a look at our mineral SPF guide here.
  2. Stay away from any sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate - they're on their way out and very damaging to the oceans.
  3. Where possible, go a step further and look for eco friendly sunscreens free from other chemical nasties, such as parabens, petrochemicals and silicones.

5 of the best eco friendly sunscreens for summer 2019

  • 1.REN Clean Screen Mineral Sunscreen

    REN Clean Screen Mineral Sunscreen
    3.58 Stars 38 Reviews
    £32.00
    New from REN Skincare is their Clean Screen Mineral Sunscreen, which is a powerhouse of botanicals and completely free from nasty chemicals, aka oxybenzone. Vegan and cruelty-free, the suncream shields against both UVA and UVB rays, alongside blue light to help shield your skin against pollution and external aggressors. It's ocean-safe and also contains no silicone. We love it.
  • 2.Jurlique Sun Specialist High Protection Cream - SPF 40

    Jurlique Sun Specialist High Protection Cream - SPF 40
    4.56 Stars 9 Reviews
    £27.00
    One of the best eco friendly sunscreens is the Jurlique Sun Specialist High Protection Cream with SPF 40. It's not only free from oxybenzone, but parabens, petrochemicals, silicones and sulphates too. It provides broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays, so will keep your delicate skin protected without damaging the ocean.
  • 3.SkinCeuticals Sheer Mineral UV Defense - SPF 50

    SkinCeuticals Sheer Mineral UV Defense - SPF 50
    3.25 Stars 8 Reviews
    £37.00
    Free from chemical filters and parabens, the SkinCeuticals Sheer Mineral UV Defense has an SPF of 50 without the use of oxybenzone or octinoxate. Instead, it contains titanium dioxide and 100% mineral filters to shield the skin against damaging rays. Plus, it has broad spectrum protection without leaving a white, chalky residue behind like some traditional mineral sunscreens can.
  • 4.Aveda Daily Light Guard Defense Fluid for Skin - SPF 30

    Aveda Daily Light Guard Defense Fluid for Skin - SPF 30
    4.5 Stars 2 Reviews
    £27.20
    Aveda is a natural haircare brand, so it's only fitting that their foray into skincare was a natural one too. The Daily Light Guard Defense Fluid for Skin is made from 74% natural ingredients and contains mineral filters to protect the skin against both UVA and UVB rays. It feels super lightweight on the skin and doesn't leave a white cast behind. Plus, it's also great for sensitive skin types.
  • 5.Ultrasun Anti-Pollution Face Fluid - SPF 50

    Ultrasun Anti-Pollution Face Fluid - SPF 50
    4.88 Stars 8 Reviews
    £28.00
    The super high SPF 50 Face Protection Cream from Ultrasun is ideal for those with very fair and sensitive skin. It's free from oxybenzone and octocrylene and contains no perfume, mineral oil, silicones and preservatives. It shields the skin against both UVA and UVB rays and contains a unique extract which visibly brightens the complexion for a clearer and more radiant appearance.
Team LF
Writer and expert
View Team LF's profile
Our team of beauty experts cover everything from makeup to skincare, picking out the most effective products from the best brands and latest trends. Stay up to date on everything beauty with the LOOKFANTASTIC blog, and find all your essentials in one place.
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