It’s important to put on that sunscreen and protect your skin from those harmful UV rays, but what’s in that cream? Certain ingredients in sunscreen have the potential to damage your skin. For example, there are concerns that oxybenzone can cause hormonal disruption and retinyl palmitate can accelerate malignant cell growth.
On a larger scale, sunscreen can be toxic towards the environment. According to a study by the Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, oxybenzone can be fatal to coral, causing bleaching, damage to its DNA and disrupt its ability to reproduce. Meanwhile, butylparaben, octinoxate (ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate) and 4-methylbenzylidene camphor (4MBC) have been shown to cause coral bleaching. As 6,000–14,000 tonnes of sunscreen lotion end up in coral reef areas each year due to swimming and waste water discharges.
Fortunately, it’s not all doom and gloom – there’s been a rising demand for safe, non-toxic sunscreen that’s good for the sea and your skin. We’ve put together a list of some fantastic non-toxic sunscreen brands that you can try out!
(Note: It’s best to use natural ingredients with non-nano zinc oxide, a mineral that does not harm sea-life and sits on top of your skin, creating a physical barrier rather than being absorbed.)
One of the most popular and highly rated natural sunscreens out there, this balm only contains five ingredients and three of them are certified as organic: non-nano uncoated zinc oxide, organic sunflower oil, organic beeswax, vitamin E and organic seabuckthorn.
It’s water and sweat resistant for 40 minutes of swimming or activity and it’s biodegradable, making it safe for the environment. It’s also cruelty-free and fragrance-free.
This sunscreen butter is water resistant for up to 80 minutes, is NSF certified organic and provides strong sun protection. It contains zinc oxide, organic coconut oil, organic beeswax, organic calendula flowers infused with organic jojoba oil and vitamin E.
What are your favourite non-toxic skin care and sunscreen brands? How are you keeping yourself safe from the sun? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below or with the BMO community on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
Christy Ku is a writer, spoken word poet and videographer based in London, UK. She recently performed in the Barbican Young Poets 2018 Showcase and is always prepared with a good GIF.