Reef Lovin’ Sunscreen

Phew! Can the rest of you feel the heat like us in Cali? Climate change is starting to show it’s true colors this summer and our skin is taking a beating for it.

Most of the general public seems to be catching onto the fact that even our sunscreen can have ingredients that bully our bodies, but did you know many of our sunscreens bully our beloved ocean as well? I’m here to cover sunscreens that are not only safe for us, but for our Mother.

Coral-Reef-Underwater-Ocean

Perhaps by dusting off your old sunscreens from last summer, or by browsing your market’s isles for new bottles, sometimes you will read on your sunscreen bottle “Reef Safe”. What does that mean and why does my sunscreen affect our reefs? Glad you asked, self!

To summarize for us humans- just like our cosmetics, deodorants, lotions or anything else we put on our body, that product may penetrate our skin and then be absorbed into the blood stream. Sunscreens commonly include ingredients that act as “penetration enhancers” and help the product adhere to skin (1). As a result, many sunscreen chemicals are absorbed into the body and can be measured in blood, breast milk and urine samples (1). If these sunscreens are chemical based instead of mineral (which most on the market are), then we are also absorbing those properties as well. Yay for us.

According to National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior, it is a proven fact that our sunscreens are killing our reefs. Researchers are finding that while protecting humans, some compounds in many sunscreens can harm the coral on our reefs (2). Researchers testing the effects of sunscreen on corals explain that chemicals in sunscreen can awaken coral viruses (2). The coral then becomes sick and expel their life-giving algae. Without these algae, the coral “bleaches” (turns white), and often dies (2). Whether we may not realize it or not, the the products covering our skin wash off when we enter the water and it adds up! Research tells us that 4,000 to 6,000 TONS of sunscreen enters reef areas annually. Poor little fishy’s.

coral-bleaching-ko-haa-490x188

Not to fret! Here is a list of awesome sunscreens for you and our reef friends. I personally use all these products everyday.

garden-goddess-sunscreenGoddess Garden is just everything you could want in a sunscreen. Everything good for you and our Mother. Plus, they have a kid and baby options for our little nuggets. I use their sport sunscreen for my outdoor adventures. They receive a score of 1 on EWG‘s health concern scale.

Alba Botanica Very Emollient, Fragrance Free Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30, 4 Ounce

Alba Botanica I exchange interchangeable with Goddess Garden. Overall they make a great product and score a 2 on EWG’s health concern scale.

MyChelle Sun Shield SPF 28 Unscented 2.3 fl oz

MyChelle is my absolute favorite facial sunscreen. I’ve worn it everyday on my face for the past two years. I put it on after my moisturizer and before my make-up. No residue, no allergies. It scores a 1 on EWG’s health concern scale.

For more sunscreens approved in safety and sustainability, check out Environmental Working Group’s list of safe sunscreens here.

Now catch some sun & waves my beach babes!

XO,

Jenna

 

 

(1) https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/report/the-trouble-with-sunscreen-chemicals/
(2) https://cdhc.noaa.gov/_docs/Site%20Bulletin_Sunscreen_final.pdf

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