Ever thought about reef-friendly sunscreens or green suncreams? Yes they do a great job of protecting us from sun damage, but some sunscreens have less than desirable effects on our oceans.
Two chemicals in popular chemical sunscreens – oxybenzone and octinoxate – are harmful to coral reefs and other marine life.
The US state of Hawaii has taken action, and has passed a law, taking effect on January 1, 2021, which bans the use of these UV filters.
Thankfully some chemical sunscreen brands are already omitting these ingredients from their formulations, making them more ocean-friendly.
Mineral sunscreens (the type that sit on top of the skin to reflect away the sun’s rays and typically contain zinc or titanium oxide) are safe for our oceans. But to be truly ocean-friendly, they should contain ingredients that are ‘non-nano’ – larger than 100 nanometer in size – as they are then less likely to be able to enter the cells of ocean life and cause them damage.
We’ve rounded up some reef-friendly sun protection you can wear without worry.
TROPIC GREAT BARRIER SUN LOTION
Light and lemony-coloured, this coconut-scented silky lotion gets the Protect Land & Sea seal of approval. A hybrid mix of reef-safe chemical filters plus mineral protection, it’s also packed with skin-conditioning coconut oil, green algae extract and Vitamin E. Packaging is pretty too. The tube is emblazoned with a classy bird of paradise flower and wrapped in a natty tropical sleeve. 200ml for £28, tropicskincare.com
GREEN PEOPLE SCENT-FREE FACIAL SUN CREAM
They’ve been physical sunscreen trailblazers for years – and Green People’s organic suncare range is perfect for sensitive skin as it’s free from parabens, silicones and synthetic fragrance. This facial sunscreen is non-greasy, but nourishes the skin with a trio of vitamins (A, C and E). It also contains organic aloe vera which soothes hot skin. £19, greenpeople.co.uk
SOLEIL TOUJOURS EXTREME FACE & SCALP SUNSCREEN MIST SPORT 50
Perfect for active people, this hardworking lightweight spray is 80-minutes water and sweat-resistant, even in scorching sun. Vegan-friendly, it contains plenty of antioxidant plant ingredients (including green tea leaf extract and red algae) which condition the skin while protecting it. £34, leading retailers, beautybay.com and Space NK
REN CLEAN SCREEN MINERAL SPF 30 MATTIFYING FACE SUNSCREEN
REN monitor new scientific research and environmental guidelines as part of their Clean To Planet pledge. Packaged in recycled plastic and vegan-friendly, it contains non-nano zinc oxide to protect you from the sun plus yellow passionfruit see extract to boost your skin with antioxidants, preventing further free-radical damage. And yes, we’re more than happy with it’s no-shine, mattifying finish. £32, renskincare.com
HELIOCARE 360° COLOR GEL OIL-FREE
Perfect for those of us who don’t want to laden our faces with moisturiser, foundation plus a layer of SPF in summer. This easy to blend fluid gives natural-looking foundation coverage in a matte finish with sunscreen built-in. It also contains powerful DNA repair enzymes, helping skin keep wrinkle-free. Available in Pearl, Beige and Bronze. £32.99, heliocare.co.uk
EUCERIN DRY TOUCH SUN GEL-CREAM
Hate the feeling of sand sticking to your sunscreen? Step in this dry-touch gel-cream, which is absorbed by skin in seconds. It’s also water and sweat resistant, so it’s fine in the sea and it won’t slide off at the first sign of perspiration. It’s also a good option for children. £19.50, Boots
THE ORGANIC PHARMACY CELLULAR PROTECTION SUNSCREEN
Suitable for both the body and face, this quality product is packed with natural ingredients bursting with antioxidants to protect and feed the skin with goodness, including Marigold, Rose Hip and Shea Butter. £39.95, theorganicpharmacy.com
WELEDA EDELWEISS SUNSCREEN LOTION
This lavender-lemony smell of this vegan friendly suncare lifts the spirits as much as sunshine. From tried and trusted brand Weleda, it offers non-nano mineral UV protection. There’s also plenty of antioxidant care from mountain flower edelweiss extract. £22.95, weleda.co.uk
©Alistair Heap +44(0)7967638858
Photo Credit: Alistair Heap