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  • Valentina Solci

Sustainable Sunscreens to Save Your Skin and the Ocean

Sunscreens that do us all a favor

Hey sunshine,

Coming from Miami Beach, FL, sunscreen has always been a fundamental beauty and wellness product to have in stock. From hitting the beach to going to school to doing outdoor activities, I always wear sunscreen, specifically on to protect my face.

Like everything in life, the sun's effect on human health and skin has its pros and cons. It releases a mixture of rays, or waves, in order to emit light to Earth. The shorter waves, also known as Ultraviolet (UV) light, are the harmful ones.

According to NIH, the longest UV rays are called UVA rays (which travels more deeply into the skin and directly affects skin cells), while the shorter ones are called UVB rays (which can lead to sunburn). Here's where sunscreen comes in as a form of skin protection.

In recent years the rise of eco-friendly sunscreen has skyrocketed. Many brands from around the world are now producing this type of sunscreen, which promises to use particular chemicals and ingredients that won't negatively impact the ocean and it's marine life.

Synonymous words used to describe sustainable sunscreen are: reef safe, mineral sunscreen, and ocean-friendly. In traditional sunscreen, the two main active ingredients known to cause coral reef bleaching and contaminate water are oxybenzone and octinoxate. In doing so, marine life's cells become damaged "through oxidative stress and disrupting their endocrine and reproductive systems" (Be Outdoors).

Alternative, reef safe options do not contain the above stated harmful chemicals. In contrast, they contain minerals, such as, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, to protect the skin. According to Be Outdoors, chemical sunscreens are designed to absorb UVA rays, while mineral sunscreens reflect them. For more detailed information, click here.

Here are my 4 selections of brands committed to providing sustainable, eco-friendly sunscreens:

  1. Sunbutter Skincare: This Australian brand offers four main sunscreen options. The most basic one is the SPF 50 water resistant sunscreen ($29.95). The container is also eco-friendly in that you can reuse it to store small goods, such as, headphones.

  2. Suntegrity: This chemical free, natural sunscreen is non-nano and contains 20% zinc oxide ($24).

  3. Herbana: The two main sunscreen products offered by this company are the body sunscreen spray ($23.36) and the body sunscreen lotion ($21.24). Both products are vegan, non greasy, and contain various essential oils and natural ingredients.

  4. Anakiel: The Botanical Facial Serum Solar ($17.96) is made with 100% Natural, plant based oils/extracts + 80% Biologique ingredients.

Let me know if you get a chance to try any of these or if you have other brands in mind!

Love always and forever,



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