10 Dec Reef-friendly sun protection
Reef-friendly sun protection
Summer is here and the sun is shining non-stop! Holidays are around the corner and it is time to enjoy the beaches and mountains.
You know, it is extremely important to protect your skin from the sun being outside the whole day. But have you ever thought that sunscreen, that is designed to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays, can also be a risk to our environment?
Conventional sunscreens comprising UV-filters like Oxybenzone, Benzophenone-1, Benzophenone-8, OD-PABA, 4-Methylbenzylidene camphor, 3-Benzylidene camphor, nano-Titanium dioxide, nano-Zinc oxide, Octinoxate and Octocrylene that can damage the ocean and other waters. These ingredients that are found in common household products rinse off our bodies and end up in lakes, rivers and oceans. The chemical ingredients leaching into waters and coral reefs are not just from swimmers, but from sewage. Globally over 14,000 tons of toxic sunscreen enter the ocean each year.
They are an especially big risk for corals. They accumulate in their tissues, which can induce bleaching, damage DNA, deform the young, and even kill them. Healthy coral reefs are one of the most valuable ecosystems on Earth, providing billions of dollars in economic and environmental services, such as food, coastal protection, and tourism. Although, they make up less than 1% of the ocean floor yet provide food and shelter for more than 1 million species and a quarter of all fish.
But sunscreen chemicals can affect marine life in other ways too: They can impair growth and photosynthesis of green algae, induce defects in young mussels, can damage immune and reproductive systems Sea Urchins, and deform young. They can even decrease fertility and reproduction of fish and cause female characteristics in male fish as well as accumulate in tissue of dolphins and be transferred to young.
However, you don´t need to do without the important sun shield in order to protect nature and ocean. There a multiple UV-filters that are considered harmless for marine life – aka These reef-friendly sunscreens.
Here is how they work:
Chemical sunscreens are designed to absorb into your bloodstream through your skin where a chemical reaction takes place. This reaction then absorbs the ultraviolet radiation as energy and disperses it as heat. Mineral sunshields on the other side use mostly non-nano Zinc. Zinc is a powdered mineral that sits on top of the skin and builds a protective layer. However, Zinc oxide comes in two different forms: either nano or non-nano. Nanoparticles are thought to be a health risk and should be avoided. Non-nano Zinc oxide is the way to go and the crucial factor in many mineral sunscreens.
In our online shop we have a few sun protection products without chemicals that can harm marine life:
The Face and Body sunshield contains 25% non-nano zinc oxide plus other only high quality, 100% natural & non-nano ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter and sweet almond oil. It is suitable for the whole family and effective immediately after application. The SPF is 20 and the cream protects from UVA and UVB rays. Like all Back 2 Nature products, this sunshield is 100% natural, plant based, vegan and cruelty free. It is water resistant and comes in a refillable aluminium bottle packaging (with a plastic pump).
Wild Zinc sun protection comes free of harmful chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate which are toxic to reefs, algae and fish and is made with mineral zinc oxide too which creates a physical layer on your skin that naturally reflects the sun’s harmful rays. The blend of beeswax and cocoa butter create a water resistant layer meaning you can stay out in the water for longer. It is 100% biodegradable and comes in an aluminium tin, thus is plastic free. It has 30 SPF and is especially ideal for hiking or just carrying it around in your handbag.
The Back 2 Nature Active Zinc is perfect for all outdoor and water sport fans, too. It is ideal for your face and has a matte coverage, which makes your skin look smooth all day long. It comes in a fair and a dark colour. Because it´s waterproof, it’s a water sportsman, mountain biker, runner, and adventure seeker’s best friend. The natural plant based waxes in the product allows the product to sit consistently on the skin, where any water or sweat will just slide right off your face. Water and sweat will also not cause the product to run into your eyes. The product is not water soluble.
The Wild After sun makes your skin ready for summer. It is deeply moisturising and enriched with locally sourced Cape Aloe, blue chamomile, and beautifully scented raw cocoa butter. This dreamy butter will leave your skin luxuriously smooth and supple after a day in the sun. Proudly preservative-free, biodegradable products are good for you and don’t leave a trace on the environment.
By the way, you don´t need to go to the beach to test our natural sunshields. Your own garden or balcony are just as good for a sustainable sunbath ☺