Will Mineral Sunscreens Protect My Childrens Skin As Effectively As Chemical Sunscreens
While protecting the environment for most people is a high priority, the health of their children is more so. If youre worried that reef safe sunscreen may not be as effective at protecting you childs skin compared to chemical sunblocks then you need not worry.
Reef safe sunscreen is highly effective at protecting skin from the damage the sun can inflict, so there should be no concern that switching to reef safe sunscreen will be less effective.
Do I Need A Face Sunscreen
Theres no reason a body sunscreen cant work on your face. Face sunscreens are often simply body sunscreens repackaged, according to cosmetic chemist Perry Romanowski. But peoples faces are also wildly different in the way they react to different substances what is too greasy for one person may be fine for another.
If you dont want to spend the extra cash on a specific face lotion, keep in mind this one caveat to using our top body pick on your face: Water-resistant formulas contain more oil. Thats what makes them water resistant, Romanowski said. Face sunscreens tend to be formulated with less oil. We recommend several options in our guide to face sunscreens, but we wouldnt hesitate to use our top-pick body sunscreen on our faces for a beach day. No matter what you use, keep in mind that your level of protection depends on how much and how often you apply.
And if you wear makeup, dont count on foundation, powder, bronzer, or other cosmetics to fully protect your face. Sun-protective makeup might not be good enough for your daily routine, depending on what youre using and how much time you spend outside. Many cosmetics that advertise an SPF do not protect against UVA rays. That isnt a matter of false advertising its simply easy for you to miss the fact that they dont have the important broad spectrum label. Even if a certain cosmetic does have such labeling, it may not have a high enough SPF to meet AAD recommendations .
Coola Organic Baby Mineral Sunscreen $36
Looking for an organic, reef-safe sunscreen for baby? Look no further than COOLA Organic Baby Mineral Sunscreen. Unscented, water-resistant, reef-safe, and organic, this SPF 50 sunscreen has everything you want without any of the chemicals that can irritate sensitive skin. Safe for babies six months and older.
“I absolutely hands-down love the sunscreen! It’s hard to swallow spending almost $40 on a small tube of sunscreen, but it is worth it! I live in the islands and this is the only brand that I will use for myself and my baby.” says RJ in their glowing review.
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Kokua Sun Care Zinc Sunscreen Spf 50
This SPF 50 sunblock contains 25 percent non-nano zinc oxide for 80 minutes of water resistance, a faint scent of coconut and vanilla, and 23 antioxidants to nourish the skin, including seven superfoods sourced from Hawaiian farms like Konared coffee fruit, macadamia nut oil, plumeria, spirulina, and noni juice, thus supporting local agricultural communities. Follow up exposure with the brands Healing Serum. It makes use of sustainably harvested anti-inflammatory sandalwood and kukui nut oil.
Cest Moi Sunshine Sunscreen
This non-nano zinc oxide formula comes in face stick or lotion form. Its water-resistant for 40 minutes of sweating or swimming, and then youll need to reapply. Its made for faces and bodies, and it also features a supplementary super fruit antioxidant blend to defend your delicate dermis from the elements. Lower 48 customers can utilize the TerraCycle Cest Moi partnership to recycle plastic packaging.
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Whats The Difference Between Reef
Wouldnt it be nice though, if either reef-safe or reef-friendly labels would be able to help you find a sunscreen formula thats actually safe for humans too?
Unfortunately, with no regulation reef-safe and reef-friendly are used synonymously and neither of them means anything.
This is so unfortunate because 10 years ago, buying a sunscreen that said reef-safe gave you about a 95-99% chance that it would not only protect the coral reefs but also be safe for your childrens endocrine system, as well as being anti-carcinogenic as opposed to potentially causing cancer.
Now however the waters are murkier. If my eye is drawn to the words reef-safe or reef-friendly, in a product description or packaging, I know that I have about a 50/50 chance of passing my standards.
If you think youre in the clear as long as you buy a sunscreen labeled reef-safe, think again, Craig Downs, Ph.D. from Haereticus Labs says.
The federal government requires sunscreen claims to be truthful and not misleading, but the term reef-safe doesnt have an agreed-upon definition and therefore isnt strictly regulated by the government.
This means sunscreen manufacturers arent required to test and demonstrate that such products wont harm aquatic life, Downs says, and even if they did and found a sunscreen that passed this test, it might still be harmful if concentrations in the water got high enough.1
How Safe Is Reef Safe
If our goal is to have the smallest possible impact on the ocean, while providing ourselves the most possible protection, the answer is it isnt. In the same way, its hard to prevent chemicals and free-radicals from leaching into your skin after long term use.
From an ethical and utilitarian standpoint, we should rely on UPF clothing and placing other physical barriers between our bodies and the sun sunscreen should be used only as a last resort tactic. If Im being realistic though, standing in the sun feels good and Im going to keep using sunblock because Im heavily invested in my long term wellbeing.
As mentioned in our article above, theres a definite trend of products that are built with coral habitats in mind being as a whole better for our individual health. While Reef Safe doesnt completely solve the problem for us, its a great place to start.
If you already have a sunblock or you just bought one, leave a comment in the comment section below and share your experience with it.
Thank you for the recommendations! I am constantly on the hunt for a good reef safe sunscreen
Submit a Comment
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Bottom Line: How To Find Reef
You have three options when it comes to actually making a correct purchase to protect the coral reefs.
Heres the thing, over the last decade+, Ive personally tested over 120 natural mineral sunscreens, my standards are very high, and nothing in my top three tiers would be considered dangerous to coral reefs.
Nothing in my top two tiers has ingredients with serious concerns for human safety.
And my top tier with only around a dozen winners is where you really should be spending your time. These formulas are held to the highest standard with rigorous government testing.
Ingredients refined to perfection that most of the time you could practically eat and efficacy and performance tested by the Kimball family in the field.
That top tier has nothing that is difficult to use or has failed and caused sunburns over the years. If youre looking for the best reef-safe sunscreen, simply start there. Heres a list of some of my ultimate favorites.
If youre worried about the white cast on your skin from zinc oxide sunscreen, check out my video on how to apply mineral sunscreen correctly to minimize it.
Stream2sea Sunscreen For Body Spf 30
Stream2Sea mineral sunscreen for body is a high performance mineral-based sunscreen that protects your body while preserving the ecosystems you love. It’s a non-greasy, reef-friendly formula that won’t burn your eyes, provides broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection, and remains water-resistant for 80 minutes of swimming or activity. Stream2Sea also offers Tinted Sunscreen for Body and Sunscreen for Face and Body!
“I love this sunblock! Not only do you feel good because you’re keeping the ocean safe, but it feels light. It’s not greasy and it works so well!” says Hannah Lassen in her five-star product review.
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Sunscreen And Vitamin D
Sunshine is a vital component of the chemical reaction that drives vitamin D synthesis in the human body. Vitamin D is essential for health, and wearing sunscreenwhich deflects or absorbs the suns rayssignificantly reduces the bodys ability to make it. Along with eating fortified foods or taking supplements, getting 15 minutes of sun exposure is usually enough for most people to make sufficient vitamin D.4 But dermatologists recommend covering up or using sunscreen whenever you may be exposed to the sun, so finding a balance between protecting your skin and getting enough vitamin D can be confusing. Because every persons situation is unique, its best to discuss this topic with your doctor.
Is Blue Lizard Sunscreen Reef
Blue Lizard includes octisalate in most formulas except sensitive. The Kohala Centers reef-friendly sun protection guide doesnt allow for that petrochemical ingredient, although its not on the harmful reef damaging list from Haereticus Labs.
Blue Lizards website says this in their FAQs: Mineral-based sunscreens combine mineral and chemical UV protectors for performance you can trust. I cant trust that!
Plus I dislike it when an entire brand isnt reef-safe it gets confusing to easily know whats ok for our health and whats not. I want to work with companies that have an unswerving commitment to caring for our ecosystems.
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Suntegrity Skincare Natural Mineral Body Sunscreen
After losing her mom to skin cancer, Tricia Trimble channeled her grief into founding Suntegrity in 2010 from her Southern California apartment to offer a slew of products, including SPF 50 mineral powders and Impeccable Skin Sunscreen Foundation. All Suntegrity sunscreens start with broad spectrum-busting non-nano zinc oxide and then receive infusions of youth-preserving antioxidants. It was important to her that they also be reef-safe, vegan , safe for sensitive skin, made in the USA and cruelty-free. One of the brands hero products, the greaseless sweet orange-smelling SPF 30 Body Sunscreen, applies like lotion and is even a tad cooling thanks to jojoba, aloe, cucumber extract, and hyaluronic acid.
Editors Note On Banana Boat Reef Friendly Class Action Lawsuit:
This class action article details the case filed against the maker of Banana Boat sunscreens because of alleged false reef-friendly claims. We also recommend you read the Neutrogena Benezene Cancer Class Action Lawsuit.
Case Name & No.: Michelle Moran v. Edgewell Personal Care, LLC. Case No.: 3:21-cv-07669-SK
Jurisdiction: United States District Court Northern District of California
Products/Services Involved: Different reef-friendly Banana Boat sunscreen products made by Edgewell Personal Care
Allegation: Banana Boat sunscreen products actually contain chemicals that counter its branding that they are safe to use and do not harm the oceans reefs.
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The New Reef Safe Sunscreen Law In Hawaii
Here at Kitchen Stewardship®, weve been closely following the legislation in Hawaii banning two of the most offensive conventional sunscreen ingredients: oxybenzone, and octinoxate.
I was overjoyed when the bill in Hawaii passed into law and finally went into effect in January 2021.
This law does not allow for two ingredients to be sold or used. In Hawaii.
The bills purpose is to protect the coral reefs in the delicate and beautiful ecosystem surrounding Hawaii. It ends up supporting human health and healing as well.
More states and countries must follow.
However, because it only tackles two ingredients, it opens the door for confusion.
Many people are now thinking that if oxybenzone and octinoxate are not in a sunscreen formula, then it is magically reef safe. That is false.
While the law in Hawaii is a step in the right direction there are many other ingredients that have been proven to or are likely to harm the coral reefs. Therefore, reef-safe sunscreen cannot only follow the letter of the law.
Best Sunscreen For Hawaii: Ultimate Guide To Reef Safe Sunscreen
Did you know theres a Hawaii sunscreen ban on all sunscreen that isnt reef safe? Keep scrolling to find the best sunscreen for Hawaii to add to your beach bag thats Eco friendly!
This post about the best sunscreen for Hawaii contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.
We all know how important it is to use sunscreen when youre in a warm climate, like Hawaii. It protects your skin from harmful sun rays.
Its especially important for kids to wear sunscreen in Hawaii and we often slather them in it just to make sure there is no risk of them burning.
While its definitely important to protect our skin in warm climates, its also important to consider the health of the environment we are enjoying.
Traditional sunblock is made from synthetic chemicals. The detrimental effect of these chemicals on the environment mainly coral reefs is not always something people are aware of.
However, there are mineral alternatives that are both effective and environmentally friendly.
Read on to find out which Hawaii suntan lotions are reef safe and which sunscreens should be avoided for the protection of our oceans.
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Our Pick: Coppertone Ultra Guard Sunscreen Lotion Spf 70
*At the time of publishing, the price was $8.
Weve noticed stock issues with this item. If Coppertone Ultra Guard Sunscreen Lotion SPF 70 is unavailable, we recommend Banana Boat Light As Air SPF 50 Lotion as a substitute. Read more about the Light As Air sunscreen.
Coppertone Ultra Guard Sunscreen Lotion SPF 70, a chemical sunscreen that earned top marks in our testing, is a great choice for most people. It offers adequate SPF and broad-spectrum protection and is water resistant for up to 80 minutes. Its easy to apply and comfortable to wear, while still being affordable. It has no added fragrances. Although we could detect a slight sunscreen scent when we first applied it, after its been rubbed in, it doesnt really smell like anything, said Wirecutter social media strategy editor Sasha VanHoven, who was a member of our test panel and has been using Coppertone Ultra Guard consistently since. Its texture made it one of the easiest to apply of the sunscreens we tested. And it didnt turn white when we wore it running, as some sunscreens did.
One : It didnt feel overly greasy, and it rubbed in fine, no white residue. The reviewer concludes that it does the job its intended to do. We agree.
It comes in a packable, easy-to-grip, 8-ounce bottle with a seal-tight cap.
The active ingredients are avobenzone , homosalate , octisalate , octocrylene , and oxybenzone .
Banana Boat Sunscreens Contain Toxic Ingredients Despite Reef Friendly Claims
Condreay claims she purchased a Banana Boat SPF 30 sunscreen labeled Reef Friendly, from a Simi Valley CVS earlier this year, however, she says she would not have purchased the product or paid as much for it as she did had she known it was not actually Reef Friendly.
Avobenzone and octocrylene, ingredients in Banana Boat sunscreens, cause coral bleaching and negatively affect the reproduction of coral reefs, according to the class action lawsuit. Octocrylene specifically is toxic to the development and reproduction of marine life, says the plaintiff.
Condreay wants to represent herself and a California Class of consumers who purchased any of the above Banana Boat sunscreens that claim to be Reef Friendly.
By representing that the Products are Reef Friendly, Defendant leads consumers into reasonably believing that the Products contain only ingredients that are safe for coral and other marine life, states the class action lawsuit.
Condreay alleges the defendant intentionally is misleading a growing base of consumers who are more likely to purchase a product they believe is not going to harm the environment.
Condreay is demanding a jury trial and seeking injunctive relief as well as statutory and monetary damages for herself and all Class Members.
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Best Practices For Applying Sunscreen
Here are some quick best practices for applying reef-safe sunscreen.
Apply 15-minutes before going out in the sun
Reapply every 2-hours, more if you towel dried
Cover every inch of exposed sunscreen
Pack enough for your trip out that day
Skin Cancer Foundation recommends SPF 30 or higher for extended outdoor activities.
That is a lot of chemicals to avoid when buying sunscreen so let me summarize. Avoid sunscreens with the following ingredients on the label:
Avoid Oxybenzone And Octinoxate
Buy sunscreen that doesnt have these chemicals listed on the label, that is the basic definition of reef-safe at this time.
Sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate are banned in Hawaii from being sold, as of January 1st, 2021. Check the label on your sunscreen as one of these chemicals may be listed as the active ingredient.
Check the ingredients on the back before you buy.
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