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:
Condreay V Edgewell Personal Care Brands Llc
Filed: September 2, 2021§ 2:21-cv-07100
A lawsuit claims certain Banana Boat sunscreens have been falsely advertised as Reef Friendly when they contain ingredients deemed to be harmful to coral reefs.
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A proposed class action claims certain Banana Boat sunscreens have been falsely advertised as Reef Friendly when they contain ingredients deemed to be harmful to coral reefs.
The 26-page case more specifically claims the Reef Friendly Banana Boat Sport Ultra sunscreens made by defendant Edgewell Personal Care Brands, LLC contain at least two active ingredients that are not safe for coral reefs and other marine life.
According to the suit, consumers would not have purchased the products, or would have paid significantly less for them, had they known the truth about the sunscreens ingredients.
The lawsuit explains that coral and the algae that live on its surface have a symbiotic relationship whereby the algae provide energy through photosynthesis and give the coral its vibrant colors. When coral reefs are exposed to pollutants, however, the coral may experience stress and expel the algae, thereby losing its color and turning white. This process, also known as bleaching, could cause the coral to die and is one reason coral reefs are endangered, according to the complaint.
The following Banana Boat sunscreens are specifically mentioned in the lawsuit:
Top Picks For The Best Baby Sunscreens
- 3rd Rock Sunblock Sunscreen Lotion, Infant, SPF 35
- Adorable Baby Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30+
- Badger Baby Active Sunscreen Cream, Chamomile & Calendula, SPF 30 & 40
- California Baby Everyday/Year-Round Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30+
- California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30+
- Earth Mama Baby Baby Face Mineral Sunscreen Face Stick, SPF 40
- Earth Mama Baby Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 40
- Erbaviva Organic Skincare Baby Sun Stick, Lavender Chamomile, SPF 30
- Erbaviva Organic Skincare Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
- Just Skin Food Baby Beach Bum Sunscreen Stick, SPF 31
- Nurture My Body Baby Organic Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 32
- Raw Elements Baby + Kids Sunscreen Lotion Tin, SPF 30
- Raw Elements Baby + Kids Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30
- Star Naturals Baby Natural Sunscreen Stick, SPF 25
- TruBaby Water & Play Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+
- UV Natural Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+
- Waxhead Sun Defense Baby Zinc Oxide Vitamin E + D Enriched Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 35
- MADE OF Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
- thinkbaby Body & Face Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30
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Why Is Sunscreen Bad For The Ocean
The short answer is because it washes off.
As a general rule, we dont do local ecosystems any favors when we dump foreign chemicals into them, and this problem is exasperated by the large numbers of people that tend to congregate around beaches and fragile marine habitats. As we mentioned in our list of favorites above, sunscreen is a game of lesser evils, and the chemicals used in most widely-available sunblocks are the most egregious offenders.
What Sunscreens Have Oxybenzone
Ok, I get it. None of those scientific words mean anything to you well unless you are a scientist, that is.So I figured I would research for you, and it seems that a simple search to find a list of sunscreens containing oxybenzone, which has been said to cause coral bleaching, does not bring up a list to avoid.
Fortunately, I was able to find some information so you at least know a few brands to avoid.Of course, after this section, Ill let you know several Reef Safe options that have received high Hawaiian approval, but before we go into that
Lets take a look at some of the brands and products you will want to steer clear of:Johnson & Johnson In a 2017 safety and care statement by Johnson & Johnson, it is clear that they do not find the study about these chemicals to have enough scientific evidence to change their products at this time.
This may change later, but a portion of their statement on oxybenzone reads:
Therefore, Johnson & Johnson, a parent company to Neutrogena, will not be sold and deemed harmful to the coral reefs and banned by Hawaiian legislation.
Bayer All current products contain oxybenzone, but they have stated they will comply with the new regulation for Hawaii. You will need to look at labels to make an informed decision when buying these products.
Most Generic Brands
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What Makes Sunscreen Reef
Time to get nerdy. Lets talk about chemicals.
The active ingredient in sunscreen acts as a UV filter. The most popular sunscreens contain chemical filters. The active-ingredient chemicals you will find listed are the following:
Signs like this one on Maui list all sunscreen chemicals, not just banned ones. Research hasnt been done to prove these chemicals damage reefs but environmental advocates recommend not using them.
Sunscreen manufacturers will use a combination of two to six of these chemicals.
Mineral sunscreens use zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide.
Some manufacturers use both chemicals and minerals. For example, the popular baby-safe sunscreen Coppertone Water Babies uses oxybenzone as the active ingredient and zinc oxide as the mineral base. It will be illegal to sell this sunscreen in Hawaii by January 1st, 2021.
The study by the non-profit Haereticus Environmental Laboratories in partnership with NOAA found oxybenzone and octinoxate to cause coral bleaching. The authors found that baby coral exposed to oxybenzone and octinoxate showed signs of distress, including coral bleaching.
Coral bleaching is a condition that doesnt kill coral but leaves it in severe stress, exposing it to infection and may lead to death. The chemicals also caused DNA damage and irregularities in their growth and skeleton.
412 pounds per day of sunscreen in Hanauma Bay, located in Oahu, where visitors average 2,600 swimmers daily.
Other Recommended Sunscreens For Hawaii
Since Ive been looking into the sunscreen ban, multiple products keep resurfacing as environmentally friendly, reef-safe and generally supported by those concerned with allergens and a desire to have a more sustainable product.
Along with the products listed above, here are a few more that meet the criteria of Hawaiis new guidelines..
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Benzene In Sunscreens What You Need To Know
A May 2021 report from Valisure, an advocacy-focused online pharmacy that tests prescription drugs and over-the-counter products, raised alarm about the presence of benzene, a known carcinogen, in dozens of batches of commercially available sunscreens and after-sun skin-care products. Experts we spoke with acknowledged that the labs findings, while preliminary and not independently confirmed, are worthy of concern. We know that benzene can cause leukemia and other types of cancers, and the high levels detected in all these sunscreens is concerning and surprising, said Luoping Zhang, an adjunct professor of toxicology at the University of California, Berkeley. There is probably no safe level of benzene anywhere or in anything.
Valisure requested a recall of the contaminated batches” and that the “FDA better define limits for benzene contamination in drug and cosmetic products.
While the company did not test samples of all of the sunscreens we recommend in this guide, among those it did test, none were found to contain benzene. The Valisure study is a whistleblower event that helps things change and regulations to happen, said Akshay Talati, an independent cosmetic chemist who has worked with a variety of cosmetics companies, most recently LOreal.
An FDA spokesperson told Reuters that the agency will continue to monitor the sunscreen marketplace and manufacturing efforts to help ensure the availability ofsafe sunscreens for U.S. consumers.
Banana Boat Sport Performance Ultra
|Item dimensions L x W x H||39 x 58 x 191 millimeters|
- Specifically to provide Broad Spectrum UVA and UVB protection for sport enthusiasts and active sun lovers
- Heavy-Duty Protection, Ultra-Lightweight Feel
- PowerStay Technology that locks active ingredients in place and won’t run into eyes
- Water & Sweat Resistant
- Available in SPF 30 and SPF 60 Sun Protection, and both Sunscreen Lotion & Clear Spray Formats
There is a newer version of this item:
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Which Sunscreens Are Coralreef Friendly
Biodegradable sunscreen, sunblock, and suntan oils are required for use in theCaribbean Sea of Mexico, including at Cancun, Playadel Carmen, Riviera Maya, Costa Maya, Cozumel, andat any local park like Xcaret, Xel Ha, Chankanaabor Garrafon.
See our Biodegradable Sunblock page for a full descriptionof what biodegradable sunscreen is, why it’s important,and where to buy it.
This page is an attempt to answeryour questions about what types of commonly foundsunscreens are safe for use on coral reefs and whichsunscreens are not. All the brands found inthe right column of this page are considered reef-friendly,and are acceptable for use in the Mexican Caribbean,as well as anywhere else in the world, particularlynear the reefs.
Things to Consider:
1) Does your brand say biodegradableon the label? If not, then it’s probably not. Even if it is, it might not get past Xcaret or XelHa. The usual brands like Coppertone, BananaBoat, Panama Jack and No-AD are not biodegradable.
2) What is the active ingredientof your brand? Does it contain PABA? If so, then it’s really bad. Does it containchemicals like Octinoxate or Oxybenzone? Thosehave been shown to promote viral infection in coralreefs. If it is Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide,then it is probably okay if it’s also biodegradableand doesn’t contain petroleum based oils.
Complete list of ingredientsto watch out for:
Wear Sun Protection Clothing
Avoiding sunscreen is the simplest solution. Cover yourself, not just your kids, in sun-protecting clothing hats, shirts, shade, and 100% UV-protection sunglasses.
You can buy UPF-rated clothes or just wear a plain t-shirt.
Consumer Reports testing found white t-shirts provided as good, if not better, UV-protection than advertised UPF-rated clothing. Even when wet.
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Sunscreen Chemicals Build Up In Your Blood
The effects of sunscreen may linger longer than expected, too. An FDA-led 2020 studyfound that chemical sunscreen ingredients are systemically absorbed after one application, and some ingredients can stay in the blood for at least three weeks.
The sunscreen chemicals tested include avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, homosalate, octisalate and octinoxate, and all six active ingredients tested readily absorbed into the bloodstream of humans in the study and at concentrations that surpass an important FDA safety threshold.
This builds onprevious research showing that sunscreen chemicals hit the bloodstream within a day of using them and at levels high enough to prompt a government investigation on safety.
We slather these ingredients on our skin, but these chemicals havent been adequately tested, Leiba says. This is just one example of the backward nature of product regulation in the U.S.
Beyond safety issues is another question: Does sunscreen even work? Environmental Working Groups found that nearly 75 percent of sunscreens dont work and/or contain concerning ingredients that are readily absorbed by the body.
Things may be slowing moving in the right direction, but for now, the onus is still on the consumer to find sunscreen thats safer and actually works.
Why You Should Trust Us
To find the best sunscreens, we talked to cosmetic chemists Ron Robinson, Akshay Talati, and Perry Romanowski, and to Lisa Quale, a health educator at the University of Arizona Cancer Center. We also consulted nine dermatologists: Jenna Lester, at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicines department of dermatology Vinod Nambudiri, a dermatologist at Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston Belinda Tan, a dermatopathologist and cofounder of People Science Lawrence Eichenfield, chief of the pediatric and adolescent dermatology division at Rady Childrens Hospital-San Diego Rachel Herschenfeld of Dermatology Partners in Wellesley, Massachusetts Steven Wang of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, who leads the Skin Cancer Foundations Lindsey Bordone of ColumbiaDoctors in New York City Erin Warshaw, a professor of dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical School pediatric dermatologist Patricia Treadwell of Indiana University and dermatologist Henry Lim, a Detroit-based Skin Cancer Foundation spokesperson. We also spoke with toxicologist Luoping Zhang, an adjunct professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and environmental toxicologist Bernard D. Goldstein, former dean of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.
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What Lab Testing Can Reveal About Sunscreen Efficacy
Researchers have lab tests to assess UVB protection , UVA protection , water resistance, contact irritancy, , and even how well a given sunscreen sticks to skin following mechanical abrasion .
The FDA regulates sunscreens as over-the-counter drugs. To obtain marketing approval from the agency, sunscreen makers must submit data showing their products are safe and effective. Among other things, the FDA considers lab data on a given sunscreens SPF value, broad-spectrum protection, and water resistance. Labs that test sunscreens recruit volunteers who are exposed to UV radiation from sun lamps while wearing sunscreen and not wearing it . The FDA requires that these tests be done on at least 10 people. Labs that test sunscreens also examine how the formulas perform when applied to acrylic plates, quantifying the amount of UV radiation that passes through. In all these cases, to achieve accurate test results, the researchers must apply the sunscreens in precise amounts and distribute them uniformly across the test surfaces. This is not how people typically use sunscreen.
The Environmental Working Group and Consumer Reports are two organizations that regularly report findings on, among other things, whether a sunscreens SPF matches whats stated on the bottle. Year after year, they find that many do not. But even the best lab-test data reveals little about how people actually use sunscreensespecially when it comes to spray sunscreens.
Also Great: Banana Boat Sport Performance Clear Ultramist Sunscreen Spf 100
*At the time of publishing, the price was $10.
If you know youre more likely to use a spray, Banana Boat Sport Performance Clear UltraMist Sunscreen SPF 100 is the easiest to apply liberally of the nine spray sunscreens we tested. Although most spray sunscreens feel similar, some testers reported liking the feel of the Sport Performance Clear UltraMist formula best for being less greasy than others, and rated its typical sunscreen scent just fine. Banana Boat Sport Performance Clear UltraMist is also less expensive than most other sprays we considered.
The downside of spray sunscreens is that they are quite a bit more expensive than lotions, especially when you consider that some of that spray never reaches your skin. If youre using a bottle of spray correctlythat is, youre applying and reapplying the recommended amount and rubbing it into your skinone person could use up an entire bottle in a single day at the beach.
The Banana Boat spray bottle itself was the best we tested. The nozzle produced a stream of mist that was less aerated and more concentrated than with many of the other sunscreens we tested, meaning more sunscreen should end up on your skin. The bottle has a groove near the top, so its easy to hold even when your hands are slippery.
The active ingredients are avobenzone , homosalate , octisalate , octocrylene , and oxybenzone .
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Best Sunscreens & Toxic Ones To Avoid
May 4, 2021
Its no secret that the sun provides all sorts of health benefits, including helping our bodies manufacture vital vitamin D. With warmer weather right around the corner, though, many people are looking for the best sunscreens to cut their risk of sun overexposure,sunburns and possiblyskin cancer
Environmental Working Groups 15th annual Guide to Sunscreens is a mix of good and bad news when it comes to the state of sunscreens sold in American and beyond. For instance, oxybenzone a suspected hormone-disrupting chemical that is readily absorbed into the body is now present in 40 percent of the 1,800 products EWG investigated. While that may seem high, consider this: two years ago, about 60 percent of sunscreens contained this concerning chemical.
In December, the National Toxicology Program released findings linking oxybenzone exposure to a higher risk of thyroid tumors in female rats. And at the end of March, the European Commission, which reviews ingredient safety in Europe, published a final opinion finding oxybenzone unsafe for use at current levels.
Yet again, the sunscreen market is flooded with products that use potentially harmful ingredients and provide poor UVA protection, said Leiba. EWGs guide is one of the only tools available to help consumers find products that provide adequate protection and are made without ingredients that may pose health concerns.
The Best Sunscreens Of : For Recreation
Based on the best current science and toxicology data, we continue to recommend sunscreens with the mineral active ingredients zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, because they are the only two ingredients the FDA recognized as safe or effective in their proposed draft rules, Burns says.
Here are some of the most highly rated sunscreens that met EWGs criteria for safety and effectiveness:
Also of note, many sunscreen powerhouse brands are now offering safer options, although not all of these brands offerings are considered safer EWG picks. EWG has been analyzing and pushing for safer sunscreens for more than a decade, and positive shifts are occurring even within big brands and store brands. For instance, the following products made EWGs best sunscreen list with a score of 2:
- Banana Boat Kids Sport Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50+
- Coppertone Water Babies Pure & Simple Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50
- Coppertone Defend & Care Face Sunscreen Lotion, Oil Free, SPF 30
- Equate Kids Mineral Based Sunscreen Stick, SPF 5
- Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
- Neutrogena Clear Body Breakout Free Oil-Free Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
- Trader Joes Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 40
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