If you’re planning on hitting the sunny beaches of Hawaii this summer, you may want to take note of the state’s new ban on a product you may have sitting in your favorite beach tote: sunscreen. That’s right, starting January 1, 2021, Hawaii (which is the first state to approve such a law) will officially ban the sale of sunscreens that contain the coral reef-killing chemicals of oxybenzone and octinoxate—two major ingredients present in the vast majority of sunscreens (…hopefully more states/countries will follow suit!).
Studies show sunscreens that contain these two chemicals are destroying marine ecosystems and are contributing to the decline of coral reefs. As evidenced by the disappearing Great Barrier Reef, a once flourishing 1,400 mile stretch of vibrant coral reefs along the coast of Australia, ecologists have estimated nearly 50 percent of the corals in the area have died off since 2016! Even more shocking is the fact that the Caribbean has lost nearly 80 percent of their coral reefs!
Although sunscreen isn’t the only culprit responsible for such destruction—climate change, nutrient pollution, over-fishing, and coral disease have all been shown to cause a decline in coral reefs—research shows an undeniable link between the two toxic chemicals and the damage caused to coral reefs around the world.
Thankfully, you don’t have to choose between protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays and saving coral reefs from a horrid demise due to your choice of sunscreen because there are countless sunscreens out there that don’t contain toxic chemicals! (Which is a major plus for your health because some sunscreens are also rife with hormone disruptors and other nasty chemicals that have actually been shown to speed up the development of skin cancer! Eeks!) Even if you’re not planning on swimming in Hawaii’s wondrous waters, make it a point to ditch the icky, toxic sunscreens and opt for any one of these all-natural, chemical-free skin protectants instead!
Save Coral Reefs *And* Protect Your Skin With These Cruelty-Free, Non-Toxic Sunscreens
Sunology SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen, $14.99 (each)
Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free and reef-friendly, Sunology mineral sunscreens (available in sunscreens for your body, for your face, and for kids) do not contain oxybenzone or octinoxate and are completely free of chemical preservatives and parabens! With UVA/UVB broad-spectrum SPF 50 sun protection and 80 minutes of water-resistant wear, Sunology mineral sunscreens are also eco-friendly as they are packaged using only 100 percent recyclable packaging material. For full body coverage, go with their body mineral sunscreen, which contains a unique Moringa essential oil complex to help support hydration for youthful and healthier skin!
2. Sun Bum
Sun Bum SPF 50 Mineral Lotion, $14.99
Labeled reef-friendly and free of oxybenzone and octinoxate, Sun Bum’s mineral sunscreen products are paraben-free, PABA-free, vegan, gluten-free, and are hypoallergenic. Their lightweight, non-greasy moisturizing mineral lotion (pictured above) provides SPF 50 protection and 80 minutes of water-resistant wear. Other Sun Bum products include their SPF 30 Mineral Lip Balm and their SPF 50 Mineral Face Stick (just to name a few!), proving they have everything you need to protect the earth *and* your skin during all of your wanderlust beach outings.
Alba Botanica SPF 30 Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen, $8.99
Although not all of Alba Botanica’s products are vegan (some contain beeswax and honey), all of their products are cruelty-free and made with 100 percent vegetarian ingredients. For the perfect eco-friendly sunscreen, their Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen is coral reef safe and free of harsh sulfates, artificial colors, fragrances, parabens, and phthalates, plus Alba Botanica’s mineral sunscreen is biodegradable! With all-natural ingredients like sunflower seed oil, aloe vera, and vitamin E, this mineral sunscreen will soothe your skin and can help protect against premature signs of aging due to sun exposure.
Are you a mineral sunscreen convert? Share your favorite brands below!
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