Sunscreen is an important part of preserving the skin. Yet, due to harsh chemicals found in most products today, it’s hard to know which sunscreen acts to really protect us from the sun’s rays without harming us with chemicals and additives. Analyzing the ingredients of our skincare products is a crucial step in supporting and properly caring for the largest organ in our body- the epidermis (our skin).
So if you’re headed for a fun beach day or perhaps a dreamy snorkeling tour, here’s what you need to know on the most reliable sunscreen:
Avoid oxybenzone, Butylparaben, Octinoxate or 4-methylbenzylidene camphor (4MBC). Such chemicals can bleach corals, inhibit fish fertility, and overall destroy the coral in our ocean resulting in death to fish species and more.
While browsing multiple shelves of sunscreens promising sun-safety, you’ll find there are two types: physical and chemical sunscreens. Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the sun’s rays, while physical sunscreens actually remain on the top of your epidermis and block or reflect the sun’s dangerous rays.
Speaking of, zinc oxide is one of the most unique active ingredients that can help effectively block all parts of the UV spectrum (broad spectrum) and can only be found in physical sunscreens. Zinc oxide does not only block both ultraviolet A (UVA) and B (UVB) radiation but is very gentle and does not promote any irritation for those who have sensitive skin. It's so gentle it's used on baby bottoms for diaper rash-yes it's that safe!
Zinc oxide has proven to be a good friend for our skin as it also helps lower skin inflammation, improves wound healing, prevents bacterial infections, and even promotes collagen synthesis.
Now that’s something our skin certainly needs.
Protecting our Reefs
Since 2008, there has been growing concern that certain kinds of sunscreen are impacting the coral reefs of our vast and beautiful ocean. One study has shown a direct correlation between coral death and a link to the ingredients found in certain chemical sunscreens.
The chemicals that act to filter UV rays actually stimulate viral infections in the symbiotic micro-algae- the vital origin of all corals’ nutrients. In basic language, they destroy coral DNA. Unfortunately, even low doses of such chemicals (see below) can create a lot of harm not only for the corals but even many types of fish. Without coral reefs, we risk erosion to our shorelines. The coral loss also results in an imbalance in our oceans eco-system as certain fish such as the beautiful parrot fish who eat coral and are finding less of it. Larger fish depend on parrot fish and the chain goes on and on. Without the balance of ocean critters, we can get overgrowth and bacteria and cause irreparable harm to the ocean we all enjoy. Oceanic life makes our lives possible as a large percent of the earth's oxygen comes from the ocean through algae.
So before taking a plunge in the blue or floating around with friends, make sure you’re using non-nano zinc oxide and reef-safe sunscreen to prevent any damage. Stay away from any products containing oxybenzone, Butylparaben, Octinoxate or 4-methylbenzylidene camphor (4MBC). Such chemicals can bleach corals, inhibit fish fertility, and overall destroy the coral in our ocean resulting in death to fish species and more.
Whether it’s spring break or summer vacation, remember that using the wrong sunscreen can not only threaten the aquatic universe but affect our shorelines, the food we eat, and our entire ecosystem. Everything in life is interconnected, and being mindful of that can really take us far.
Me and a Tree is one natural skincare company that cares about the earth and creating products that are supportive of keeping the environment in harmony with humans. This is why they work hard to create sunscreens like Me and a Tree’s Summer Passion Biodegradable Reef Safe Sunscreen. Made with borage, this exclusive 30-SPF non-nano particle zinc oxide sunscreen is a sun-protection must-have. Gently infused with jojoba oil, horsetail, and natural botanicals, this skincare classic is a necessity in every home and travel destination.
Get yours now or choose among many in the sun fun collection today. If you’re looking for more natural, stimulating, and eco-friendly products made to rejuvenate the skin, you’ll find a whole variety of natural ones here. Enjoy!