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Why using toxic-free Sunscreen Matters to you and the Environment

If you have been enjoying the outdoors like we have this summer, you know the importance of protecting your skin from UV rays (sunburns don't just look un-cool; they hurt, and can be dangerous!) So, how do we find a sunscreen that is toxic-free and safe for the environment? 

This week's post will share which ingredients to avoid to protect our skin and our environment, which ingredients to look for, and where to find brands you can trust.

Harmful Ingredients to Avoid 

Some experts are concerned that chemicals such as Oxybenzone may be absorbed through the skin, leading to skin irritation, hormonal disruption — or even skin cancer. The FDA recently called for more research on the safety and effectiveness of these chemicals. 

Unfortunately, so many people put these ingredients on their skin and don't realize the dangers. Our skin absorbs what you put onto it, and enters into bloodstream in just 26 seconds! 

In addition to our own health concerns when it comes to these chemicals in our sunscreen, these chemicals can also cause permanent damage to our coral reefs' DNA and reduce reproduction.

Oxybenzone damages the coral reefs and even our valuable marine life. Other consequences to using toxic sunscreens and sunblocks include:

  • Impair and damage green algae.
  • Induce defects in mussels, which can damage immune and reproductive systems in sea urchins and decrease fish fertility.
  • Be even harmful to our lovable dolphins.

Not only is it vital to look after our ocean and marine life, but our earth depends on it. If our oceans and marine life die, so do we. 

Here are some ingredients to avoid in sunscreen: 

  • Oxybenzone
  • Octinoxate
  • Octocrylene
  • Homosalate
  • 4-methylbenzylidene camphor
  • PABA
  • Parabens
  • Triclosan
  • Any nanoparticles or "nano-sized" zinc or titanium
  • Any form of microplastic, such as exfoliating beads

What about an overall toxic-free sunscreen?

It can feel overwhelming when trying to find a safe sunscreen to use for day-to-day life, especially for the kids. These days, it's hard to trust labels. So how do we know which ingredients are non-toxic? 

In 2019, the FDA only found two safe ingredients classified as non-toxic: Zinc Oxide and Titanium Oxide. Therefore, your best bet is to make sure the sunscreen you choose uses one of these two listed ingredients for UV protection.

When a sun care product is reef-safe, it will carry ingredients like mineral UV-blocking ingredients like oxide or titanium dioxide. 

Because we are always looking for ways to make your life easier when it comes to avoiding toxic ingredients in everyday life, we have made a list of our favorite sun care brands that you can find right in our shop:

Think Baby Safe Sunscreen

Erbaviva Baby Sunscreen

Babo Botanicals Zinc-based Sunscreen