Understanding How Sunscreen Impacts the Ocean and How You Can Protect Your Skin

 

Photo by Antonio Gabola

When it comes to showing your love for the planet, there can sometimes be a lot of rules to remember, and it can feel overwhelming. Especially when it comes to issues like skincare and cosmetics, it can be difficult to tell how you should proceed. How can you take care of your skin and the ocean all at the same time? Well, it is possible to have both! While many sunscreens can harm the environment, you can find plenty of environmentally friendly sunscreens and techniques that can let you be a friend to the ocean.

The importance of the ocean can’t be overstated — now more than ever, we need to step up and take care of the environment, and that involves everyone doing their part to help out wherever they can. Even while you’re taking care of your skin, you can take care of the ocean. And you can learn all about the ocean and how to protect it so you get better with every day! Here’s a bit more about how sunscreen impacts the ocean and how you can have the best of both worlds.

How The Sun Impacts Your Skin

Most people already know how the sun impacts your skin, but in case you need a refresher, exposure to sun and UV rays can cause sun damage, spots, aging and even cancer. Even if you don’t get a sunburn, you can still obtain damage from too much sun exposure. And while you should use sunscreen at any age, it can be especially important for kids and young people to use sunscreen, as the majority of major sun damage occurs before the age of 20.

Can Sunscreen Damage the Ocean?

In short, yes. Specifically, wearing certain sunscreens and going into the ocean can contribute to the damage of marine life such as coral reefs, algae and certain fish. However, this does not mean that you should never wear sunscreen again — as there are ways to find a balance and protect yourself. 

Oxybenzone

The main ingredient to watch out for in sunscreen is oxybenzone — the number one culprit in damaging ocean life when it comes to your SPF. The way that oxybenzone damages marine life and ocean health starts with coral reefs, as oxybenzone has been linked to coral bleaching, reef deformity and even coral death. This happens through preventing coral in its larval stage from reaching maturity and disrupting the development of coral hormones, eventually encasing itself in its own skeleton because the larvae are unable to reproduce, leading to death. And while the coral reefs are the start, the damage can impact other ocean populations, such as algae and fish populations that depend on coral reefs for their survival.

Best Oxybenzone Free Sunscreens

By now, you probably know that oxybenzone is a big no-no. While keeping an eye out for biodegradable sunscreen and keeping below an SPF 50 if you can are other great ways to find eco-friendly sunscreens, finding an oxybenzone free SPF will likely be the main event. Here are a few favorites when it comes to oxybenzone free sunscreen:

Thinkbaby Safe SPF 50+

Badger Active Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30+

Neutrogena Clear Face Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Daily Defense SPF 30

Bare Republic Mineral Face Sunscreen Gel Lotion SPF 30

You may find another sunscreen that fits your needs much better, or you may fall in love with one of these. Everyone is different, and it’s great to have options. As a thank you for reading this blog, you can use our partner-discount promo codes when purchasing from Stream2Sea (U.S. readers) or Suntribe Sunscreen (E.U. readers) by mentioning SEAGOINGGREEN at checkout for 10% off your purchase.

Protecting Your Skin and the Ocean

If you care about your skin and the planet, you can absolutely find ways to protect them both. By finding an oxybenzone free sunscreen, you can protect your skin from sun damage and avoid harming coral reefs and marine life. Do you have a favorite sunscreen you love? How does it fair with the ocean?

Author Bio:

Jane is the editor-in-chief and founder of Environment.co. She is passionate about helping people understand the importance of sustainability and actionable steps to live a greener lifestyle.

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 The importance of the ocean can’t be overstated — now more than ever, we
need to step up and take care of the environment, and that involves
everyone doing their part to help out wherever they can.

How can you take care of your skin and the ocean all at the same time?
Here’s a bit more about how sunscreen impacts the ocean and how you can
have the best of both worlds.Read MoreSustainable LivingBlog – Sea Going Green

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