Sun Protection

Reef Safe Mineral Sunscreens

What’s the difference between chemical and mineral sunscreens?

Chemical Sunscreens

  • Contain harmful chemicals (e.g. Octylcrylen, Octinoxate, Oxybenzone, Avobenzone, Octocrylene)
  • Absorb UV rays, that enters the skin, and transforms it into heat
  • Thinner than mineral sunscreens (easier to rub and spread evenly on skin)

While…

Mineral (Physical) Sunscreens

  • Contain natural minerals particularly Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide (some brands have both)
  • Act as reflectors rather than absorbers (creates a protective layer on skin that reflect UV rays)
  • Thick, but when applied correctly, leaves no “chalky” or white residue on skin

If you’re asking what’s the big deal, then here it is…

Mineral sunscreens are void of harmful chemicals like Oxybenzone that disrupt coral reproduction & development, which ultimately leads to bleaching and reduces their resilience to the fast paced climate change.

Moreover, most mineral sunscreen brands have non-nano particles (ingredients are greater than 100 nanometers in diameter) to avoid being ingested by the coral reefs.

Imagine the gravity of chemicals being absorbed by the ocean everyday from millions of tourists worldwide who are using non-biodegradable sunscreens. It’s terrifying!

NOW is not too late to start sustainable coexistence and practice the use of healthy sunscreens, for both human and marine life.

So, what sunscreen brand should I buy?

Here’s a list of the top mineral sunscreen brands you can simply find in Amazon:

Note: All of the brands are biodegradable, broad spectrum (cover both UVA & UVB), paraben Free, and non-nano.

Goddess Garden Sport Mineral Sunscreen Continuous Spray (6oz/170g)

          ♥   Vegan and Free of Synthetic Fragrance & Gluten

          ♥ ♥    SPF 30

          ♥ ♥    Certified Organic NSF/ANSI 305 Body Care Organic Standards

          ♥ ♥    Water Resistant (80 mins.)

          ♥ ♥ ♥    Recyclable Aluminum Container

          ♥ ♥ ♥     Certified Leaping Bunny

          ×   With reports of spray malfunction

Alba Botanica Sport Mineral Sunscreen (4oz/113g)

         ♥ Vegan and Free of Synthetic Fragrance & Gluten

         ♥ ♥   SPF 45

         ♥ ♥   Water & Sweat Resistant

         ♥ ♥ ♥   No Animal Testing

         ♥ ♥ ♥   Skin Cancer Foundation Recommendation

         ×   Slightly Thick

Tropical Sands Broad Spectrum Sunscreen (8oz/236ml)

         ♥   Free of Synthetic Fragrance

         ♥   Sensitive Skin Friendly

         ♥ ♥   SPF 30

         ♥ ♥    Water Resistant (80 mins.)

         ♥ ♥ ♥   No Animal Testing

         ×   Size not for Carry-On Travel

Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen Lotion (3oz/89ml)

       ♥   Free of Synthetic Fragrance & Gluten

       ♥   Travel Size

       ♥ ♥    SPF 30

       ♥ ♥    Hypoallergenic (Safe for Babies & Kids)

       ♥ ♥    Certified Organic Ingredients

       ♥ ♥ ♥   No Animal Testing

       ×   Slightly Thick 

Loving Naturals Sunscreen (4.3oz/121g)

       ♥   Free of Synthetic Fragrance & Gluten

       ♥ ♥    SPF 30

       ♥ ♥  Water Resistant (40 mins.)

       ♥ ♥   Safe for Babies & Kids

       ♥ ♥ ♥   No Animal Testing

       ×   Slightly Greasy

Block Island Natural Mineral Sunscreen (3.4oz/100ml)

        ♥   Vegan and Free of Synthetic Fragrance & Gluten

        ♥   Recyclable and Travel Size

        ♥ ♥   SPF 30

        ♥ ♥ ♥   No Animal Testing

        ♥ ♥ ♥ Ultra Lightweight

        ×   Slightly Chalky

Badger Clear Zinc Sport Sunscreen (2.9oz/87ml)

        ♥   Free of Synthetic Fragrance

        ♥   Travel Size

        ♥ ♥   SPF 35

        ♥ ♥   Non-comedogenic & Rich in Anti-Oxidant (Sunflower Oil)

        ♥ ♥   98% Certified Organic Ingredients

        ♥ ♥ ♥   No Animal Testing

        ×   Slightly Thick 

Totlogic Sunscreen (3oz/89ml)

       ♥   Vegan and Free of Synthetic Fragrance

       ♥   Travel Size

       ♥ ♥   SPF 30

       ♥ ♥   Hypoallergenic

       ♥ ♥   Water Resistant (80 mins.)

       ♥ ♥ ♥   PETA Approved – No Animal Testing

       ×   Slightly Thick 

Raw Elements Face + Body Tin (3oz/89ml)

        ♥   Gluten & Nut Free

        ♥   Kid Friendly & Travel Size

        ♥ ♥   SPF 30

        ♥ ♥   Water Resistant (80 mins.)

        ♥ ♥   USDA Certified Organic

        ♥ ♥ ♥   Plastic Free (Recyclable/Reusable Tin)

        ×   Slightly Greasy

All brands contain reef safe minerals Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide as active ingredients. The thickness, absorbability, and packaging are the unique elements of each product, it really depends on the priority of the consumer. 

Precautions:

  1. Sunscreen brands may contain inactive ingredients that can cause allergic reactions to some consumers (e.g. Nuts);
  2. Oily skin can be sensitive to sunscreens which can trigger acne; As much as possible, avoid using body sunscreens on face;
  3. For facial sunscreens, be careful of eye irritation;
  4. Cautiously select sunscreen brands for children (babies who are less than 6 months are not advisable to use sunscreens);
  5. Apply sunscreen on all bare skin and always reapply especially after swimming or sweating.

 

Did you know?

  • Palau is the first country to implement widespread ban on sunscreens containing any of the 10 harmful chemicals identified by the government starting 2020.

  • Island of Bonaire in the Caribbean will be Oxybenzone free by January 1, 2021.

  • Hawaii is the first U.S. State to ban sale of sunscreens containing Oxybenzone & Octinoxate starting January 1, 2021.

  • Some tourist destinations in Mexico, particularly Garrafon, Xcaret, Xel-Ha in Rivera Maya, & Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park in Cozumel, ban the use of non-biodegradable sunscreens.

 

 

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