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GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
Mother applying sunscreen to small child at the beach
Image by yurakrasil / Shutterstock
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Shopping for Sunscreen that Won’t Damage the Environment

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Here at GR8NESS, we’ve covered why sunscreen isn’t seasonal. Wearing a formula that’s at least SPF 30, the American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends every day. It’s crucial not only to preventing skin care, but it can prevent premature aging, fine lines, wrinkles, and sunspots, too. Sunscreen keeps our skin looking its best for years to come. It’s an investment in your future of sorts.

Many people are aware of the benefits of wearing sunscreen and agree that it’s essential. What many people may not be aware of, however, is that certain sunscreen brands cause damage to the environment. How is this possible, and how can we find an eco-friendly sunscreen?

How Some Sunscreens Damage the Environment

There’s an ingredient in many sunscreens called oxybenzone, and it can wreak havoc on marine life, according to the Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. The element is present in thousands of sunscreen brands around the world, and it can lead to the deterioration and even death of coral reef in our oceans.

The coral reef is an essential part of our ecosystem. It serves as a home for millions of sea organisms and provides nutrients for many sea creatures. Additionally, the coral reef protects the shores from the destruction caused by extreme weather and acts as a haven for fish to spawn their eggs. Without coral reefs, the ocean cannot maintain its natural balance.

It’s said that somewhere between 6,000 and 14,000 tons of sunscreen make its way into lakes, rivers, and oceans each year, much of which contains oxybenzone.

This comes by way of swimmers, as sunscreen comes off their bodies once they’re in the water. Another way the chemical can end up in the water is through the dumping of waste from manufacturing companies and run-off from boats.

Shopping for Sunscreen That Won’t Damage the Environment

With thousands of sunscreen brands containing oxybenzone, it may seem impossible to find an eco-friendly product. GR8NESS is here to tell you it’s not; there is hope. Finding a sunscreen without harmful chemicals may take more effort, but there are steps you can take to make the process easier.

With the go-green movement of recent years, many brands have taken notice of consumers’ product preferences and are responding in-kind. The most important thing to do when shopping for sunscreen is to check the label.

Active ingredients that are not harmful to the environment but still offer protection from the sun include zinc oxide and titanium oxide. These ingredients are commonly found in “mineral sunscreen.” These sunscreens have a slightly whiter tint and usually feel less oily when you rub them into your skin.

Remember, just because the front of a bottle says “Environmentally Friendly” doesn’t mean it is, and you should check the ingredient list only in case.

Vacation Destinations are Taking Notice

The effect that toxic sunscreen chemicals have had on the ocean has not gone without notice by the vacation industry. Some top tourist destinations have started to take action have started banning the sale sunscreens that contain oxybenzone. Places on the list include the entire state of Hawaii, the Florida Keys, The US Virgin Islands, the island of Bonaire, the Caribbean nation of Palau, the Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park in Mexico, and more.

Here at GR8NESS, we strive to spread knowledge, helping not only our readers but also the environment. Pass the knowledge on and make a difference in the world.

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Anne
GR8NESS Writer
Anne is a GR8NESS Contributing Writer, covering mental health, self-development, body, health, and pet care. She believes that self-betterment comes from addressing all aspects of the mind, body, and soul. When she’s not writing, you will definitely find her giving her dog belly rubs and reading the first half of every book she buys.
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