Why the reef safe non toxic sunscreen? Did you know – annually – over 14,000 tons of sunscreen is being dumped in oceans and rivers around the world? That’s right. To make matter worse, we aren’t putting in little drops or rainbow juice in our beautiful sea. We are dumping mass amounts of endocrine (hormone) disrupting chemicals that are killing the reefs and endangering our health.
Just before we start, I do not wear sunscreen. Bioindividuality comes into play with this topic and I simply do NOT need sunscreen. With that being said, some do and that’s why I have shared this post. For educational purposes.
If you didn’t know, I am a mermaid deep down. I have and always will be obsessed with the ocean, its healing effects and everything that’s within it. So, when you mess with my ocean, you get me going. Today we are going to learn:
- about the top 5 items to bring to the beach
- how to leave the beach better than when you came
- an interactive way to spread the love of our beloved water
Holy cow, this is a catast[reef]e
As I mentioned above, we are putting huge amounts of chemicals into our water ways each year. This is why reef safe non toxic sunscreen is so important. Some of the most beautiful beaches, reefs and national parks in the world are suffering immensely because we are obsessed with being tan. The ingredients found in the most commonly used sunscreens are 1) ineffective, more on that soon and 2) damaging liver and brain development in fish (2).
To watch absolutely gorgeous and vibrant reefs die at a rapid rad is terrible. It breaks my heart and we have to do something about it.
For the health of it, reef safe non toxic sunscreen
Beyond the reef health, our health is at the hands of sunscreen manufacturers and that’s a scary thought. There are these ingredients call the Awful 8 and they are well-deserving of their name. These toxic chemicals and carcinogens are linked to respiratory conditions, hormonal disruption, disturbed pregnancies and even cancer. Here’s what to avoid on the label (1):
- oxybenzone – it’s a weak estrogen and has potent anti-androgenic effects, can cause shorter pregnancies and skewed baby weights, alters thyroid hormones, lowers sperm counts and altered menstrual cycles
- PABA (Aminobenzoic Acid)
Additionally, 16 of the 19 common ingredients in sunscreen have no information about their potential link to cancer. Now, I’m not trying to scare you but I am trying to inform you. Ignorance isn’t bliss, say it with me! Further, there are penetration enhancers that help the sunscreen to “stick” to our skin. These enhancers get absorbed into the skin and show up in blood, breast milk and urine. Gahhh, no thanks. Let’s all just agree to get some reef safe non toxic sunscreen.
Oh yeah + these pro tips
Lastly, ask yourself the question. Is this even working? A 2018 report from Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that nearly 67% of sunscreens didn’t work. This is partly due to their inadequacy to protect us from UVA; the more damaging sun rays. UVA damages silently while UVB gives us the glow. Here’s more on non toxic sunscreen.
Pro tip 1: stay away from the sprays. There’s no way they are covering as much of your body as are shooting for + you have a higher chance of inhaling these chemicals. Great, now they’re no our skin and in our lungs!P
Pro tip 2: Cover yourself up, stop being obsessed with being tan. And for the love of God, don’t lather yourself in sun oil, please. I am speaking from experience here!
My top 5 beach must haves
- Badger Balm Sunscreen Unscented
- Glass or stainless steel water bottle with filtered water
- Reusable tote (i’ll explain)
- Sun protecting shirt or sundress
- Reusable food containers because plastic is bad, right?!
The reason I love Badger Balm sunscreen so much is that it actually works. Here’s a short story for you. When I was in Peru, we were at the beach, a lot! Like 8-10 hours a day. Surfing, walking, laying out and something crazy happened. I never burnt, ever. A friend of mine and local asked me “Ashlee, what sunscreen is that because I cannot believe you aren’t burnt, white girl!”. Hey, understandable. I am a fair skinned blonde so, they were probably making bets on me. There sunscreen is non-toxic and reef safe which means you can bring it to the states that are banning toxins! Go Hawaii! It comes in travel size containers too, it’s perfect.
Next, the reusable tote. Something I do each time I visit a beach is a cleanup. This is important because sometimes there are not-so-conscious people who visit our beautiful beaches. They leave behind plastic and other garbage. You get to be the one to save the day. Get the kids involved and have everyone pick up until they fill a bag!
Sharing the love | being part of the change
Every Christmas, Valentines, birthday or just because gift is something meaningful and impactful. My family members aren’t shocked if they receive a box of local sprouted chocolates, hemp socks or reef safe sunscreen from me. Be that person, the person making a difference each day. Something you can do, right now, is to share your favorite part of this post with someone you know and love. You can get their sunscreen right here on on everyone favorite website!
p.s. “reef safe” doesn’t have an agreed upon description so, stick with the one I am talking about in this post. Or comment once you are unsure about below and I will go over the ingredient for you!