With the warm weather right around the corner, it’s important to remember exercising caution when having fun in the sun! Within the past decade, the importance of sunscreen has been emphasized to prevent against premature aging, wrinkles, and skin cancer but more recent discoveries have proven that the type of sunscreen we use is just as important for our environment.
The two types of sunscreens that protect the skin from sun damage are with a mineral barrier or a chemical barrier.
The active ingredients in chemical sunscreens are:
These active ingredients absorb the sun’s UV rays, then through a chemical reaction, dissipate the UV rays. In other words, the skin is protected because the UV rays never actually hit the body. However, because chemical sunscreens must get absorbed by the skin, they can cause irritation and discomfort for those with sensitive skin.
Not only do chemically based sunscreens have many negative side effects on your body, but recent discoveries have shown that they are posing an increasing threat on our marine life as well.
An increase in evidence indicates that the chemicals found in sunscreen —specifically oxybenzone, among others— are harming our ocean’s wild life. Over 3,500 sunscreen products worldwide containing these chemicals pollute coral reefs via swimmers wearing chemically based sunscreen. Oxybenzone causes coral bleaching which damages coral DNA, eventually resulting in their inability to reproduce.
Hawaii is currently attempting to pass a law that bans all sales on chemically based sunscreens in an effort to save their marine life.
Thankfully, there is an alternative that is safe for both humans and the environment!
Mineral sunscreens (sometimes called physical sunscreens) typically include ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which create a physical barrier to protect the skin from the sun.
Benefits of Mineral Sunscreen:
-Provides immediate protection from the sun as soon as it’s applied with no wait required.
-Does not cause damage to ocean life.
-Less likely to clog pores, making it ideal for those with blemish-prone skin types.
-Lasts longer when in direct UV light (compared to sunscreens with chemicals), but this may vary when doing physical activities that cause sweating.
-Less likely to cause skin irritation, making it a great option for those with sensitive skin.
Mineral sunscreen remains on the skin’s surface giving instant protection upon application. It uses use physical filters such as zinc oxide that are photo-stable, which means it is not absorbed by the skin and will not lose its effectiveness over a short span of time after application. Unlike chemically based sunscreens, mineral sunscreens don’t absorb the sun’s rays—it reflects them!
Mineral sunscreens are considered ocean and reef safe because of the natural minerals that eventually break down and settle on the bottom of the ocean like silt.
Babo's Daily Sheer facial Sunscreen is perfect for extra sensitive faces. It has an ultra sheer, lightweight, and hypoallergenic formula containing organic Aloe Vera, Avocado, and Jojoba Oil to sooth and moisturize skin. It's great to use as a daily moisturizer and/or under makeup.
Also check out our sunscreens for the body! In lotion form or a continuous spray.
Protecting your skin against the sun's harsh rays is important and, if you're concerned about the way chemical sunscreens impact the environment, choose a mineral sunscreen as your summer essential. What are some of your environmentally friendly essentials this summer? Leave us a comment to share!