By Catherine Michelle
As summer is well underway, we wanted to take a moment and stress the importance of both protecting your skin and protecting the sea. A common ingredient in sunscreen brands is oxybenzone, and while it can help to shield our skin from UV rays that give us sunburn, it is harmful to not only ourselves but the coral reefs and marine life which is NOT GOOD!
Why oxybenzone is bad for us:
When putting on sunscreen that has the ingredient oxybenzone, it can seep into our body’s endocrine system and cause many health issues. It messes with the balance of our natural hormones and can produce an excess of estrogen, which is not ideal, and can be very harmful to fertility in men and women. It also is an irritant, and many people suffer mild to extreme allergic reactions - when I put on sunscreen with Oxybenzone, I get a rash around my eyes.
Why oxybenzone is bad for our sea:
Oxybenzone is very harmful to our ecosystem in the ocean. It bleaches our coral reefs and stops them from growing and flourishing, meaning that the homes of sea life are irreversibly suffering and dying because of something we have control over. We want to be able to snorkel and swim amongst the fish and other aquatic animals, see coral reefs and their stunning colors and we want our kids and grandkids to see them one day too—so why.
So, what can we do? Go through your sunscreen drawer and read the labels. If they have oxybenzone or parabens, throw it out! You don’t want that on your skin or in our oceans.
But we do need to protect ourselves from sunburn and damaging our skin! Don’t worry, we have got you covered. Here are our 2020 picks for best sunscreen that won’t harm you or the sea, but will still protect your skin.
Thinksport sunscreen lotion. New York Times has labeled it as the best reef-safe sunscreen of 2020 and is cheaper than other comparable brands. Thinksport sunscreen lotion packs a powerful punch against UVA/UVB rays while also protecting our reefs and at a reasonable price.
Hello Bello Sunscreen Lotion. Hello Bello is a celebrity owned company by Kristin Bell and Dax Shepard. It is family safe, vegan and cruelty free while also being reef safe!
Supergoop. Supergoop has won Allure’s Best of Beauty award in 2018 and Allure’s Readers’ Choice award in 2020. Not only will their products not harm you or the ocean, but it is packed with incredible skin-benefiting ingredients. Supergoop also has tinted moisturizer, perfect for if you want a little extra coverage but still want to protect your skin from the sun.
Suntegrity Natural Mineral Sunscreen. It is unscented, vegan and the perfect sunscreen for people with sensitive skin.
Coola Organic Sunscreen Spray. Coola is reef friendly, cruelty free, organic and smells like delicious coconut! The spray makes it very user friendly and is water resistant so it is perfect for fun filled days at the beach.
Catherine Michelle is the Contributing Editor at Large and Lead Writer for New Face Fashion Magazine and Dreamlette Magazine who focuses on exclusive interviews, reviews, makeup, fashion and more! Follow her on Instagram.