5 eco-friendly sunscreens that protect your skin and the planet
We all know the importance of wearing sunscreen daily. It shields the skin from damaging UV rays, which reduces the risk of sunburn, helps protect the skin from premature ageing and reduces your risk of skin cancer. But many of the added chemicals in sunscreen are toxic to aquatic ecosystems and are causing huge damage worldwide.
How is sunscreen toxic?
Sunscreen ends up in the ocean and other waterways after you swim or shower it off. And they often contain harmful ingredients like oxybenzone, octinoxate, nano titanium dioxide, and nano zinc oxide, which can harm coral reefs and sea creatures.
With almost 14,000 tons of sunscreen ending up in our waters every year, you can imagine how much of a disastrous effect this causes on the world's coral reefs.
What can we do?
Summer is well and truly here, and with the increased amount of summer rays comes the increased demand for sun protection. With daily usage and regular top ups needed for full protection, you’ll most likely go through several containers of your favourite sunscreen. Which is why it’s so important to make sure you’re choosing one that not only protects your skin, but our planet too.
We’ve done the research and combined with our years of daily testing, these are just 5 of our current favourite sunscreens:
SurfDurt is an “extreme adventure sunscreen” made with surfers in mind, who spend more time in the sun and ocean than most.
It’s an all natural, reef-safe, zinc sunscreen that’s effective for 80 minutes of use in the water and an SPF 30 broad-spectrum sun protection. Delivered in aluminium-lined reusable bamboo pots which are perfect for travel. are so neat and highly reusable, as are the slimmer, metal tins of their travel sizes. But if you don’t want the pot anymore, you can send back your old container via their refill program and receive 25% off your next order.
It is cruelty free, but not vegan as it does contain beeswax sustainably sourced in West Africa from a program vetted by the third-party Koster Keunen agency.
And the icing on the cake is that a portion of all proceeds from each SurfDurt selection is donated to their chosen charity.
Badger Sunscreen is one of the best eco-friendly sunscreens on the market. It offers an SPF of 30 and provides protection from both UVA and UVB rays. It’s GMO free, tested hypoallergenic, gluten free, unscented, and gentle on sensitive skin. And it’s only made with 5 simple, 98% organic ingredients.
They’re also Oregon Tilth certified to the NSF/ANSI 305 standard as containing organic ingredients and Protect Land + Sea certified.
These SPF 40 and 50 low waste sunscreens come in recyclable and reusable aluminium tins. Although they offer many more sunscreen varieties which are packaged in plastic tubes.
Leading the way with sun creams for many years, Green People has an excellent range of high factor SPF30 sunscreen to protect against 97% of UVB rays.
Made from natural and organic ingredients. It’s non-greasy, naturally water repellent, and fragrance free. It’s vegan and cruelty-free with recyclable, plant-based packaging made from sugar cane.
And best yet, Green People supports the Marine Conservation Society - the UK charity protecting our seas, shores & wildlife. From each sale of their products, 20p is donated to the Marine Conservation Society.
Stream2Sea is a high performance mineral-based sunscreen which protects your body while preserving the ecosystems.
It’s plant-based, fragrance-free and non-toxic. The sunscreen is Protect Land + Sea Certified, and proven safe for you and our waters with the. The active ingredient is non-nano titanium dioxide while green tea, tulsi leaf, seaweed, aloe, and coconut oil make the Sport line less harsh on skin. And bonus points for being packaged in biodegradable and recyclable sugar cane resin packaging.
All Good's Zinc Sunscreen Butter is ready to protect you when you need it! The perfect size to keep in your bag or pocket, you'll never be caught unprepared. This non-greasy, coral-reef friendly formula is made with only 6 ingredients: non-nano zinc oxide, organic coconut oil, organic beeswax, organic calendula flowers infused in organic jojoba oil, and vitamin E.
While not vegan, the beeswax is sourced from a fellow B-Corp that treats its bees ethically and sustainably.
All Good is carbon neutral, cruelty-free, a 1% for the Planet Member and a certified B Corp.
Some products come in traditional plastic tubes, pump bottles, or aerosol bottles, but they also offer the sunscreen butter in their recyclable aluminium tin.