Fralsa Collective

Ethical Sunscreens; Protecting the Planet, And Your Skin at the Same Time

Naturally, we are drawn to sunlight. Our bodies crave the vitamin D, serotonin, and energy it provides us with. It sustains all life, and it is because of this we have such a vast and biodiverse planet. We are attracted to its glow, wanting to relish in the warmth and power it emits. However, with this attraction comes responsibility, and as beautiful and rejuvenating it may be, it also brings with it dangerous UVB radiation that can cause irreversible damage to our skin. Therefore, there is an essential need to wear sunscreen and protect ourselves from the harmful rays emanated.

With the protection of our skin, comes the requisite need to protect the planet. Our actions should not harm or impact the life and existence of other living creatures. The problem with sunscreen is that it contains harmful synthetic chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinoxate which are toxic to coral reefs, and therefore can be detrimental to their survival. There is already a concerning amount of sunscreen entering our oceans, with just one drop being enough to cause damage and harm to our fragile coral reefs. 14,000 tons of sunscreen ending up in coral reefs globally each year, and we have already lost 80% of our coral reefs in the Caribbean, so we need to think of ways to protect them so we can sustain our biosphere.

It is a catch 22, the more toxic sunscreen we wear, the more we harm our coral reefs, the hotter the planet gets, and the more suncream we need. To avoid this vicious circle, look for sun creams that exclude these toxic chemicals, so you can stay protected, without exploiting and harming and ecosystems that contribute to our planet’s sustainability. Here are some ethical sunscreen brands that could be an option for you.

Odylique Natural Sun Screen, by Essential Care, $48

Boasting the first-ever sunscreen to be organically certified and approved by the Fairtrade Foundation, Ordlique’s plant-based organic sunscreen can protect you and the reefs simultaneously.

It is vegan, hypoallergenic, eco-friendly, and avoids synthetic UV filters and preservatives. It’s 100% natural in origin and 76% organic, whilst ensuring that its packaging is 100% recyclable.

LifeGuard Organic Sunscreen, by EpireSquid Organics, $34

This all-natural sunscreen contains non-nano zinc oxide, therefore no nanoparticles will penetrate your skin or enter your bloodstream. When nanoparticles enter your skin they can damage your cells and DNA. LifeGuard’s sunscreen innocently sits on your skin, absorbing and blocking harmful UV rays.

It contains only natural properties, with no preservatives or artificial components. This natural, vegan-friendly sunscreen allows you to smear on the cream, guilt-free.

Sun Stick, Woodsey Warrier, by Apothecary Muse, $10

This compostable push-up cardboard stick contains carefully selected ingredients, which can help protect your skin from harsh wind, sunburn, and insect bites. It contains non-nano zinc particles which reflect the sun, offering you a natural way to cool down whilst keeping your pores clear. This sunscreen is not tested on animals which aligns with the brand’s 100% cruelty-free, all-vegan values. Everything is sourced organically, providing you with natural protection from the sun as well as also working as a natural insect repellent.

Clean Screen Mineral, by Ren, $48

This chemical-free sunscreen welcomes sunshine and rejects sun damage and artificial ingredients. Its non-nano zinc oxide helps protect your skin from harmful rays, blue light, premature aging, and pigmentation, whilst its antioxidant, vegan, natural formula obviates pollution and radical damage.

As well as being a natural product that we can use, its packaging is made up of mostly recycled plastic and has been designed for recyclability. This sunscreen allowed REN to be the first brand to be certified by SUEZ, a world leader in sustainable resource management. This product ticks a lot of eco-boxes and is one to consider for your beauty bag.

Nutrient Day Cream, by Josh Rosebrook, $50

This vegan, cruelty-free nutrient day cream is made with zinc oxide, an ingredient scientifically proven to help protect against UVA and UVB rays. Its active ingredients include non-nano, uncoated, and micronized zinc oxide. It uses herb synergies and plant oils to repair, moisturize and protect the skin. This luxurious face cream will smooth and protect your skin with its natural ingredients.

Unrivaled Sun Serum, by Eleven $50

This natural SPF uses no chemicals, is vegan, and cruelty-free. It combines protection with hydration, with a quick absorption rate. The reef-safe formula protects your skin from UVA and UVB rays through the use of zinc oxide, and other naturally derived ingredients.

Being kind to both skin and the planet, EleVen’s packaging is mostly made from PCR and recyclable materials. They support clean beauty, following The Credo Clean Standard, meaning their products align with clean beauty. To meet this standard, organizations have to be transparent about their safety, ethics, sourcing, and sustainability.

Daily SPF, Cocokind, $24

Introducing cocokind’s lightweight sunscreen, which protects skin against UVA and UVB. It delivers a natural-looking finish and protects against sunburn, skin damage, and early aging. Its ingredients including zinc oxide, blue phytoplankton, and macroalgae, are reef and environmentally safe, so you can get that golden glow whilst not polluting the seas you swim in. After use, you can mail the empty bottle back to them so that it can be reused. They are currently exploring the use of ocean waste plastic and how it can be used to make packaging, to ensure a greener sun experience. Our skin does not need to perish in our plight to save the planet, it can be nourished and hydrated with natural, organic, vegan-friendly products. We need to protect our coral reefs, and choose ethical sunscreen brands, who do not pollute our skin or our planet. By taking the time to carefully select how we choose to protect your skin this year, we can protect our fragile marine ecosystems. We all love swimming in the sea, and so do the creatures that live there. Therefore, we need to find options that allow us to live in harmony with these creatures, and it could be as easy as selecting a cream from this list.

Header image: freepic.diller/Freepik