Part two of the search for sunscreens that won’t harm corals and other reef creatures. Harm is being caused by toxic chemicals like Oxybenzone and Octinoxate, as well as nano-minerals that are small enough to penetrate the skin and reach internal tissues. See my previous post for more info.
Recently I’ve been in contact with several brands, and during my stay on Bonaire, I reviewed some products as well. I will share with you my findings for several products considered non-harmfull; Stream2Sea, Badger, Weleda, and my favourite Aloe Up.
The most popular (or at least most advertised) product when searching for ‘sunscreen’, ‘biodegradable’ and ‘not damaging corals’ is Stream2Sea sun protection. Stream2Sea as a brand fully focusses on this niche of ecologically sound skin produce and likely speaks to any eco-conscious sun loving person. This is a mineral sunscreen (non-nano).
Stream2Sea is not available in the Netherlands as far as I’m concerned. It is sold across Northern America and some parts of Asia. On the island of Bonaire, there are some selling points as well. Not so easy to get your hands on for Europeans…
The biggest downside on Stream2Sea though; it is such a struggle to apply! It is thick and needs serious rubbing in. You have to be a real fanatic if you want to cover your entire body. You’ll think twice before entering the water after that, haha!
Safe for corals? Yes. Retail price? $18 for 90 mL of spf30
Badger is a more established brand holding any type of body care product you can think of, all with the same philosophy of eco-friendly production and use. It is sold mostly in America and is available online in Europe (Amazon, Bol.com).
Badger sun protection informs about a whole new array of stuff you don’t whish to show up in your sunscreen ingredient list. Like microplastics (yes, obviously, but honestly I was not aware we should be looking out for contents like these before) and several types of paraben. Their extensive explanation on the website, with several links to more information, really convinces me. There are even options for a lavender scented sunscreen.
Safe for corals? Yes. Retail price? $16 for 85 mL of spf30 (do not buy at Bol.com btw, way overpriced.)
Weleda is a self-care brand, with products for body, face, hair and even your mouth. Weleda was founded in 1921 in Switzerland by a Swiss anthroposophist and Dutch doctor. They believe in the use of natural ingredients and sustainable production. All ingredients for all their products are listed on the website, and they even provide advice for specific situations like pregnancy, muscle ache, or hair loss.
The sunscreen products are relatively new to the family, so I asked Weleda a few questions via email, to find out whether the creams would really not harm any sea life. And the results were good, they assured me; no nano-mineral filters, no oxybenzone, and no octinoxate. Winning!
Weleda is available in some countries in Europe, in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and Argentina. In the Netherlands, they have plenty of selling points. Good for me, because I think this is the brand I’d choose to buy next.
Safe for corals? Yes. Retail price? €23 for 150 mL of spf30
Aloe Up sunscreen is something I bought in a small shop in Bonaire. It had a very “local” feel to it (don’t know what that’s about) so I was surprised this turns out a New Zealand product. But man was I sold from the first time I used it. This is definitely my favourite sunscreen. It is all natural, with aloe vera and cocoa seed butter as the main ingredients. It is fully bio-degradable and not harmfull to sea life or any other life for that matter.
That includes your own skin. This is my go-to sunscreen for my face. As some may know I have very sensitive skin, especially in my face and neck. Aloe Up feels hydrating, not greasy and without a white tint. Smells good too. Love it. I just have to find a selling point soon cause mine is running out!
Safe for corals? Yes. Retail price? $28 for 118 mL of spf30