Cosmetics & Personal Care

6 Biodegradable Sunscreens to Pack this Summer

While we all know that protecting ourselves from the sun is essential, it’s becoming increasingly important to consider the impact our sunscreen is having on the environment, with a substantial body of research now suggesting that the sun-protection products we take on holiday are having an adverse effect on marine life.

A handful of chemicals commonly found in traditional sunscreens (namely oxybenzone and octinoxate) are seeping into the ocean and damaging marine life by affecting the growth cycle of coral; reports suggest that 14,000 tons of sunscreen are thought to wash into the water each year.

Hawaii was the first to pass a bill banning sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate from its shores (which will come into effect in 2021) in an attempt to stop the widespread coral bleaching, with places including the Pacific archipelago of Palau and Key West in Florida following suit. The good news is that brands are now seeking alternatives to these reef-ravaging sunscreen chemicals, and many of the new season’s best sun-protection launches are certified ‘reef-safe’, so you can shield your skin while saving the shores.

These biodegradable sunscreens use non-toxic ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to physically block UV rays without the need for traditional chemicals, plus innovative – and safe – synthetic filters. What’s more, these next-gen sunblocks are a far cry from the chalky white creams that previously sat on the shelves and offer broad spectrum UVA / UVB protection.

Below, discover the mists, lotions and oils we’ll be packing for our next getaway.

Beautifying Suncare Oil SPF30

Leading the way when it comes to non-polluting sun protection, Caudalie’s latest collection contains a host of reef-safe sunscreens that you can spray with abandon.

Our favourite is this silky oil, which delivers broad-spectrum SPF30 protection alongside a signature dose of grape-derived antioxidants. It’s more of a dry oil, so absorbs seamlessly, leaving nothing but a subtle skin-enhancing sheen behind.

Sun Secure Dry Oil SPF50

This multi-tasking oil can be spritzed on your face, body and even your hair – yes, your hair needs protection too. Ignore the worryingly Aperol-hued bottle: the formula is clear, and absorbs in seconds. (Good news for that new white linen dress.)

Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30 Mattifying Face Sunscreen

This ‘clean’ sunscreen contains zinc oxide that physically shields your skin from damaging UV rays, yet doesn’t leave a white cast on your complexion. The addition of rice starch means it’ll keep your skin balanced and shine-free all day, too.

Eco-Lux SPF50 Guava Mango

This refreshing spray is real treat for sun-baked skin. Alongside the natural UV filters are a host of certified-organic ingredients that work to condition and cool, including aloe vera, cucumber and strawberry extracts.

Organic Sheer Sunscreen Mist SPF 50

Traditional aerosol sunscreens are often the worst offenders when it comes to coastal pollution, as the mist application leaves a lot of product on the sand, which is then swept into the ocean. Soleil Toujours’s fruity-scented mist, however, uses mineral filters to deliver high SPF50 protection without any damaging environmental effects. Aloe vera lends skin-soothing benefits, while organic green-tea extract lends an extra hit of antioxidant power.

Scent Free Sun Lotion SPF30

Green People’s natural sunscreen contains over 80 per cent certified-organic ingredients, including soothing aloe vera, edelweiss and green tea. The breathable formula is gentle enough for use on children, and is particularly great for anyone prone to prickly heat (as it won’t clog pores). What’s more, the latest collection is packaged in sustainable sugar-cane bottles, which are entirely – and easily – recyclable.



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