How Your Chemical Sunscreen Could Be Harming You & The Environment

white and dying coral reefs

Whilst the single biggest cause of skin damage and premature skin ageing is the sun, did you know that chemical sunscreens may in fact accelerate ageing and research shows that they are also toxic to coral reefs, one of the most valuable ecosystems on Earth.


Your chemical sunscreen could be accelerating ageing

Chemical sunscreens generally contain two or more ‘chemical screens,’ such as Oxybenzone and Octinoxate.Chemical screens absorb UV rays, and when they ‘fill-up,’ they cease to function – and may in fact accelerate the free radical formation the sunscreen is trying to prevent. In direct sunlight it takes around 2 hours for these screens to ‘fill up’, which is the main reason we’re advised to top-up our sunscreen after two hours.

In addition, chemical screens have been found in blood and breast milk and are now implicated in declining male fertility.


Save the Coral Reefs and the Sea!

There is now substantial research to show that chemicals we have traditionally used to protect ourselves from the sun have quite the opposite effect for coral and indeed are causing great harm to these vast, beautiful and important ecosystems.

Chemical screens such as oxybenzone Octinoxate and Methoxycinnamates are now known to be toxic to coral causing endocrine disruption, DNA damage and ultimately, death of coral. Oxybenzone also exacerbates coral bleaching, a process by which coral reject symbiotic organisms and lose their colour. Bleaching has been particularly prevalent in recent years due to rising sea temperatures.

Believe it or not, the effects of a these chemicals are so harmful, the levels required for toxicity can be compared to the concentration equivalent to one drop of water in an Olympic-sized swimming pool!!!

Beyond their impressive appearance, coral reefs play an important role for local communities and the world at large. They contribute to local economies through tourism, provide a reliable food source for coastal communities, protect the fragile coastlines of small islands from the ocean and provide breeding grounds, nurseries and sanctuary for a vast array of sea creatures. Importantly given the climate emergency we all face, reefs also protect the global environment by serving as carbon sinks, absorbing carbon dioxide that would otherwise contribute to global warming.

But, you can help! By choosing a natural sunscreen and avoiding these chemical screens, you can avoid contributing to this problem.

colorful and healthy coral reefs


Snowberry’s Natural SPF30 Everyday Sunscreen is light and invisible

Snowberry’s SPF30 Everyday Sunscreen is a natural, coral-friendly, broad-spectrum sunscreen based on the inert mineral, zinc oxide that is certified to protect against both UVB and UVA light. With no chemical screens such as Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, nano particles, petrochemicals or fragrance, it's sun protection that is both good for you and good for the ocean.

Do you like the idea of natural sunscreens but find they sometimes seem a bit greasy, and whitening? They often can be because a natural sunscreen that doesn’t feel sticky or make the skin look white is hard to formulate. But we’ve presented our sunscreens to retailers in Paris and their first question was, what chemical screens are you using, because the Snowberry sunscreens are invisible, leaving no white residue, and feel as light as chemical sunscreens.

Make a conscious choice and help protect our reefs by purchasing a reef-friendly, natural sunblock this summer.

Snowberry's Everyday Sunscreen SPF 30

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