THE EDIT • July 2019
With an estimated 14,000 tons of chemical suncream deposited in the ocean every year, how do you look after your skin without harming life under the sea? Sustainability writer, Jess Denham, seeks out six of the best eco-friendly, sun-protection products
This mineral sun lotion (£30) is free from the coral-bleaching chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate, instead relying on naturally derived zinc oxide to form a physical barrier that reflects the sun’s most harmful rays. Designed for use on the face, the SPF 30, 100 per cent vegan formula rubs in easily without leaving any white residue. Perfect for summer travels, the 50ml sunshine yellow tube is made from recycled and recyclable plastic. Winner.
Every ingredient in the world’s only patented eco-friendly sunscreen (from £44 for 150ml) has been tested with the help of leading marine biologists for reef safety. The key to its scientifically proven sun protection is a natural compound found in seaweed that absorbs UV rays. The cream spreads easily onto skin without feeling greasy and is praised for its pleasant fruity scent. And just when you think things can’t get any more sustainable, the bottle is made from biodegradable corn plastic.
This organic lotion (£19) prides itself on letting skin breathe – great if your little ones are prone to allergies. It absorbs quickly, while anti-inflammatory ingredients such as rosemary and aloe vera soothe irritation. It’s ocean-friendly, again relying on trusty mineral UV filters to keep skin from burning. What’s more, the brand donates 30p from the sale of each tube (with its fully recyclable, renewable sugar cane packaging) to the Marine Conservation Society to help advance its industry-leading work to protect our oceans.
Jetting off somewhere exotic? This ingenious product combines sun protection, insect repellent and moisturiser all in one. Its clinically proven formula contains zinc oxide particles that, handily, are too big for coral to ingest. Mozzie-fighting chemical DEET is replaced by PMD, an NHS-approved plant-based ingredient that keeps bugs at bay for up to four hours. It smells citrusy and is suitable for kids aged two upwards. The new travel size (£12.99 FOR 75ml) is especially convenient for day trips.
There are just five ingredients, all natural, in this organic suncream (£11.65). Zinc oxide reflects UV, beeswax moisturises and a sunflower oil base makes application smooth and easy. There’s no added fragrance, to which some people may react. It stays sweat and water-resistant for up to 40 minutes, making it less likely to wash off and damage those delicate ocean ecosystems. Plus it’s safe for children of all ages ready to hit the beach.
Rub-in suncreams are less likely to be inhaled into your lungs – or pollute the sand. This one (£28) is packed full of natural goodies including roucou oil, which helps you get your tan on by stimulating melanin production. It has a tropical coconut scent and doesn’t feel sticky, while zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are the UV-fighting minerals at play. Only travelling with hand luggage? Don’t worry, there are mini tubes available.