Sun protection is incredibly important to protect our biggest organ, our skin, from those powerful UV rays shining down on us. SPF is important year-round, but especially in those hot summer months! I am in Georgia and it is already in the 90 degrees (Fahrenheit) at the start of May! So it is time to start stocking up on our sun block.
Choosing a Coral Reef-Safe sunblock is most important because corals are one of the most important ecosystems for our oceans. Even if you do not live near the water, and do not plan on getting in the water at any time, the residue of your SPF with leak into our water line when you shower. Chemicals leak down into our ground water, and always make their way back to the ocean some how! Not only can bad chemicals affect coral reefs, but they can also affect the microbiology in our soils and more!
So what are these nasty chemicals we do not want in our SPF? Look out for Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Benzophenone-1, Benzyphenone-8, OD-PABA, 4-Methylbenzlidine camphor, 3-Benzylidene camphor, and Octocrylene. Or, my rule of them is to avoid ingredients that I cannot pronounce. "These chemicals can affect the corals' reproductive cycle, damage DNA, and worsen the effects of coral bleaching". (Coral.org)
An easy tip is to look for sunscreens marked as "mineral-sunscreens" containing non-nano Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide as the active ingredient.
Below are my top 3 favorite SPFs:
I am a big fan of all of Arbonne's products because of their strict ingredient policy and that they hold a B Corporation certification! I specifically love the sunblock because, after doing thorough research, their ingredients are fantastic and I have the opportunity to get 20-40% plus free shipping. If you are allergic to various fragrances, this one is unscented.
I first tried Stream2Sea when I was doing my dive internship in Key Largo, FL. It is a smaller company based in Florida. I love their products for their ingredients, their scent, and their donations to ocean conservation organizations! This one also smells wonderfully.
Many people prefer the ease of a spray on SPF. Sun Bum is my favorite last-minute SPF, meaning that if I forgot to pack my sunblock I can buy this nearly anywhere in a pinch. It is not as thoughtful as the other brands but it is the best of the shelf brand SPFs.