How to find eco-friendly, skin-friendly and effective sunscreens

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How to find eco-friendly, skin-friendly and effective sunscreens

Carmen Fookes

Coral turtle
Ingredients commonly found in sunscreens and other skin products are known pollutants of aquatic environments [Image: richcarey on]

Dee asks you for a reef-safe sunscreen as she needs to wear it while sailing and is aware some ingredients can be toxic to marine and freshwater environments. Because she is out in the sun all day, it needs to be effective, and she asks if you can guarantee this.

On 1 January 2020, Palau became the first nation in the world to ban 10 reef-toxic ingredients commonly found in sunscreens and face lotions. The film

1. Carreon BH. Palau bans toxic sunscreens. 3 January 2020.

2. Sustainable Travel International. Sunscreen is Damaging Our Coral Reefs – How Can We Protect Them AND Our Skin? October 2019.

3. National Ocean Service. What is coral bleaching?

4. Haereticus Environmental Laboratory. Protect Land + Sea Certification.

5. SaveTheReef. Reef Safe Sunscreen Guide.

6. Healthline. What Sunscreen Ingredients to Look for — and Which Banned Ones to Avoid. June 2019.

7. Dale J. Eco-friendly Sunscreens – what you need to know. November 2020.

8. Fookes C (Tech Ed). Suncare. HealthcareHandbook 2021–2022. Auckland, NZ: The Health Media Ltd; 2021.