Choosing the right sunscreen that is active chemical-free and can still protect your skin from sun damage doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s as simple as knowing what to look for on sunscreen labels and how to properly apply sunscreen for maximum coverage. This way, you’ll be prepared to fight harmful UVA and UVB rays, as well as protect yourself and the environment from harsh chemicals.
What to Look For on Sunscreen Labels:
When purchasing sunscreen that is safe for your body and the environment, you’ll want to look for the following phrases:
Reef-friendly / Reef-Safe
TropicSportoffers a great selection of reef-safe/reef-friendly sunscreens. All TropicSport products are oxybenzone-free, octinoxate-free, and avobenzone-free. Even the bottles are designed to be recyclable to reduce plastic waste and protect the planet.
You’ll also want to make sure you choose a broad spectrum sunscreen. This means that it protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays to prevent common sun-related skin problems like sunburn and skin cancer. Make sure you choose a broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher to be sure you’re getting effective coverage.
Why Buy Chemical-Free?
Sunscreen should be applied directly to the skin liberally and frequently, which means your body will absorb a significant amount of the ingredients. These products have been known to cause skin allergies, and tests have shown an appearance of sunscreen chemicals in the blood, breast milk, and urine. Chemicals like oxybenzone can even mimic hormones and alter estrogen and testosterone levels. These same chemicals can also be harmful to coral reefs and the ocean wildlife that live there, hence the term “reef-safe.”
There are essentially two kinds of sunscreen—mineral sunscreen and chemical sunscreen. Mineral sunscreens use minerals such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to create a barrier that protects your skin from harmful UV rays. They are not absorbed directly into the skin, which makes them a great option for sensitive skin. In contrast, chemical sunscreens are absorbed directly into the skin. They take longer to activate, leaving the skin unprotected for up to 30 minutes after application, and often cause allergic reactions, as well as exposing your body to harmful chemicals.
Click here for more information from TropicSport about how to choose the right sunscreen, and to learn more about the differences between mineral and chemical products.
Congress Moves to Prohibit Use of Oxybenzone or Octinoxate in National Marine Sanctuaries
The federal government knows harmful chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate damage our coral reefs. A bill, H.R.1834 "Defending Our National Marine Sanctuaries from Damaging Chemicals Act of 2019" is currently in Congress. It's sponsored by Rep. Francis Rooney of Florida and moves to prevent sunscreens with these chemicals from entering National Marine Sanctuaries. To become law it must be passed by both the House and the Senate and be signed into law by the President.
A simple rule of thumb when applying sunscreen is that you can never have too much. If you think you might need more, you probably do. Apply a thick layer everywhere there is exposed skin and re-apply any time you get wet or sweaty. Not using enough sunscreen can even reduce the SPF (sun protection factor), making it much less effective in protecting from sun exposure.
According to the FDA, not one single sunscreen is actually waterproof and should not be labeled as such. Some are water-resistant and will provide some protection for a limited amount of time during water activities. If you plan to get wet, choose a sunscreen that has an 80-minute water-resistant rating. TropicSport SPF 30 sunscreen meets this standard and has also passed the Australian 240-minute water-resistant test.
What Makes TropicSport a Good Reef-Friendly Option?
TropicSport is a clear choice simply because it is easy to apply without feeling greasy or leaving white streaks, and the benefits continue beyond the initial application. It is a mineral sunscreen, made with vitamin E, tucuma butter, and aloe, which leaves your skin feeling moisturized and refreshed. In addition, we use only sustainable, eco-friendly ingredients and packaging materials to ensure minimal impact on the earth and oceans.
Check out our incrediblenatural sunscreen collection, like our popular coconut lip balm and SPF 30 face stick. Don’t forget to stock up on our other greatskincare products, including cleansers, lotions, moisturizers, scrubs, and cooling gel. Feel confident that your skin is being protected and nourished by a product that is safe for both your body and the environment.
TropicSport Sunscreens are Reef-Friendly, Inside and Out