As we celebrate Earth Day today, it is the perfect day to continue our efforts to raise awareness of the threat that chemical sunscreens pose to our planet’s oceans, coral reefs and marine life. In addition, it is an opportunity for us to share all of the steps we have taken to make Love Sun Body an environmentally-friendly sunscreen.
Chemical sunscreens are bad for the environment
The majority of the sunscreens contain chemical filters (active ingredients) and chemical inactive ingredients that are hazardous to humans and the environment. At present, many of these chemical ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate are being banned by states like Hawaii and cities like Key West, Florida.
The reason? Oxybenzone and octinoxate are destroying the oceans around the world, according to scientists whose research has shown that the chemicals break down coral by leaching it of nutrients and disrupt the development of fish and marine life, like sea urchins and algae. Coral reject symbiotic organisms and lose their color.
Currently, somewhere between 4,000 and 6,000 tons of sunscreen enters coral reef areas around the world each year, according to the U.S. National Park Service. That's a lot of sunscreen considering how little it takes to cause toxic effects.
According to the new research, toxicity occurs at a concentration of 62 parts per trillion. That's the equivalent of a drop of water in an Olympic swimming pool, according to study author Omri Bronstein, a researcher at Tel Aviv University. "Current concentrations of oxybenzone in these coral reef areas pose a significant ecological threat," Bronstein said in a press release.
Non-nano zinc oxide and non-nano titanium dioxide are the only coral-safe sunscreen filters
According to marine ecology researcher Cinzia Corinaldesi, who has studied the impact of sunscreens on coral reefs since 2003, the problem is that “unfortunately, oxybenzone is not the only harmful ingredient of sunscreens.” Other UV filters, including zinc oxide, are proving to have an impact on coral bleaching and the ban does nothing to prevent these.
But given the evidence, there has been a push in recent years for “reef-friendly” alternatives. While these options, typically in the form of mineral sunscreens, have been considered safer, more environmentally friendly in the media, some new research has suggested that’s not the case. Since 2009, Corinaldesi has been putting these “reef-friendly” ingredients to the test. She has proved, along with other researchers, that some mineral sunscreens and those marketed as “eco-friendly” are no safer for coral reefs than chemical ones.
Confirming previous research, Corinaldesi and her team found in a newly published study, Impact of inorganic UV filters contained in sunscreen products on tropical stony corals which demonstrates that zinc oxide causes severe coral bleaching, damaging hard corals and their symbiotic algae. “Our studies indicate that zinc oxide nanoparticles are very harmful for marine organisms, whereas titanium dioxide with surface coatings and metal doping, have a much lower impact,” she says. “Unfortunately, despite several cosmetic products and sunscreens available in the market are defined ‘reef-safe’ or ‘eco-friendly’ or ‘biodegradable,’ they are not so, and indeed lack specific tests on marine organisms.”
Non-nano zinc oxide and non-nano titanium dioxide are the only coral-safe sunscreen filters and they are safe and effective in blocking UV rays. Sunscreens formulated with non-nano particles will clearly state "non-nano zinc oxide and/or non-nano titanium dioxide on the products active ingredient list".
Love Sun Body was conceived as a green company and is committed to environmentally-conscious business practices including recycling, manufacturing, socially responsible investments (SRI) that focus on conservation of natural resources, manufacturing and implementation of clean air.
At Love Sun Body, we are united by our sustainability strategy that is built around pillars that put health and a green initiative at the heart of our work, "Safe for your body & the planet".
Each plant and mineral ingredient that we source is certified Cosmos natural. COSMOS was created in 2010 by the five leading organizations, BDIH, Cosmebio, Ecocert Greenlife, ICEA and Soil Association (both associations and certifiers) to protect and promote organic and natural cosmetics, and to launch a global harmonized standard for the benefit of both manufacturers and consumers. The Cosmos standard is the global certification for natural and organic cosmetics. The standard divides the type of ingredients used in cosmetic products into five categories and specifies the requirements for each. We source ingredients from manufacturers that start with natural raw ingredients sourced from sustainable practices and use methods that are environmentally sound and good for communities.
All of our products are biodegradable, all of our packaging is recyclable, minimized and is environmentally friendly. Our manufacturing incorporates natural cleaning ingredients.
At Love Sun Body, we seek to leverage our reach, scale and expertise to effect real change in sustainability issues. Our green activities and initiatives include recycling, manufacturing, socially responsible investments (SRI) that focus on conservation of natural resources, manufacturing, implementation of clean air, and other environmentally conscious business practices.
We believe there is a strong connection between the health of our clients and the health of our business, our workforce, and the planet and each of these impact one another.