Why All Natural Sunscreens are saving the Coral Reefs (and your skin)

Jakob and I are currently residing in Florida and are already hitting the beach hard! One summer essential for Florida is sunscreen. Unfortunately most store bought sunscreens are toxic and and are poisoning not only our skins but our oceans.

Is your Sunscreen killing the planet?

Research shows that coral reefs in Hawaii are exposed to over 6,000 tons of sunscreen lotion every year. These products typically include a combination of two to six of the following active ingredients: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate or octinoxate. Mineral sunscreens use zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. A handful of products combine zinc oxide with chemical fillers. While these chemicals prevent sun damage on skin they have the opposite effects on coral reefs, accelerating the bleaching process thus leading to the destruction of the natural wonder that are the coral reef beds.

Carcinogenic preservatives like BHT or inorganic compounds like zinc oxide, which is insoluble in water, are not only detrimental to the water but also to our skin; and they are found in most name brand sunscreens on the market.

What can you do to save your skin and the coral reef?

Go al' Natural !

Studies still are not showing conclusive links between sunscreen and preventing skin cancer. Try going to the beach with clean skin and  bring an umbrella or a light breezy beach outfit to put on once you think you've gotten too much sun.

Rest in a shady place.

Try to limit sun exposure to 45 minute to hour long increments, giving your skin time to cool off. When your cooling off you can sit under a palm tree and apply fresh aloe to your skin.

*PRO TIP* Store your aloe in your ice box for an extra cooling effect

Use Clays or Mineral Muds!

Are you done tanning but still want to lay out in the sun? Apply a full body mud mask. This will stop any sun from getting through while also revitalizing the skin with minerals. Wash the mud guilt free into the ocean knowing its non toxic and going back into the earth from which it was harvested.

*PRO TIP* If you have tattoos and want to keep your vibrant color you can cover your tattoos with mud while you tan to keep the sun from fading ink!

Use Oils and Body Butters

Certain oils and butters have a naturally occuring SPF

-Red Raspberry Seed Oil – SPF 28 – 50.

-Carrot Seed Oil – SPF 38 – 40 -Wheatgerm Oil – SPF 20 Other Oils with SPF 10 or Less

Non-GMO Soybean Oil – SPF 10

Macadamia Oil – SPF 6

Avocado Oil – 4 – 10 (can get as high as 15)

Olive Oil  – 2-8

Shea Butter – 3 – 6

Almond Oil – SPF 5

Sesame Seed Oil – SPF 4

Hemp Seed Oil – SPF 6

Jojoba Oil – SPF 4

Coconut Oil – SPF 2 – 8

Make sure when purchasing oils for sunscreen purposes you get the purest oil available. Some lower priced oils are diluted with a carrier oil which will dramatically change the SPF properties.

*IMPORTANT NOTICE* As with all topical products you are using for the first time, you should test out any new clay, mud, oil or body butter on a small patch of skin in a controlled environment before you apply to your full body, in full sun exposure, for extended amounts of time. Put some on your arm and sit on the back porch for 30 mins. Make sure no allergic reactions occur.

Shifting to a holistic lifestyle doesn't have to be an overnight change. Each day we are given a chance to learn about what our lifestyle is impacting, and to make a change to better our life and our planet. Interact with the blog! What did you think of this week's article, and what would you like to see next week? More beauty posts, health / herb posts, gardening posts? Comment, share and thanks for reading!

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