Reality check: Is your sunscreen harmful to you and the planet?

For many sunscreen products the short answer is yes! Many sunscreen products protect the skin from ultraviolet rays with chemical filters, but then tend to create new problems of their own.

Sunscreens containing chemicals such as Oxybenzone and Octinoxate have been significantly contributing to destroying our ecosystem. Coral reefs are beautiful works of nature, but unfortunately human activities and the massive use of sunscreens is driving reefs to the brink of destruction. Scientists have discovered beyond reasonable doubt that chemicals contained in sunscreen have played a role in this destruction.

According to the EWG.org Environmental Working Group, Oxybenzone is found in 80 percent of chemical sunscreens sold on the market. The Center for Disease Control CDC has detected Oxybenzone in more than 96 percent of the U.S. population, with higher concentrations found during the summer months. Typically, women and girls have higher levels of Oxybenzone in their bodies than men and boys, likely a result of differences in use of body care products including sunscreens. However, Oxybenzone is now being studied as a hormone disruptor.

Sunlight also causes Oxybenzone to form free radical chemicals that may be linked to cell damage putting us at higher risk for cancer, the very thing we seem to want to protect ourselves from!

FDA foot-dragging has left the U.S. without enforceable standards for sunscreen safety and effectiveness for decades. EWG demands that FDA finalize the latest version of its monograph on sunscreen products immediately, and launch an investigation into the safety of the chemical sunscreen ingredients.

Countries that have decided to take matters in their own hands.

In 2018, Hawaii has banned 4 chemicals and Palau has banned 10 chemicals in sunscreens and both took steps passing a bill that will make them the first places to ban the use of chemical sunscreens that contain harmful chemical sunscreens.

Here a check list of ingredients to avoid:

Oxybenzone                Chemical sun filter
Octinoxate                   Chemical sun filter
Octocrylene                 Chemical sun filter
Homosalate                 Chemical sun filter
Avobenzone                Chemical sun filter
Retinyl Palmitate         Vitamin A
Fragrances                  Artificial fragrances
Phthalates                   Commonly found in synthetic fragrances
Parabens                     Preservative

What to look for instead:

The good news is there are other options to turn to. Sunscreens that offer protection through physical barriers rather than chemical ones, use natural minerals to refract the UVA and UVB rays away from our skin.

Whereas chemical sunscreens actually absorb these rays and then neutralize once in the skin.  Sunscreens containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are still the safest options on the market. Zinc contains healing, anti viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties providing overall protection for all skin types including acne-prone and sensitive skin.  It’s the safe alternative.

Look for products that are highly water resistant. The longer the product stays on you, the better for everyone. You can even find 100% natural ingredients, free of artificial fragrances. So, creams and sticks are in, sprays are out!

Many products make claims to be reef friendly; you should only trust tested products such as those made by www.Leaf-juice.com Zinc Block SPF 30 Vegan, Halal 100% natural

Surfer Cream SPF 35 Halal 100% natural

Surfer stick SpPF35 Halal, 100% natural

www. Leaf-Juice .com also avaiable for sale at the Tempat Senang Spa Shop on Batam Island and Bawah Reserve your eco-friendly resort.

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