5 Ways Chemical Sunscreen is Harmful for The Environment and Your Skin

Posted by Jane Belcher on

5 Ways Chemical Sunscreen is Harmful for The Environment and Your Skin

The Dangers of Chemical Sunscreen and How to Avoid Them

 woman lying on towel on the beach on a towel in the sunshine.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

In this blog post we dig down into how chemical sunscreen is harmful to ocean life and potentially our bodies. Also, we look at natural ways to protect our bodies from sunlight.

1. Chemical Sunscreen is Harmful to Coral Reefs

80% of the corals in the Caribbean have been lost in the last 50 years due to pollution, increased water temperatures and coastal developments. The Great Barrier Reef and other reefs have been affected. Scientific research has shown that chemical sunscreen is harmful to coral reefs.

It's estimated that 14,000 tons of sunscreen washes into the oceans every year.  

Photo by Francesco Ungaro from Pexels. Image showing coral reef and small fish.

Photo by Francesco Ungaro from Pexels 

2. Damage to Algae

Algae is vital for the marine ecosystem to stay healthy. Algae captures and uses the energy from sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water to produce sugars and energy to sustain life in the seas. It keeps balance in the oceans. Algae accounts for nearly 50% of the world’s photosynthesis on the planet.

Chemical sunscreen is harmful to algae because it can impair growth and disrupt photosynthesis. This threatens the survival of sea life species and vegetation.

3. Harmful to Marine Life

Chemical sunscreens can cause defects in young mussels and damage the immune and reproductive systems of sea urchins. Fish are also damaged with sunscreen chemicals decreasing the reproduction and fertility of fish and causing male fish to have female characteristics.

Research indicates that dolphins and their offspring can absorb damaging chemicals. Sunscreen chemicals are destroying life in our oceans.

4. Chemical Culprits

The main toxic chemicals in sunscreen include:

  • Oxybenzone
  • Benzophenone-1
  • Benzophenone-8
  • OD-PABA
  • 4-Methylbenzylidene camphor
  • 3-Benzylidene camphor
  • Octinoxate
  • Octocrylene
  • Avobenzone
  • Homosalate
  • Octisalate

These are the ingredients to avoid in sunscreens. Check the sunscreen in your cupboard and if it contains these ingredients, ask yourself in future: Can I choose a sustainable sunscreen to help protect the oceans?

5. Chemical Sunscreens: Harmful to our Bodies?

Ongoing research has raised concerns that chemical sunscreens affect the hormones in our bodies. Scientists already know that the same chemicals cause fish to change sex. So, the question is whether chemical sunscreen is harmful to humans and potentially bad for our skin.

Studies being conducted are raising concerns that using chemical sunscreen can prevent us from getting enough Vitamin D. Rising cases in skin cancer could also be linked.

The main problem is that chemical sunscreens wash off in the shower and the sea, and then pollute rivers and seas.

So, what are the alternatives?

The more natural way to protect our bodies from UV is to:

  • Use the shade
  • Avoid exposure to sun in the hottest times
  • Wear clothes and hats
  • Use a 100% mineral, non-nano sunscreen

The SETT Solution

SETT is a dynamic and sustainable sunscreen company in the UK striving to reverse the devastating effects of chemical sunscreens. For the reasons mentioned, SETT  produces a 100% mineral sunscreen that does not harm the oceans or people. They have created a non-chemical, reef safe sunscreen.

Our Oceans and Skin Deserve the Best

At SETT our goals are to provide:

  • The best mineral sunscreen for surfers
  • Mineral sunscreen suitable for kids with sensitive skin
  • The best mineral sunscreen for adults with sensitive skin
  • The best mineral sunscreen for cyclists
  • The best mineral sunscreen for water sport enthusiasts
  • The best sunscreen to protect the ocean
  • The best non chemical sunscreen

Two Factors

We decided on two factors of protection - SPF50 and SPF30. We also chose to produce skin rash cream which soothes the burn of skin rash caused by chafing e.g. surf rash

Mineral Ghosting effect

Existing mineral sunscreens often leave a white, ghost-like cast to the skin. SETT produce a mineral sunscreen which rubs in clear, so people can look good without a ‘ghost face’ and still be fully UV protected.

The company was really pleased to develop a smooth mineral sunscreen which was non-nano (small particles that don’t penetrate or harm the skin).

How is SETT different?

There are 7 ways SETT is different from other sunscreen brands:

  1. SETT doesn’t contain chemical UV filters which have been proven to harm coral reefs and aquatic life. These chemicals are now causing concern over the long term implications on our bodies as they sink into the layers of the skin. Oxybenzone, avobenzone, octinoxate, octocrylene, homosalate, octisalate are on the list of chemicals associated with chemical sunscreen which are harming the ocean.
  2. SETT is 100% mineral and doesn’t use any chemicals to get to SPF50
  3. SETT sunscreen rubs onto the skin virtually clear, without leaving a white cast to the skin – good for darker skin tones
  4. SETT sunscreen is suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin and kids
  5. SETT Sunscreen is water resistant
  6. SETT sunscreen is more affordable than many other mineral sunscreens
  7. SETT is a small, UK based company and we love each and every one of our customers

Environmental Pricing

Whilst some competitors charge £25 and more, SETT made a conscious decision to keep prices lower because affordable prices benefit the oceans. The more people switching from chemical to mineral sunscreen, the better for the environment.

In these times, the environment is under threat. We can do all part to protect the seas by choosing a mineral sunscreen instead of chemical.

Save the Oceans, Use SETT Mineral Sunscreen !

best mineral sunscreen non chemical sunscreen Protect my skin from the sun protect our oceans

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