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How Your Chemical Sunscreen Could Be Harming You & The Environment

How Your Chemical Sunscreen Could Be Harming You & The Environment
​Whilst the single biggest cause of skin damage and premature skin ageing is the sun, did you know that chemical sunscreens may in fact accelerate ageing and research shows that they are also toxic to coral reefs, one of the most valuable ecosystems on Earth.

Whilst the single biggest cause of skin damage and premature skin ageing is the sun, did you know that chemical sunscreens may in fact accelerate ageing and research shows that they are also toxic to coral reefs, one of the most valuable ecosystems on Earth.

 

Your chemical sunscreen could be accelerating ageing

Chemical sunscreens generally contain two or more ‘chemical screens,’ such as Oxybenzone and Octinoxate.Chemical screens absorb UV rays, and when they ‘fill-up,’ they cease to function – and may in fact accelerate the free radical formation the sunscreen is trying to prevent. In direct sunlight it takes around 2 hours for these screens to ‘fill up’, which is the main reason we’re advised to top-up our sunscreen after two hours.

In addition, chemical screens have been found in blood and breast milk and are now implicated in declining male fertility.

 

Save the Coral Reefs and the Sea!

The effects of a chemical in sunscreen are toxic at the concentration equivalent to one drop of water in an Olympic-sized swimming pool!!!

There is now substantial research to show that chemical screens such as Oxybenzone, Octinoxate and Methoxycinnamates as well as typical parabens, cinnamates, benzophenones and camphor derivatives – are toxic to coral.

The chemical oxybenzone has toxic effects on young coral that causes endocrine disruption, DNA damage and death of coral, among other problems. Oxybenzone also exacerbates coral bleaching, a process by which coral reject symbiotic organisms and lose their colour. Bleaching has been particularly prevalent in recent years due to rising sea temperatures.

This research has shown that 4,000 – 6,000 tonnes of sunscreen products are washed onto coral reefs around the world every year. That’s a lot of sunscreen considering how little it takes to cause toxic effects.“Current concentrations of oxybenzone in these coral reef areas pose a significant ecological threat,” As a result of this, chemical screens are being banned from many beaches around the world.

Sunscreen is part of a long list of threats to coral reefs that includes pollution, overfishing and climate change. Beyond their impressive appearance, coral reefs play an important role for local communities and the world at large. For one, they contribute to local economies through tourism and sustain ecosystems where people can fish. One estimate from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration put the economic contribution of coral reefs around the world at $30 billion each year. Reefs also protect the global environment by serving as carbon sinks, absorbing carbon dioxide that would otherwise contribute to global warming.

 

Sunscreen application quantity is key!

Did you know: There is very little additional protection between an SPF50 and an SPF30. In fact, research shows the difference in coverage is as low as 1%. For this reason, Snowberry only provides an SPF30 sunscreen. We don’t believe that you should pay for more when it doesn’t do much more. Read more about this here.

 

Natural sunscreens work quite differently and are safer

We now know that natural sunscreens are safer for both us and the environment. Other than the differences in ingredients, it’s important to note how differently natural and chemical sunscreens work. What happens when each is applied to your skin? Find out more about this here.


 

Snowberry’s Natural SPF30 Everyday Sunscreen is light and invisible

Snowberry’s SPF30 Everyday Sunscreen is a natural, coral-friendly, broad-spectrum sunscreen based on the inert mineral, zinc oxide that is certified to protect against both UVB and UVA light. With no chemical screens such as Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, nano particles, petrochemicals or fragrance, it's sun protection that is both good for you and good for the ocean.

Do you like the idea of natural sunscreens but find they sometimes seem a bit greasy, and whitening? They often can be because a natural sunscreen that doesn’t feel sticky or make the skin look white is hard to formulate. But we’ve presented our sunscreens to retailers in Paris and their first question was, what chemical screens are you using, because the Snowberry sunscreens are invisible, leaving no white residue, and feel as light as chemical sunscreens.

 

Make a conscious choice and help protect our reefs by purchasing a reef-friendly, natural sunblock this summer.

Key points to take note about Snowberry’s SPF30 Everyday Sunscreen:

  • 100% Natural, based on the inert mineral, Zinc oxide.
  • Uses micron-sized Zinc oxide particles for a physical block to UVA & UVB rays.
  • Free of nasties (no chemical screens such as Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, nano particles, petrochemicals).
  • Certified broad spectrum against UVA & UVB & to AS/NZS 2604 standard.
  • Certified SPF30 by the international ISO 24443 standard.
  • Fragrance free.
  • Skin, body (hormones) and coral friendly.
  • Light, non-greasy & invisible (no white residue).
  • Non-comedogenic - formulated so as not to cause blocked pores.
  • Also contains a special blend of NZ botanicals, soothing moisturisers and antioxidants.
  • Snowberry uses only plant-derived preservatives.
  • 100% Plant based tube and neck (made from vegetable PE). While we are getting there when the technology allows, the closure is Polypropylene. One day soon we expect the whole tube will be plant based and free of hydrocarbon-derived material.
  • Free of paper leaflet - now with a QR code instead.
  • Free of cellophane tamperproof film wrap - we are now using a tamper proof sticker, which will soon be bio-degradable when the technology allows.


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