What is a Chemical-Free Sunscreen?

What is a Chemical-Free Sunscreen?

Does your product contain ‘chemicals’? Chemical-free sunscreen – Everyone is asking about it right now.  I’ve been formulating natural skin care products for nearly 20 years.  Every ingredient I use is consciously chosen: sustainably sourced botanicals, nourishing oils and processed ingredients with a small carbon foot-print.  Before selecting, I check its compatibility with the Whole Foods standard, EcoCert, Environmental Working Group and of course the Material Safety Data Sheet. Many of our readers, customers and friends know me as a diver, but I also studied organic chemistry in college and am a cosmetic chemist.  I believe chemistry is the central science – everything is based on chemicals.  Hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon…  One of the questions that used to drive me up a wall was ‘Do your products contain chemicals?’  What I wanted to say was ‘Of course they do! You are thousands of chemicals. The air we breathe has chemicals. Everything is made of chemicals!’  But instead, I would calmly answer ‘My products don’t contain any harmful or toxic chemical ingredients.’ Yet, I just posted a video on my personal facebook page and commented ‘Choose chemical free sunscreens.’  What the heck? There is a drive among conscious consumers to choose ‘Chemical-Free Sunscreens’ And I love the intent of this!  Those that are truly concerned with the health of our oceans (and our own bodies) are consciously choosing mineral-based sunscreens instead of ‘organic chemical’ sunscreens.  Of course, mineral sunscreens are chemicals too, but they are inorganic chemical compounds. Here’s where it can get really confusing: “Organic” doesn’t always mean what you think it does When most people see the word “organic,”...
The Importance of Choosing Your Sunscreen Wisely

The Importance of Choosing Your Sunscreen Wisely

By Autumn Blum for the Coral Restoration Foundation Hundreds of thousands of divers, snorkelers, fishers and water-lovers visit coastal reefs each year, all with the potential to directly impact our reefs with their personal care and sunscreen choices. A study published by the Environmental Health Perspectives Journal in 2008 showed that common sunscreen ingredients promote viral infections in coral, and estimated that up to 10 percent of coral reefs are directly threatened by sunscreen-induced bleaching. Currently, there are no certifications or laboratory standards that define ‘coral-reef safe” for sunscreens or personal care products. For the long-term protection of the waters we love, it’s critical that consumers and industry professionals alike understand the issues. If your sunscreens contain oxybenzone and parabens, they are part of the problem. Recent research published in the Journal of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology expanded the topic and showed that tiny concentration of these ingredients were damaging at concentrations as low as 62 parts per trillion. Oxybenzone is a commonly used ingredient in suncreen, including some that are labeled as biodegradable and ‘coral reef safe.’ “The use of oxybenzone-containing products needs to be seriously deliberated in islands and areas where coral-reef conservation is a critical issue,” said Dr. Craig Downs, author of the study. Chemical-based sunscreens usually contain a combination of two or more active ingredients, some of which have been shown to bioaccumulate in the body and be hazardous to the aquatic environment. Even switching to mineral sunscreens may not make a difference. Nano particles, for instance, also bioaccumates in aquatic species. ClearZinc®, although naturally compliant, has a toxic coating and is reported on it’s Material Safety...
Organic Sunscreen What Does it Really Mean?

Organic Sunscreen What Does it Really Mean?

When most people think of organic sunscreen, they think natural, wholesome and safe. But, you might remember from high school chemistry that “organic” can also mean carbon-based chemicals. So what’s the big deal? When talking about organic sunscreen ingredients, it’s not the same as the lovely organic tomato you might purchase from Whole Foods. Organic Sunscreens Aren’t Always Telling the Whole Truth Simply put, “organic” sunscreen ingredients can be labeled “organic” just because they’re carbon-based chemicals.  These “organic sunscreens” can still be cause for concern to the environment and to our health.  The manufacturers aren’t lying, but they certainly aren’t telling the whole truth. Oxybenzone, for example, is an Organic Compound Take oxybenzone, also known as benzophenone-3, for example. According to the manufacturer, oxybenzone is an organic compound and is commonly added to sunscreens for its UVA- and UVB-absorbing properties. Controversy abounds regarding these ingredients: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that oxybenzone is found in urine samples of 97% of Americans and linked it to allergies, hormone disruption and cell damage. According to the Environmental Working Group, oxybenzone is “ineffective and harmful,” but lists nearly 600 products containing it, including sunscreens commonly found in local drug stores, outdoor outfitters and marketed towards water-enthusiasts. Other studies show that oxybenzone can trigger outbreaks of viral infection in coral reefs, and can disrupt hormones in fish.  What Kind of Organic Sunscreen Ingredients Matter? This is definitely not the kind of “organic” ingredient most of us would want in our skincare products. These chemicals have the potential to bioaccumulate in our bodies and in our environment – a 2010 study by Margaret Schlumpf...
EcoConscious News

EcoConscious News

Happy Earth Day! We have some great news to share: We were selected by The Grommet Stream2Sea mineral-based sunscreen won ‘Best in Beauty’ Award The Blue Wild Expo this weekend – come see us there! The Grommet Launches Stream2Sea  Less than 3% of products submitted are chosen https://www.thegrommet.com/stream2sea We are stoked! Stream2Sea was selected as a Grommet. A Grommet is an innovative, unique product that is created by a maker with a story. The Stream2Sea Journey was a perfect fit. The Grommet folks think our sun and body care line is the bomb – authentic, pure and sustainable. Take a moment and check out the video below and link to their site. And, if you love us and our mission, please share this with your family, friends and associates. Together we can do better! Best of Natural Beauty Award And, the Winner Is . . . Stream2Sea! We are so proud! Better Nutrition cut through the maze of oodles of natural beauty and personal care products and Stream2Sea won. They stated “This is one smart mineral sunscreen.” Check out all their top picks below. Beauty’s Brightest This Weekend: The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo Ft Lauderdale – April 23rd and 24th Visit Stream2Sea at The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo in Ft. Lauderdale this weekend – BOOTH 227. This is an awesome expo where ocean lovers from all areas come together – freedivers, scuba divers, spearfishermen, lobster divers, paddleboarders, surfers, marine artists, underwater photographers and videographers, adventure travelers, boaters, kayakers. Plus, there will beach apparel and accessories, water toys and more. Bring a friend, stop by and check in with us!...