What is Biodegradable Sunscreen?
Biodegradable sunscreen is exactly what it sounds like; sunscreen or sun block that dissolves naturally into water, or earth, without leaving behind harmful chemicals or minerals. Ecologists have determined that mainstream sunscreen and sun block share in the responsibility of the deterioration of many beautiful coral reefs. The chemicals bleach the coral, and kill off the tiny life forms that take decades to become coral reefs; an infection is spread with the chemicals that takes hold, and not only kills off coral, but also other tiny organism species in the ocean. It’s similar to what would happen if the entire human body was exposed to a corrosive chemical, and received no medical care.
Biodegradable sunscreen is organic, causes no harm to the ecosystem, and ideally, creates minimal or no disturbance to the surrounding aquatic environment. Any sunscreen that claims to be ‘organic’ or ‘biodegradable’ should contain zinc oxide, or similar minerals, like titanium oxide as its primary ingredient.
Zinc oxide collects, like silt, on the ocean floor, and blends easily back into the sand, with no discernible effect on the surrounding environment. Other ingredients should be recognizable, non-chemical elements, like plant oils, butters, and natural waxes, like beeswax. However, keep an eye out for synthetically created ‘natural’ ingredients, for example, shea butter can be synthesized from a variety of chemicals.
Needless to say, biodegradable sunscreen has a variety of benefits for the environment, but also for the body as well, whereas, chemical sunscreen has been determined harmful to the body by researchers. By choosing organic, biodegradable sunscreen over harmful chemical sunscreen, you’re making a decision to protect yourself, your family, and your environment. You’ll also be putting a dent in the estimated six thousand tons of chemical sunscreen being dumped in the ocean every year. Swimmers go in the water with sunscreen on, the water washes it away and circulates it, poisoning the water and environment.
Many protest that biodegradable is hard to find; actually, there are several brands available online, and in health stores. Another reason to procrastinate is that biodegradable, or organic sunscreen, is too pricey for them, because of current economic troubles. Many brands are not that expensive; they’re often sold at reasonable prices, both online and in stores. Furthermore, by spending an extra dollar or two, you can start a trend that may lead to a cleaner planet – and saving our planet is worth every penny.