It seems like every year there is some new development about Sunscreens and it makes it difficult for we the consumers to know what is best.

So is a current summary of what is happening in the world of sunscreen and how it affects you, your vacations and the environment.

What ingredients are being banned at beaches around the world and why?
The state of Hawaii recently passed a bill banning sunscreen products that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate from their beaches. These chemicals are found in many popular sunscreens sold in the U.S., and are linked to killing phytoplankton and coral reefs. Hawaii isn’t the only popular vacation spot banning these chemicals. Numerous coastal resorts in Mexico have also banned the use of sunscreens containing these chemicals.

Every year between 4,000 and 6,000 tons of sunscreen washes off of tourists during their vacations. This sunscreen contains chemicals and oils that are harmful to the marine ecosystem, particularly coral reefs. All over Mexico, the use of biodegradable sunblock and sunscreen is starting to be required for entry into the waters, scuba diving or snorkeling tours.

Emulate’s Sunscreen is a safely rated SPF 30 made with non-nanoparticle zinc oxide, the safest protection from the sun’s UVA and UVB harmful rays. According to dermatologist recommendations, sunscreen should be reapplied every 2-3 hours, especially if you are swimming. Emulate’s Sunscreen is also free of paraben, phthalates, PABA and 1,4. It applies and absorbs easily and has a non-oily feel.
Also, no pasty white appearance. Available in a 2.5 ounce bottle for easy carry-on for airline travel.

What does SPF mean and what rating should I use?
SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is a relative measure of how long a sunscreen will protect you from ultraviolet (UV) B rays. The chief cause of reddening and sunburn, UVB rays tend to damage the skin’s outer layers, where the most common (and least dangerous) forms of skin cancer occur.

“Tanned skin is damaged skin.” … “Imagine that your skin normally begins to burn after 10 minutes in full sun without any protection. A 30 SPF sunscreen would provide 30 times the protection of no sunscreen.” That means 30 times longer before you start to burn, or in this case, approximately 300 minutes.

What is biodegradable sunscreen?
Biodegradable sunblock is environmentally friendly sunscreen that lacks the harmful ingredients that are destroying the world’s coral reefs. These sunscreens are biodegradable, meaning they break down naturally in the environment, and eco-friendly, meaning that they minimize damage to the environment. We strongly encourage using only biodegradable sunscreen anytime you are going to be in the water.

Sources of information regarding eco-damage due to sunscreens with chemicals:
National Geographic: Swimmer’s Sunscreen Killing Off Corals
Discover Magazine: The Biology of Sunscreens
E-Turbo News: Tourist Sunscreen Killing Off Coral Reefs
University of California: Sunscreens Feminizing Fish
Indian Ocean Sea Turtles: Sunscreen May Be Killing Corals