On the one hand, we’re told that sun cream is essential for protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Nothing new, there. But on the other hand, many brands are getting a bad rep of late due to their own harmful effect on the environment, particularly on coral reefs (the powerful chemicals, which protect us, are dispersed from the skin when we go swimming, and do damage to our oceans). So what’s a girl to do? Protect our skin or the environment?
Luckily, renowned organic brand Green People has launched a fail-proof way to protect both our skin and our seas. Its just-launched ocean-friendly sun care, which is also scent-free so it is also suitable for sensitive skins (a big tick in my house), uses Titanium Dioxide, which acts as a reflective barrier predominantly to UVB radiation, and (wait for the science-bit) Isoamyl P-methoxycinnamate, (can you say that?) which is derived from Cinnamic Acid found in the leaves of the cinnamon tree, providing natural protection against UVB radiation.
Oxybenzone and Octinoxate (here we go again) are the damaging chemicals which are commonly used in some of the most popular sun lotions, and which the brand has eschewed in favour of the above. These two are now deemed so harmful, that in fact coral-rich Hawaii and holiday hotspot Key West have banned products containing them. “Even tiny amounts of these toxic chemicals can have a detrimental effect on marine life, damaging the DNA of coral and inhibiting their ability to reproduce, and mimicking oestrogen, causing dramatic hormonal changes and deformities in fish,” says the brand.
“For protection against UVA radiation, we use Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate” the brand continues. “Although synthetically produced, this ingredient has an excellent safety profile, biodegrades readily and has no adverse effects on the environment. This blend of filters guarantees broad-range protection against both UVA and UVB radiation, whilst being environmentally safe.”
If you haven’t taken all that in – don’t worry – all you need to know is that using it does no harm. As well as being kind to the environment, the products also come in renewable sugar cane packaging, so they also tick the sustainable box. It’s an all-round feel-good factor. What’s more, due to the lack of petrochemicals and synthetic fragrances, they are also safe to use on those who suffer from eczema and prickly heat. The formulas use soothing organic Aloe Vera at their core, which also helps to soothe, hydrate and protect sensitive skin. Antioxidant-rich ingredients, such as Edelweiss, Green Tea, Myrrh and Rosemary, also offer delicate skin greater protection.
Finally, and also high on the priority list, they are also lovely to use – soft to touch, the Facial Sun Cream, £18, sinks in fast and is not greasy, giving the perfect base for days spend carefree on holiday. It’s also just the thing for when the sun comes out at home (it is essential to protect your face in the UK, too, don’t forget).
Meanwhile, the Sun Lotion, £22.50, is ideal for all the family and gives a high level of protection, with the formula leaving no residue or streaks and a little going a long way.
Last up, is the Edelweiss Sun Lotion with Natural Tan Accelerator, £21.50. It has a lower SPF of 15, so not great for fair skins, but it has a built-in accelerator that means you’ll tan 25% faster. What’s not to love?
*This review is based on press samples