Is your Sunscreen Causing more Harm than Good?
This is the question I was faced with the other day as I saw an article on how our use of sunscreen is contributing to the damage of our already fragile underwater ecosystem. As you will know, there is extensive damage that our use of plastic and plastic straws has done to the environment and, as every human on this planet should, I have started insisting on a less ‘plastic’ dominated life. The fact that sunscreen could also have such negative effects on the environment was new to me though--and scary.
Effects of Chemical Sunscreen on the Environment
Photo credit: express.co.uk
For a mom, carrying sunscreen around to smear on your kid’s face every time the sun even touches him or her, is totally normal. I would even go as far as saying that other moms will judge you if you do not do this. But did you know that this same sunscreen, so liberally applied, washes off into the sea, and is indirectly sprayed onto the sand (as you spray your child), which also ends up in the sea? And, further to this, did you know that most sunscreens contain a product called oxybenzone which contributes to bleaching and disrupts the reproduction and growth of young coral?
Yes, I know. I didn’t realise that a ‘harmless’ everyday product could cause such harm either. And, after the thought that this very same chemical is being applied to my sons’ skin (and the damage that could cause) crossed my mind, I rashly threw away all the sunscreen in the house and vowed never to use it again.
Chemical Sunscreen vs Mineral Sunscreen
Logically, my resolve did not last, as the minute we spent some time in the sun, I became as paranoid about potential sunburn and sunstroke (and preventing it) as I was about the possible hazards of oxybenzone. My one-year-old is so fair that he gets sunburn merely by thinking of going outside! So I started reading up a bit more.
Enter the magic that is mineral based sunscreen. Unlike chemical sunscreen which changes the sun’s rays into heat (a chemical reaction) on the skin and redirects the rays away from the skin, mineral sunscreen deflects the UV rays as they hit the skin without the need for a chemical reaction (and therefore without the need for harmful chemicals such as oxybenzone).
Sunscreen Product Solution: EezySun Snap Sachets
Photo Credit: eezysun.com
I was sent some samples of this amazing, new, South African product and I had to try it out immediately. EezySun ®, a mineral based sunscreen, is a CANSA approved broad spectrum product which helps protect against UVA and UVB rays. This means that, when using this product, I could rest easy without my paranoid mom brain conjuring up images of deformed corals and childhood rashes. Bonus. Plus, the sunscreen is packaged in easy to use and easy to store snap sachets (which are really convenient to carry around in a handbag or nappy bag).
What I love about the actual cream is that it is not oily at all, meaning it does not leave that typical sticky layer of ickyness on your hands after you have applied the all-important sunscreen to your kids’ sensitive skin.
I am now back to being that typical sunscreen-wielding mom, the only difference being that the large, bulky, spray bottle has been replaced with EezySun snap sachets.