7 Tips On Choosing Zero Waste Sunscreen For The Summer

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 May 1, 2022

7 Tips On Choosing Zero Waste Sunscreen For The Summer

Zero waste sunscreens are better for you — and the environment. Coupling healthy ingredients that don’t damage coral reefs with reusable packaging that won’t end up in landfills, today’s top skincare manufacturers are beginning to develop innovative sun protection products with the potential to revolutionize the industry.

Because the concept of zero waste sunscreen is still relatively new, most consumers aren’t sure how to evaluate sunblock for sustainability and find the safest possible products on store shelves.

Use these seven tips to choose the best zero waste sunscreen for the summer.

Tip #1: Evaluate the Packaging

The first thing you’ll see when looking at a sunscreen is the packaging. What is the bottle made from? Sustainable sunscreen is typically made from reusable glass jars or compostable cardboard. Choosing a sunscreen with non-plastic packaging may be more expensive, however it’s better for the environment and it makes for a more sustainable product.

Tip #2: Look for a Reef-Safe Formula 

A number of chemical ingredients found in popular sunscreens are harmful to the environment. States like Hawaii have even gone so far as to ban the sale of sunscreen containing oxybenzone and octinoxate.

Reef-safe sun protection containing ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, mango butter, non-nano zinc oxide, grapeseed oil, vitamin E, and beeswax can be found at most mainstream retailers, including pharmacies and supermarkets. As an added benefit, many reef-safe product formulations offer water-resistant protection.

Tip #3: Look for Sunscreens Containing Non-Nano Zinc Oxide

We know that physical or mineral sunscreens tend to be safer than chemical sunscreens, but most of these products contain nano zinc oxide or oxybenzone, which are damaging to coral reefs. Thankfully, beauty manufacturers have come up with a solution by developing sustainable sunscreen formulations that contain non-nano zinc oxide. Sunblock with non-nano zinc oxide contains particles that are big enough that corals can’t eat them, which makes them reef-safe.

Tip #4: Consider Products with Ethical Sourcing

Skincare companies can have very different standards when it comes to ethical sourcing. Ethical sourcing usually means the ingredients in a product are selected for quality. However, top manufacturers are broadening the definition to include using ingredients that come from businesses with environmentally-friendly practices. Fair working conditions, fair trade practices, and organic farming standards should all be employed. Look for an ethical sourcing label on the bottle, or check the manufacturer’s website for more information.

Tip #5: Try a Product with Vitamins and Minerals

Some zero waste sunscreens contain vitamins and minerals, along with other antioxidants, to protect the skin from pollution. A mineral sunscreen that contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants is the ideal solution for children, since it’s gentler on the skin than chemical sun protection.

Tip #6: Try a Non-Coated Sunscreen

If you’re looking for a sustainable sunscreen, watch out for products that contain “coated” zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Coating the zinc oxide in a physical sunscreen makes the product easier to spread on the skin. However, the chemicals in the coating have been shown to pollute oceans and contribute to coral bleaching. As a result, it’s best to avoid coated sunscreens and opt for a non-coated product instead.

Tip #7: Use Your Own Refillable Canister

The best way to reduce material consumption is by using refillable canisters. Some manufacturers with locally-made products will allow consumers to fill their own bottles. However, we know that isn’t always an option. If you’re looking for a sustainable sunblock, consider purchasing the largest container possible or filling your own reusable containers at home.

Learn More About Zero Waste Sunscreen

Want to learn more about zero waste sunscreen? Contact the skincare specialists at Omya Kinetik to find out which manufacturers are leading the way in sustainable sun protection. We’ll help you identify solutions and determine what ingredients and resources are needed to establish future skincare product opportunities.