Protect Your Skin, Save the Planet
JULY 15, 2022
There are many things to love about Hawaii. And now there’s one more.
On January 1, 2021, a first-in-the-nation law went into effect in the state that bans the sale of chemical sunscreens containing oxybenzone or octinoxate; similar measures already exist in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Aruba, Bonaire, Palau, and several ecotourism reserves in Mexico. Those banned ingredients and others in chemical sunscreens have been found to be toxic to marine life, contributing to the bleaching, damage, and even death of coral, as well as causing immeasurable harm to the other fish and animals that depend on coral reefs for food and shelter.
First some bad news. Coral reefs are in a grave position, disappearing fast around the world—according to the Coral Reef Alliance, as much as one-third of all reef-building corals are at risk of extinction. Now the better news: If you care about marine life, or the humans that rely on it, there’s a pretty easy way you can do your own small part to reduce the deterioration of these important natural ecosystems: If you’re still using chemical sunscreen, switch over to a mineral sunscreen, aka physical sunscreen. These “reef-safe” or “reef-friendly” products don’t hurt sea creatures and are just as effective at protecting your skin from the sun as the chemical kind. And you won’t risk sensitizing your skin, either.
Ingredients in chemical sunscreens have been found to be toxic to marine life, contributing to the bleaching, damage, and even death of coral.
At Drunk Elephant, we do love the earth and want to protect it, but we also have other reasons for choosing mineral sunscreens. In fact, chemical sunscreens are on our verboten list—the Suspicious 6. These are the six ingredients (also including essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, fragrances/dyes, and SLS) that we will never add to our products because we’ve found they are at the root of most skin problems you may encounter. If you remove these ingredients from your routine, your skin can reset to its healthiest, happiest state.
Instead of oxybenzone, octinoxate, or other chemical screens, which absorb harmful UV rays, our Umbra sunscreens, Umbra Sheer and Umbra Tinte, are formulated with the active ingredient zinc oxide, which sits on the surface of the skin and acts as a physical block against harmful UV rays. Plus, on top of the broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection, our Umbras are loaded with potent antioxidants, like astaxanthin, grape juice, and sunflower shoot extract, to minimize the appearance of photoaging for a more youthful-looking complexion.