Sunscreen: No one’s skin is actually so tough!

It’s finally here—the sun is coming back! This means that you are just about to spend hours sunbathing to perfect your tanned complexion. Unfortunately, nowadays, the sun can get a little bit under our skin

Experiencing the stifling heat, you understand that climate change is here and now (not just affecting the icebergs!). But were you aware that your sunscreen contributes to climate imbalance? 

Let’s take, for example, a tube of sunscreen: it is made from plastic, which is derived from petrol and pollutes the water and air. But you tell yourself, without a doubt, “Yes, but I need to protect my skin!” You are correct, however…

Certain products like oxybenzone and octinoxate are hormone disruptors and have the tendency to increase the risk of cancer. Of course these agents are present in over 3,500 brands of sunscreen. Instead of coconut, the sunscreen is starting to smell like trouble now, right?

Imagine the millions of people who go to the beach covered in sunscreen and, because of this, up to 14,000 tons of sunscreen is found in coral reefs every year. An ecological catastrophe such as the state of Hawaii wants to ban sunscreen! 

A simple taste of oxybenzone and octinoxate is really an explosive cocktail for the corals, algae, sea urchins, and the fish that eat the algae. As for the fish, I will just tell you that they are not thick-skinned enough to handle all the sunscreen…  

So, this year, why not try to make your own sunscreen? 100g of coconut oil and 30g of zinc oxide is enough to make a sunscreen that retains its quality for 6 months (spf 15-30). However, it is not waterproof: you must reapply it after swimming or if you sweat. 

If the sun is really intense and/or if you have really pale skin, it is obviously ideal that you avoid overexposure: hat, t-shirt, parasol…


For one not purchased tube of sunscreen, you can help save approximately:

  • 1.6 oz / 46 gr of plastic waste
  • 2.9 gal / 11 liters of water (petrol extraction)
  • 6.5 fl oz / 192 ml of petrol (plastic tube and transportation)
  • 44 kW of electricity (manufacturing of the tubes/bottles)
  • 4.5 oz / 128 g of CO2 equivalent (electricity production, petrol extraction, and transportation)
  • 30 ft² / 2.8 m² of ecological footprint (virtual forest required to absorb CO2 emissions)
  • 4 to 13 USD / 4 to 14 euros

These numbers take into account only the impact of a plastic tube of 237 ml. If you have any information concerning the ecological impact of the sunscreen production itself, please share with us!

(*) These data are statistically estimated for personal use only. Any use for scientific, business or legal purposes is strongly discouraged.

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