Sustainable Sunscreen? It's Real


Alyson Gessner

This or That

July 20, 2021

There’s no doubt that sunscreen is tricky. There are so many components you need to juggle as a consumer from a strong SPF, to hydration, to how its chemicals affect sensitive skin, to tanning capabilities, to its environmental impact, just to name a few. But finding a sustainable sunscreen has proven harder than expected since so many of the primary ingredients in sunscreen brands are incredibly harmful to aquatic ecosystems.

For example, take Bioré‘s Watery Essence Aqua Rich Sunscreen. This product has both a high SPF yet still hydrates skin. Furthermore, Bioré’s parent company Kao was the first Japanese company to earn a Triple A rating for their sustainability by the Carbon Disclosure Project. At first glace, a consumer could have high hopes for Bioré’s sunscreen, but one look at the ingredients list and there it is: Octinoxate, otherwise known as “reef killer.”

This isn’t to say that Bioré is the worst sunscreen brand of all time or that they are significantly worse than other leading brands. They’re not. The status quo in the sunscreen industry is to not prioritize sustainability. What this means to me is that brands that actually have figured out how to create a functional, clean product need to be elevated. As consumers we value sustainability, and by supporting sustainable sunscreen brands we can make the industry leaders sweat.

Sustainable sunscreen doesn’t have to be an oxymoron. COOLA Suncare has proven this to be true. Their Classic Body Organic Sunscreen Spray SPF 70 is a great example (and it’s an even higher SPF than Bioré)! This company supports sustainable farming, connects with local communities, is 70% certified organic, vegan, reef-friendly, AND free of GMO’s and parabens. How were they able to accomplish all this? By committing to creating a sustainable product.

COOLA follows a “Farm to Face” formula, which means that they are actively examining how their ingredients are sourced across the entire supply chain. Paying such close attention to their ingredients also means that they can consider sustainability every step of the way.

COOLA still seems like a pretty small brand—I’d never even heard of it before coming to Voiz—but imagine if industry-leading brands began to lose marketshare to an actual sustainable product? Without pressure to update their products, leading brands like SunBum, Hawaiian Tropic, and even Bioré will have no reason to change their formulas. Sustainable sunscreen is real, and it’s time it becomes the norm.



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