Aveeno is highly thought of in most areas as far as skincare brands go so I was interested to find out whether their sunscreen could meet the same standard.
4,000 to 6,000 metric tons of sunscreen enter in the oceans from swimmers, snorkelers, and divers annually. This may not be much compared to the size of the oceans, but some ingredients in chemical sunscreen (even in tiny quantities) can bleach and kill coral, thereby destroying the habitat of millions of other species.
This means it’s really important to minimise the harmful chemicals in our sunscreens, and also to minimise the amount which gets into the ocean. Spray-on sunscreens are particularly bad as a proportion of what is sprayed is inevitably wasted.
Active Ingredients: Avobenzone(3%), Homosalate(10%), Octocrylene(10%)
Until recently the most commonly found active ingredients in sunscreens were oxybenzone and octinoxate. It was then found that these chemicals are not only toxic for reefs but also damaging to humans. Lots of sunscreen brands now proudly label sunscreens “oxybenzone Free” but have replaced it with octocrylene, avobenzone and homosalate. Homosalate’s effect on marine environments isn’t fully known but octocrylene has recently been found to also harm reefs, despite being incorporated into sunscreens as a “less toxic” alternative to oxybenzone and octinoxate.
Octocrylene has been shown to accumulate in various types of aquatic life causing DNA damage, developmental abnormalities and adverse reproductive effects. Disturbing concentrations of harmful UV filters including octocrylene have been found in seafood that humans consume. Recently, the US Virgin Islands not only banned oxybenzone and octinoxate but also octocrylene, recognizing that it is just as harmful as the other two O’s.
Aveeno’s natural ingredients are 100% organic but they have no information on the chemicals they are using (eg. where or how they are sourced), potentially in order to conceal/play down the fact that they use unnatural chemicals in their products. Aveeno is in general not free from animal testing either.
Currently over 80% of Aveeno bottles are recyclable and by 2022 they are pledging to offer refillable packaging for their products. I am impressed by Aveeno’s various initiatives and pledges which show they have carefully thought through the issues with their products and processes.
This category may well deserve higher than 0.75 but there is no information available from Aveeno to prove this. According to other sources, many of their products are made in Canada and Korea where decent working conditions and wages can be relied upon. But since the brand itself provides no information I couldn’t give it more than 0.75 - definitely need to see more transparency here!