Bad Chemistry: Five Reasons to Use Barrier Sunscreen

Posted by Erin Forget

After a long winter, swimsuit season can be a scary time, but not for the reasons you might expect. It’s the chemical-based sunscreens that many people slather on, which could have harmful effects on our bodies and our environment, particularly waterways.

From a health and planet perspective, you’re far better off using physical barrier sunscreens. Here are five compelling reasons to switch to a barrier sunscreen:

 

1. It Works

You don’t need to expose yourself to damaging chemicals to block out the sun’s harmful rays; a barrier sunscreen contains either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, both of which stop UVA and UVB rays in their tracks. And, unlike chemical sunscreens, a physical barrier sunscreen starts working the minute you apply it to your skin.

 

2. For the Love of Animals

Unlike chemical sunscreen, which uses chemicals to react with the skin to protect against sun damage, barrier sunscreen uses zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to form a physical barrier to block harmful UVA and UVB rays. The companies producing these healthy and environment-conscious products tend not to perform animal testing, and in fact, NONE of terra20’s products are tested on animals. If you are looking for vegan products, simply look for our Vegan icon.

 

3. To Lighten your Chemical Load

It’s a fact: chemical sunscreen is absorbed into the body. That means the damage from the ingredients in conventional sunscreens is a lot more than skin deep. Bad news for you, but even worse for the youngsters in your life; the smaller they are, the greater the ratio of body surface area to volume, so children absorb even more of the chemicals.

In contrast, barrier sunscreen sits on top of the skin, reducing your harmful chemical load. Also, the active ingredients in barrier sunscreen are less likely to trigger allergic reactions in sensitive children and babies. Healthy kids, happy parents!

 

4. Keep your Waterways Clean

Our bodies aren’t the only things at risk from chemical sunscreen. When we lather up for a swim in our lakes and rivers, the lotion slides off our skin and into the waterways. Even at low levels, oxybenzone, octocrylene, octinoxate and other harmful compounds commonly used in chemical sunscreen have been found to pose significant threats to the environment, including feminizing male fish and killing coral reefs. Using barrier sunscreen keeps those nasty chemicals out of the water and out of our systems – exactly where they belong!

 

5. Support Local Canadian Companies

There are plenty of great Canadian brands making barrier sunscreen. Toronto’s Consonant , Hawkesbury's Green Beaver and Montreal's Attitude are just a few of the brands that we carry at terra20. So you can support local businesses and be more ecologically sound all while protecting your body.

This summer, take the fear out of swimsuit season. Just say no to potentially harmful chemicals and yes to effective, environmentally friendly barrier sunscreen.