Sunscreen selection can be a nightmare – with so many to choose from and so much sun care jargon to decipher – it’s notoriously difficult to find the perfect match. We all know that we should be looking for the terms 'broad-spectrum', 'SPF30' (at the very least!) and 'water-resistant' too if you're a water baby but now you need to also be looking for 'reef-safe' too.

No idea where to begin? Luckily, we’ve translated all the bumpf into plain English to help you navigate the {sun care} minefield and make informed choices about which protection is best for your skin type… and mother nature.

So, first things first, if you haven't seen the impact us humans are having on the planet (seriously where have you been guys?!) then a very simple way to help curb your impact on the health and survival of the ocean and it's delicate ecosystem is by making sure your {SPF} is non-toxic to marine-life and is also reef-safe too.

Ingredients to keep a look out for...

Get checking those INCI lists and make sure your SPF is free from ingredients such as oxybenzone, octocrylene and octinoxate which scientists have linked to the bleaching of coral reefs and the disruption of the ocean's local ecosystems, putting marine life in critical danger. Bonus points go to Hawaii who passed groundbreaking legislation in May 2018 banning the sales of SPFs formulated with oxybenzone and octinoxate! Woo-hoo!

Nanotised vs. Non-Nano...

Wondering whether you should be avoiding physical, mineral or chemical SPFs? Well, the main focus is actually on the size of the particles within them. The vast majority of SPFs are formulated with nanotised particles (meaning they're less than 100 nanometres) whereas "non-nano" means the particles are larger than 100 nanometres. But what's so important about nanotised or "non-nano" particles? Well, instead of breaking down and dissolving in the ocean where they can be toxic to marine life, "non-nano" particles sink and become part of ocean sediment, posing less risk to marine life.

But that's just the beginning, "non-nano" SPFs are also known to be far more gentle on skin in comparison to nantoised particles. Plus, they're healthier for us too as the large "non-nano" particles only sit on the skin's surface. In comparison, nanotised particles can be absorbed through the skin and enter our bloodstream. It's also important to note that the effects of these absorbed nanotised particles on our health is not yet known... (eek!)

Our favourite reef-safe SPFS...

To make life a little easier for you, we've created a round-up of our favourite eco-friendly SPFs that take all the hard work out of being kinder to mother nature. Here's some of Team Cult Beauty's personal favourites...

Both of Drunk Elephant's Umbra Sheer and Tinte SPFs are marine and coral reef-safe while also being perfect for both face and body. Wonderfully light and fast-absorbing, we suggest opting for the {Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defence SPF 30} for all-over application, while the {Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defence SPF 30} is perfect for adding a healthy flush of colour to your complexion.

A real eco-friendly SPF innovation, REN Clean Skincare's brand new {Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30 Mattifying Face Sunscreen Broad Spectrum} is not only marine life and coral reef-safe, it's also made from the highest level of recycled packaging possible while still thoroughly protecting the formula. The tube is made from 50% recycled packaging and the cap is made from 100% recycled plastic – plus it’s one-type plastic so it can recycled all over again). We're obsessed!

Yet another eco-friendly launch, Caudalie's brand new SPF range (there's five formulas to choose from) including the {Anti-Wrinkle Face Suncare SPF50} and {Milky Sun Spray SPF50} which are the first of their kind for the brand who have banned controversial filters from all its formulas. This includes chemical filters suspected of being endocrine disruptors, such as octinoxate and octocrylene, nanoparticle filters, and the filters known to be toxic to the marine environment, oxybenzone and octinoxate.

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