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What Sunscreen Does to the Environment

You may not have known it, but typical sunscreens do large amounts of chemical damage to marine habitats.

Enjoying the outdoors and the sunshine is something that most people long to do. Going for hikes up the mountain, swimming in the sea and lakes, and lazily lying on the grass are great ways to appreciate nature.

However, you need to be careful. While we need sunshine to thrive, prolonged exposure to the sun has been linked to a myriad of health problems. The best way to protect yourself during your outdoor excursions is to apply sunscreen. Sunscreen protects the skin from aging and sunburns and keeps it healthy and moisturized.

Unfortunately, many sunscreens contain harmful chemicals that hurt marine life and cause fish, algae, and corals to suffer. When people swim in the sea, their sunscreen washes off onto the water. The sunscreen’s chemicals linger in the seawater where they penetrate fish, mussels, dolphins, and even sea urchins.

To help protect sea life, Synchronicity has partnered with nature to develop an eco-friendly mineral sunscreen that is based on zinc oxide rather than oxybenzone—the sea-threatening chemical usually found in sunscreen. Synchronicity’s Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Sunscreen Lotion is a holistic sunscreen that respects marine life and maintains the aquatic environment’s health.

Coral Reefs are among the most endangered by a sunscreen that is made with harmful chemicals.

What Does Sunscreen Do to Marine Life?

Sunscreen content can be divided into two categories: chemical and mineral.

  • Chemical sunscreens contain oxybenzone and other harmful compounds such as benzophenone, octinoxate, methylbenzylidene camphor, and octocrylene.
  • Mineral sunscreens use minerals instead of chemicals to achieve sun protection. The most common mineral used is zinc oxide.

Chemicals in Sunscreen Harm the Coral Reefs

Research has shown that chemical compounds like oxybenzone adversely affect marine life. They pollute the sea and negatively impact coral reefs, sea life like sea turtles, fish, dolphins, and even seagrass.

Chemical sunscreens also damage coral reefs and lead to their bleaching and, ultimately, death.

Coral reefs are a particularly fragile ecosystem. They are based on a synergistic partnership between the corals and algae that live within them: the corals provide a home for the algae. In return, the algae cleans coral of waste and dirt. As a bonus, they give corals their astonishing colors, treasured by divers all over the world.

Oxybenzone concentrates in the area around corals, which becomes poisonous and causes algae to develop infections. When corals realize their partner is sick, they eject them to protect themselves. However, in doing so, they destabilize their harmonious relationship. Since algae were the ones giving corals their colors, corals lose their bright colors by expelling them and turn to white. This is what is called ‘coral bleaching.’

When corals bleach, they lose not just their beauty but also their health. Bleached corals are more prone to disease and infections and die earlier than would normally be expected.

Some people may think, “I won’t swim next to corals, so I can still use a chemical sunscreen.” Unfortunately, water currents carry sunscreen everywhere. Sunscreen has even been found in Arctic waters, far away from any swimmers, demonstrating that all seas and oceans are interconnected and that harmful chemicals can travel vast distances.

Taking sunscreen along for a sunny day makes sense, but be sure you know what's in the sun block before you go swimming.

Chemical Compounds Harm Marine Life

Chemicals harm more than coral reefs. They also affect marine life in general.

Oxybenzone affects the health and immune system of sea urchins, sea mammals, fish, and mollusks. It has been discovered that this chemical reduces fish and marine life fertility.

More importantly, oxybenzone has been detected in urine and breast milk—both in humans and animals. When sea mammals like dolphins feed their baby, their breast milk contains oxybenzone and passes it on to the young dolphin, perpetuating this harmful cycle.

Sunscreen chemicals can also damage the reproductive system of sea urchins and cause defects in young sea urchin and mussel offspring.

Why Does It Matter If Marine Life Is Polluted?

Like all life, marine life is based on a delicate balance. When parts of this chain are destabilized, the balance is upset: animals that feed on mussels don’t find enough to eat; corals bleach and die; the fragile equilibrium in reefs is upset.

Coral is already under huge pressure from overfishing, the increase in ocean acidity, and the adverse side effects of climate change. Pollution is an additional factor contributing to its demise. In the last 30 years, over 50 percent of the world’s coral reefs have died and up to 90 percent may die within the next century.

If you don’t think that losing biodiversity and damaging corals affects you personally, consider this: without the coral reef, shorelines are more vulnerable to erosion, pushing coast-dwelling communities out of their homes. A whopping 200 million people rely on coral reefs to safeguard them from storms and over half a billion people depend on reefs for food, income, and protection.

While most of these are in tropical countries, the devastation would also reach the US. The deadly impact on tropical countries’ economies, food supplies, and safety would immediately affect countries like the US that depend on seafood from coral reef ecosystems.

So, by using chemical sunscreens we are not just hurting a few marine animals: we are undermining the whole marine stability and our own well-being.

Have fun in the sand, truly relax at the beach. And bring Synchronicity Sunscreen along for the ride.

Sunscreen Is a Local Stressor and a Pollutant

Have you ever witnessed an oily glaze on the surface of the sea shimmering under the sun? This is sunscreen lingering on the surface of the water.

Due to its consistency, sunscreen is lipophilic: it dissolves in fat rather than water. That’s what makes it water-resistant and that’s how you can apply sunscreen, go for a long swim, and still have it on your skin, protecting you from the sun’s harmful rays.

When sunscreen increases in concentration in the sea, as happens when a lot of people are swimming at the same time, the chemicals found in sunscreen create an oily film that sticks around.

Since sunscreen is lipophilic, it is much easier to dissolve in fish stomachs than water. This is why it is so polluting and harmful to marine life.

Synchronicity’s Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Sunscreen

Here at Synchronicity, we strive to outdo ourselves. We have already set the standards for Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil products, based on our proprietary Hemp plants and our unique LipidTrans™ infusion process.

We are now going a step further: we have developed a Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Sunscreen Lotion that protects your skin from harmful sun rays while being friendly to marine life.

Our SPF30+ Synchronicity Sunscreen Lotion blends the beneficial moisturizing and supportive properties of Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil with sustainable sunscreen ingredients that are skin-protective and yet good for Mother Nature.

We use Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil, alongside aloe leaf gel, olive oil, beeswax with propolis, orange peel wax, coconut oil extract, grapefruit essential oil, and zinc oxide.

We have kept our pledge to ourselves and our customers: to only develop products that value nature and provide true holistic benefits to our customers.

Join our existing customers and Feel the Full Effect™ of a day out in the sun.

Synchronicity makes Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil by gently hand-pressing Whole Hemp plants and infusing them into a coconut oil to maintain all the cannabinoid nutrients of the plant. Like CBD, our Hemp Oil comes in many forms, from oils to tinctures to topicals. Unlike CBD, it’s not made by using harsh CO2 extraction processes. So, in the end, you get a cleaner, purer, more potent product. Synchronicity—the Hemp Oil producers you can trust.


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