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Green Hack: shopping habits

Purchase ocean-friendly sunscreen that doesn't contain harmful chemicals


The problem with many commercial sunscreens

Many sunscreens contain chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate which pose a harm to coral reefs when they enter the ocean. The chemicals contain nanoparticles which disrupt coral reproduction and growth cycles, leading to bleaching 1.

14,000 tons of sunscreen are thought to wash into the oceans each year 1. Even if you don't swim in sunscreen, the chemicals wash down the drain when you shower and aerosol sunscreens spray large amounts onto the ground to be washed into the water supply and ocean.

Sunscreens without these harmful chemicals can be bought online or in shops. Haereticus Environmental Lab has produced an online list of nature-safe sunscreens (see references below), and advises consumers buy products free from octinoxate and oxybenzone as well as a number of other harmful chemicals.

Share your favourite nature-friendly sunscreens with the hashtag #GreenHacks and tag us for the chance to be featured on our social media!


  1. Zachos, E. Rosen, E. (2019). What sunscreens are best for you—and the planet?. National Geographic;

For more information on nature-safe sunscreens, check out Haereticus Environmental Lab 'Protect Land and Sea' certification page online at