IF YOU’RE READING THIS, CHANCES ARE YOU CARE DEEPLY ABOUT THE STATE OF OUR OCEANS
It’s not just the plastic packaging of sun cream we need to worry about. Normal sun-lotions contains a whole host of chemicals that are toxic to marine life and coral reefs. One Pacific island nation, home to one of the world’s top diving sites, has gone as far as banning standard chemical sun-cream to protect the reef from pollution that contributes to devastating coral bleaching.
Whatever sun protection you end up using, bring your empties home. Developing countries with inadequate waste infrastructure do not have the facilities to recycle plastic. So we are directly adding to the burden on our seas by leaving our empty bottles behind. Give them a rinse, chuck them in your sandy suitcase, and deal with them back at home.
I’ve only found one UK product that is plastic free and reef safe.
Shade is a zinc-oxide based sun-screen. ‘Screen’ being different to cream, which instead of being absorbed by the skin, forms a protective barrier on top. Zinc, plus three lovely skin boosting treats - coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax (I understand a vegan version is coming soon). The zinc used is ‘non-nano’ which makes it reef safe.
TBH, whatever you usually use to moisturise your body is perfectly good as aftersun. Or you could up the ante and go for something heavier, like coconut oil, to combat the drying effects of the sun.
Aloe Vera gel is a classic natural aftersun, perfect for when you’ve overdone it a bit. I found it in a glass jars in my local pharmacy (same one online here).
If you want to treat yourself, Herbivore Botanicals do a lovely spray aftersun, which is very soothing (especially when kept in the fridge) that comes in a glass bottle. But it’s not cheap.
What hot holiday would be complete without dealing with mozzies? Sigh.
Badger Anti-Bug Balm is a totally natural repellent that comes in a cute metal tin. I’ve not tried it yet, so can’t vouch for how well it works. However, it gets great reviews and it smells pretty decent (rare, for anti-bug-stuff).
And if you’re into essential oils, then you could give this homemade bug-spray a go.
If you’d rather fake it than bake-it (v sensible) I’ve found this brilliant self-tan oil - Tan Organic.
It’s organic and cruelty free and comes in a glass bottle with a bamboo lid! Even the travel size is in biodegradable plastic. Crucially though, it works really well and doesn’t pong.
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