Amazinc! makes a zero waste mineral sunscreen, an ideal alternative to plastic bottles of chemical sunscreens you find in chemists and supermarkets. It’s based on zinc oxide (the white stuff that cricketers put on their noses) but blended down to be invisible. Packed in bottles, all items are vegan (except mineral shield: beeswax). The brand is from the Czech Republic, the world’s highest consumer of beer!
Most sunscreens sold in shops contain nano-particles (breaking down zinc and magnesium oxide into tiny particles) which causes harm to marine creatures and coral reefs, when then wash off the shower and go down the drain and into the sea. Many also contain a UV filter called oxybenzone (mimics humane hormones, just one drop in the ocean is toxic to all nearby creatures). It also stays in your urine, so you pollute the oceans each time you pee, and even transfer it to breast milk). Avoid shea butter for latex allergies.
The blog Imperfect Journey to Zero has a great post on how to choose a good sunscreen (this is a Canadian blog, so the recommendations are different). But worth reading.
Using natural sunscreen is now easy, you just may have to apply it a bit more often. Add this to common sense (drink plenty of water, wear a sunhat and stay out of the midday sun) and you should be fine. This range of human sunscreen includes:
- Natural Mineral Sunscreen (SPF50) is made with 4 natural ingredients. An ideal everyday protection for the beach, hiking, the mountains (water-resistant).
- Amazinc! Mineral Butter (SPF30) is in a tin. It’s a blend of zinc and magnesium oxide, almond oil and vanilla fruit extract. Apply 15 minutes before sun exposure, then apply every few hours, or after exposure to water.
- Lavender & Almond Body Oil is ideal to nourish dry skin. Contains olive and almond oil, with anti-inflammatory lavender (good to deter mosquitoes).
Never Use Human Sunscreen on Dogs
Never use human sunscreens on dogs (zinc oxide can harm). This vet says the perfect safe sunscreen for pets does not yet exist, but he says ones with titanium dioxide are best to protect white ear flaps etc, for now (some pets are at higher rates of tumours in the sun, just like redheads with pale skin for humans). See this book to keep your dog safe, for more tips on protecting dogs in hot weather.
Moo Goo Zinc-Free Dog Sunscreen says that although spent hops (and hops in tea) are toxic to pets, the tiny amount they use (1/10 of one percent, the last ingredient) is the least troublesome preservative, to avoid zinc. From them ‘even if the whole tube was eaten in one gulp, this would not be enough to be toxic, whereas zinc would harm’ Obviously keep them away from the tube, and contact them or your vet with any questions.