FREE NZ shipping over $60 & FREE Auz shipping over $120

What is Octocrylene and Why We Avoid It In Our Sunscreen

tin of sunscreen with blue background and hashtag make the switch

Octocrylene is a Chemical UV Filter: Here's Why You Will Never Find It In Our Sunscreens

Conventional sunscreens often contain chemical UV filters like Octocrylene, which some research has demonstrated the potential negative effects on human health and marine ecosystems. At Seasick Sunscreen Co, our commitment to protecting both you and the ocean has led us to formulate a mineral sunscreen with just 7 naturally-derived ingredients and no chemical UV filters. In this blog post, we will delve into what Octocrylene is and why it will never be used in our sunscreen.

shop sunscreen <

Understanding Octocrylene at a Glance

ingredient list on a sunscreen bottle with a red arrow pointing to the word octocrylene

Octocrylene is:
  • a synthetic compound commonly used as an active ingredient in sunscreens
  • protects the skin from UV radiation (primarily UVB).
  • also used in lip balms creams, makeup and plastic packaging.

Basically, octocrylene is commonly used in sunscreen as it helps to prevent sunburn.

Health Concerns of Octocrylene from Sunscreen

While it effectively shields the skin from sunburn, Octocrylene has come under scrutiny due to its potential to interact with other chemical filters and create harmful by-products when exposed to sunlight. Additionally, Octocrylene has been linked to skin irritation and may have adverse effects on the endocrine system.

Seasick Sunscreen was developed by an eczema sufferer - so we understand the painful irritations that most sunscreens can cause and are committed to making sunscreen products that are safe, effective, and gentle on sensitive skin.

Research has suggested that Octocrylene can penetrate the skin and may accumulate in the body over time. The gradual accumulation of octocrylene (bioaccumulation) in fish and other seafood may also affect human health by altering your metabolism (Ko et al. 2022).

Environmental Impact of Octocrylene from Sunscreen

One of the main reasons we steer clear of Octocrylene in our sunscreen is its detrimental impact on marine ecosystems. When people swim in the ocean wearing sunscreens containing Octocrylene, the compound leaches into the water, posing a serious threat to marine (Schneider & Lim, 2019)Due to its extensive use in sunscreen and other cosmetics, a significant level of octocrylene is detected in marine and freshwater environments.

14,000 tonnes of sunscreen is estimated to enter the ocean each year (Downs 2016)

Studies have shown that chemical UV filters such as octocrylene have "been found in a range of species worldwide including shrimp, sea urchin, clamsmussels, corals, fish, sea turtles, dolphins and in the eggs of seabirds" (Lebaron 2022, pg 24).

What Makes Our Sunscreen Different

At Seasick Sunscreen Co, we take pride in our dedication to creating high-quality sunscreen products that offer broad-spectrum protection without the use of harmful chemical filters like Octocrylene. Instead, we rely on a mineral UV filter, non-nano zinc oxide which are safer alternatives for both your skin and the environment. These mineral filters work primarily by absorbing UV rays (Cole et al. 2016), ensuring you stay protected while minimising the risk of any adverse effects.

We hope this blog post helps you make an informed choice about the sunscreen that you choose to use on yourself and your family. By opting for sunscreen products that avoid chemical UV filters like Octocrylene, you can protect your skin while doing the things that you love.

Shop Sunscreen Now

tin of sunscreen on the sane with white and blue background and text either side


Cole, C., Shyr, T., & Ou‐Yang, H., 2016. Metal oxide sunscreens protect skin by absorption, not by reflection or scattering. Photodermatology, photoimmunology & photomedicine32(1), 5-10. Available from:

Downs, C.A., Kramarsky-Winter, E., Segal, R., Fauth, J., Knutson, S., Bronstein, O., Ciner, F.R., Jeger, R., Lichtenfeld, Y., Woodley, C.M. and Pennington, P., 2016. Toxicopathological effects of the sunscreen UV filter, oxybenzone (benzophenone-3), on coral planulae and cultured primary cells and its environmental contamination in Hawaii and the US Virgin Islands. Archives of environmental contamination and toxicology, 70, pp.265-288. Available from:

Ko, H., An, S., Ahn, S., Park, I.G., Gong, J., Hwang, S.Y., Oh, S., Ki, M.W., Jin, S.H., Choi, W.J. and Noh, M., 2022. Sunscreen filter octocrylene is a potential obesogen by acting as a PPARγ partial agonist. Toxicology letters, 355, pp.141-149. Available from

Lebaron, P., 2022. UV filters and their impact on marine life: State of the science, data gaps, and next steps. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 36, pp.22-28. Available from:

Schneider, S.L. and Lim, H.W., 2019. Review of environmental effects of oxybenzone and other sunscreen active ingredients. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 80(1), pp.266-271. Available from

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published