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5 Reasons Why Natural Sunscreen is the Best Choice for Your Whānau

Young girl holding sunscreen, wearing a hat on the beach

What Sunscreen Should My Family Use

The sun is incredibly harsh in Aotearoa New Zealand, so it's important to protect yourself and your family from the harmful UV rays. But with so many different sunscreens on the market, it can be difficult to choose. In this post, we'll explore the top 5 reasons why ditching conventional or "chemical" sunscreen for "natural" sunscreen is the best decision you can make for your family.

First things first - what are "chemical" and "natural" sunscreens? Active sunscreen ingredients (the things that protect against UV rays) come in two forms, mineral and chemical filters

Mineral sunscreens are distinguishable from chemical UV filters as they are physical particles that sit on top of the skin (as opposed to being absorbed). Sunscreens that are made with mineral UV filters are more likely to be branded as “natural” whereas conventional "chemical" sunscreens are made with chemical UV filters such as oxybenzone.

The term "natural" sunscreen can be misleading because many of these sunscreens still contain harsh chemicals and ingredients that can irritate sensitive skin. However, the term is still commonly used as a marketing ploy making it difficult for consumers (like you!) to know what type of product you are getting. For this reason if we use the term "natural" sunscreen we put it in quotation marks to show that it's a commonly used term however it's not actually that accurate. Using the term mineral sunscreen is more transparent. 

You can read more on these terms here

5 Reasons to switch from a chemical to a "natural" (mineral) sunscreen:

  1. Gentler on sensitive skin (not always the case but more on this later)
  2. Mineral sunscreens are not absorbed into your body
  3. Better for the environment (not always the case but more on this later)
  4. Less likely to cause stinging eyes
  5. Lasts longer (if you have a zero water formula like Seasick Sunscreen)

Natural sunscreen is gentler on sensitive skin

Chemical UV filters, fragrances and preservatives often cause painful skin irritations. Mineral-based ingredients used in "natural" sunscreens are less likely to cause irritations and breakouts, making them a great choice for those with sensitive skin.

Seasick Sunscreen is made with a handful (less is more) of carefully selected safe ingredients, such as non-nano zinc oxide, coconut oil, shea butter and candelilla wax (vegan wax).

BEWARE not all sunscreens branded as "natural" are gentler on your skin. Many brands label their product as "natural" even though they contain a long list of chemical UV filters, preservatives, artificial fragrances etc because there is no regulation around using this term. For this reason we describe Seasick Sunscreen as a mineral sunscreen that is made from naturally-derived ingredients as it more accurately describes our product.

Mineral Sunscreens Are Not Absorbed Into Your Body

Chemical UV filters are absorbed into your bloodstream. While there isn't currently enough research showing that chemical sunscreens cause health issues for humans (Burnett and Wang 2011), there is also not enough evidence to say they are 100% safe either! Mineral sunscreens made with UV filters such as zinc oxide are not absorbed into your body (Mohammed et al 2019)

Natural sunscreen is better for the environment

Conventional sunscreens can have a negative impact on the environment (Tibbetts 2008), especially at popular swimming spots where sunscreen is washing off bodies and into the ocean in high concentrations. Chemicals like paraben and benzophenone can cause coral bleaching and disrupt the ecosystem. 

Our sunscreen, on the other hand, is made with naturally-derived ingredients and is packaged in plastic-free, recyclable tins. Because it has no water in it, it is very water resistant meaning it doesn't wash off as easily as most chemical-based sunscreens. You also use less, meaning less sunscreen ends up in the ocean! 

Mineral Sunscreen is Less Likely to Cause Stinging Eyes

Mineral sunscreens that contain zero water are unlikely to run and cause stinging eyes. This means they are suitable for children and for use while swimming. Generally the skin on your face, especially around your nose and eyes is incredibly sensitive so mineral sunscreens such as Seasick Sunscreen are the best sunscreen for your face.

Zero water sunscreen lasts longer

Ever wondered why traditional sunscreens feel 'watery' and you end up having to reapply often? A cheap trick conventional sunscreens do is dilute their product with water, which means you are actually paying more for less sun protection. You can use up to 65% less sunscreen each time you apply our zero-water sunscreen.

Seasick Sunscreen is just as easy to apply as conventional sunscreens. A little goes a long way with our tins: you only start with a pea-sized amount for application. Because our sunscreen doesn't contain any water, it doesn't mix with water, meaning it won't run and sting your eyes when you swim or sweat!

Are you ready to make the switch?

By choosing Seasick Sunscreen, you can enjoy the outdoors with peace of mind knowing that you're protecting your family's health and the environment.

Click here to make the switch

Seasick Sunscreen on beach


Burnett, M.E. and Wang, S.Q., 2011. Current sunscreen controversies: a critical review. Photodermatology, photoimmunology & photomedicine27(2), pp.58-67.

Tibbetts, J., 2008. Bleached, but not by the sun: sunscreen linked to coral damage.

Yousuf H. Mohammed, Amy Holmes, Isha N. Haridass, Washington Y. Sanchez, Hauke Studier, Jeffrey E. Grice, Heather A.E. Benson, Michael S. Roberts, 2019.
Support for the Safe Use of Zinc Oxide Nanoparticle Sunscreens: Lack of Skin Penetration or Cellular Toxicity after Repeated Application in Volunteers. Journal of Investigative Dermatology,139(2).

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