As research is still being conducted on the harm of sunscreen to coral reefs and what chemicals are safe or not safe. Sun Bum is continuously committed to do their best in following guidelines and research. Although Sun Bum does offer products that are 100% mineral and reef safe, their best selling products like 30 SPF Original Sunscreen still has room for improvement. If Sun Bum wants to market themselves as a “reef friendly” company, all products should be mineral based and 100% reef safe. All in all, this product by Sun Bum may seem sustainable and safe, but could be better than advertised and marketed by Sun Bum.
The following ingredients are listed on the product website for Sun Bum:
Avobenzone 3.00%, Homosalate 5.00%, Octisalate 3.00%, Octocrylene 10.00%, Water, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Hydrated Silica, VP/Hexadecene Copolymer, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Dimethicone, Polyester-8, Caprylyl Methicone, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Trideceth-6, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Fragrance, Sodium Polyacrylate, Behenyl Alcohol, Dimethyl Capramide, Ethylhexylglycerin, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Xanthan Gum, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide, Tocopheryl Acetate, BHT, Disodium EDTA, Methylisothiazolinone
Sun Bum is a brand that has been well marketed in the surfing world and industry for having “reef safe” products. In 2018 the state of Hawaii was the first to put a ban on products containing the containing oxybenzone and octinoxate are two ingredients believed to contribute to coral bleaching. Prior to Hawaii’s ban in 2018, Sun Bum’s Original 30 SPF sunscreen did contain oxybenzone and octinoxate. The company’s reef safe marketing was accused of greenwashing and Sun Bum released a statement following the ban. The company said they would abide to do their part in avoiding dangerous chemicals and that they will always believe in protecting the planet foremost over anything.
On the other hand, according to the Haereticus Environmental Laboratory (http://haereticus-lab.org/), the following chemicals that are in sunscreen are NOT reef safe:
- Any form of microplastic sphere or beads.
- Any nanoparticles like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
- Oxybenzone (http://www.haereticus-lab.org/oxybenzone-2/)
- Octinoxate (http://www.haereticus-lab.org/octinoxate/)
- 4-methylbenzylidene camphor
- Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA)
Although, Sun Bum has made adaptations to the products chemical makeup *octocrylene* (highlighted in red) is 10% of the products chemical makeup which still contributes to coral bleaching. However, there are inactive ingredients that are required to make the lotion and make enable it to rub onto skin. Therefore, I think this product may not be the best for water usage since it has some unknown and potential reef dangerous ingredients. Rather a good sunscreen for a casual day on the beach or just to protect oneself from the sun!
For this sunscreen product, Sun Bum used the following certifications labeled on their product, despite including dangerous chemicals:
- Reef friendly
- Cruelty free
Sun Bum does not specify how their products are made, however according to the company’s website. All products are made following the recommendations and guidelines set by the Skin Cancer Foundation (SCF), the American Cancer Society (ACS), and the FDA.
On June 14th 2019, SC Johnson a family owned company based in the United States agreed to acquire Sun Bum and help with production. The company manufactures popular products like WINDEX and ZIPLOC. According to Sun Bum all products are made and tested in Florida. According to a video in the “about us” section of Sun Bum, the founders are still very in tact with product development and continue to innovate new ways and ideas to add to their brand.