Holland and Barrett sun cream.jpg

Holland & Barrett bans chemical sunscreen

Holland and Barrett sun cream.jpg

Holland & Barrett bans chemical sunscreen

Holland & Barrett becomes the first major retailer in the UK to ban chemical sunscreen, making the retailer's entire suncare range reef safe.

All products containing potentially ocean-damaging ingredients (including oxybenzone and octinoxate) will now be banned online and from all stores nationwide, and the retailer will be offering only 100% mineral formulas.

Research has revealed that over 14,000 tonnes of sun cream washes into the ocean each

Year, causing pollution that harms wildlife and habitats. Oxybenzone and octinoxate are key culprits, have been directly linked to damaging vulnerable marine life such as coral reefs, mussels, fish and dolphins that can absorb the chemicals.

The research shows that one drop of oxybenzone in the equivalent of six-and-a-half Olympic-sized swimming pools of water is enough to cause damage. As a result, both Thailand and Hawaii have already announced a complete ban on the ingredients.

Mineral sunscreen contains zinc oxide and titanium oxide which are comprised of “non-nano” size particles that can’t be ingested by smaller sea life. These work by creating a physical barrier on the skin that reflects the sun’s rays, as opposed to chemical products that absorb UV rays and turn it into safer infrared warmth that’s released in the skin.

Mineral sunscreen has been proven to be as effective as its chemical counterparts, and is also much gentler on sensitive and reactive skin types.

Coinciding with the new initiative, Holland & Barrett has launched its own sunscreen range with an advanced mineral, liquid formulation that is easy to apply in SPFs 15, 30 and 50.

Developed by experts, the light, liquid formula is easy to apply, leaves little trace on skin and offers hydrating properties.

Priced at £9.99 per bottle, the new range is one of the best value products available on the high street.

The products come in packaging made from recycled plastic and are available now in Holland & Barrett stores and on its website.

Other brands in the wider mineral sunscreen range on offer at Holland & Barrett include Ultrasun, Sukin, Moogoo, Jason and Green People.

Jo Ruxton from Ocean Generation, a charity that campaigns to eliminate the human threats to a healthy ocean, says: “Even if we don’t swim soon after applying lotion, those chemicals can still reach the ocean when we shower or use an aerosol application. Our ocean has been bombarded with toxic chemicals following decades of industrial and agricultural waste pouring into it. Now we know the damage these can do, every step we can take to prevent it worsening is critical. We hope other retailers will follow Holland & Barrett in banning chemical sun protection lotion so that everyone can play a bigger role in protecting ocean health, which is so vital for all living things.”

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