Protecting skin from sun, environment from chemicals


The various sunscreens we have and the bug sprays and itch healers for all those nasty mosquitoes who love me.

Growing up in Tucson, Ariz., my goal in life as a teenager was to have the best tan.
When you are 12-15 years old there is not much else to do in the summer but go to the park pool and glisten in the sun and do some babysitting.
I pretty much never wore sunscreen and was even known to slather myself in baby oil in order to “bake” quicker.
I am horrified that I did that. But in those days I never really burned. My nose and shoulders would get a little red. But that was pretty much the extent.
About seven years ago Curt met me in San Diego for a weekend after I attended a training. We went to the beach one day and a ballgame the next. Beach day we were out there about three hours.
I didn’t wear sunscreen. Wow, I got burned. That had never really happened to me before.
As a result of that day I now wear sunscreen when sunbathing. As we age and change environments (I haven’t lived in my hometown in about 15 years) our skin changes.
Curt and I signed up for an all-day snorkeling trip excursion, which was today.
When we signed up the person signing us up told us what time we needed to be in the lobby and what we needed for the day. She recommended biodegradable sunscreen, which could be purchased in the store/boutique onsite.
I didn’t even realize biodegradable sunscreen existed. But it makes sense why we want to protect these amazing creatures in the ocean.
I went to the store to get some. The woman working had no idea what I was talking about. And unfortunately all the sprays and lotions were in French and I am pretty certain none were eco-friendly.
Had I known that would be an issue I would have done research ahead of time. I ended up buying an SPF 50 lotion and went back later and got an SPF 30 spray (the sprays are so much easier to apply).
According to this site, these are the brands that make biodegradable sunscreen:

  • Mexi-Tan
  • Caribbean Solutions
  • Nature’s Gate
  • Kiss My Face
  • Hawaiian Tropical biodegradable lotions

Doesn’t look like the sunscreen I got (the lotion or spray) is biodegradable. Bummer.
I will make sure to look for it before our next beach/ocean excursion.
Here’s a blog post that mentions some other eco-friendly brands.
Lynn, who was one of our snorkel leaders on our all-day excursion of West Caicos, told me she makes her own sunscreen with coconut oil and zinc oxide powder. I found some recipes online, but they all contain multiple ingredients.
I plan to try Lynn’s concoction of the two ingredients. She said the more powder the higher the SPF and the whiter the cream is on your skin. She did say sometimes you have to shake up the concoction as the oil and powder will eventually separate.
We had a great day but are wiped out. And tomorrow we have an early flight home.