I saw an article on BuzzFeed, with kind of an alarming headline: Sunscreen Chemicals are Destroying Coral Reefs. What?
I know that as a society, we’re a little bit like sun worshippers; on the other hand we’re terrified that spending time in the sun is going to give us cancer. But, who knew the stuff that blocks ultraviolet (UV) rays can kill coral reefs? Hawaiians have taken notice and recently passed a law that bans sunscreen on beaches.
“Oxybenzone and octinoxate are destroying the oceans around the world, according to scientists whose research has shown that the chemicals break down coral by leaching it of nutrients and disrupt the development of fish and marine life, like sea urchins and algae,” the article states.
I’ve known for some time that sunscreen, although it blocks UV rays, also blocks our ability to absorb the sunlight and manufacture vitamin D. Make no mistake, vitamin D is a verrrry important vitamin. It regulates the functions of more than 200 genes. It’s also essential for growth and development, and you don’t want to avoid the sun altogether.
In essence, sunscreen isn’t all that great for the environment, nor for human beings. Hmmmm.
So, what’s a person to do? Just so happens, I have some thoughts about that. CBD from hemp has an SPF rating of 6. Coconut oil also has an SPF of about 7 and many topicals combine CBD with coconut oil. Because hemp develops its own UVR protection (as most plants do), hemp-derived CBD topicals are natural protection from the sun. The bonus is the topicals don’t affect absorption of vitamin D.
I’ve had the opportunity to try out CBD topicals as sunscreen favorably. A year ago, three friends and I went hiking in the foothills of Bozeman, Montana, right around noon. I had CBD lotion and face cream and no sunscreen. My friends lathered on SPF 50. After three hours, I was mildly pink; they were lobster red.
Now, protective clothing, hats and umbrellas, and alternative sunscreen products are also good protection, and for prolonged exposure to the sun, you need protection. I choose CBD for its protective qualities, but also for its moisturizing and nourishing qualities, plus it’s safe for the environment.
When it comes to sun exposure, good old moderation is also a great form of protection. I’m just saying.