From Humble BeginningsWe believe Australians are looking for more natural suncare options. Many sunscreens on the shelves contain harsh UV blocking chemicals that irritate sensitive skin and also harm our oceans. Our journey started here with learning about the effects of sunscreen chemicals on our health and our oceans.
Synthetic UV blockers like Oxybenzone and Octinoxate/Octyl methoxycinnamate have been listed with high toxicity concerns for humans by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). EWG recommends consumers avoid sunscreens with oxybenzone, but sunscreen users are exposed to other active ingredients too. Margaret Schlumpf of the University of Zurich detected four other sunscreen filters along with oxybenzone in Swiss women’s breast milk, which suggests that the developing fetus and newborns may be exposed to these substances (Schlumpf 2008, Schlumpf 2010). These chemicals are also making headlines for their impacts on coral reefs. “Oxybenzone can cause an adverse effect in coral at 62 parts per trillion, that is equivalent to one drop of water in six and a half Olympic size swimming pools, so you don’t need a lot to cause a lot of damage.” Craig Downs, PhD and Executive Director of Haereticus Environmental Lab. Octinoxate has even been found to awaken dormant viruses within the zooxanthellae and induces their lytic cycle. These viruses replicate until their algae hosts explode, causing them to die off and induce bleaching of the coral.
Research is showing the most gentle sunscreens on our skin and the ocean contain ONLY zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide, these are considered reef-friendly. However, when these ingredients are uncoated and nano-size (less than 35 nanometers in diameter), they can enter the cells of invertebrates and cause oxidative stress in sunlight.
When we began to become aware of this we wanted a better option in suncare. Coral reefs cover less than 1% of the ocean floor, yet support nearly 25% of all marine life. If we lose those reefs we unbalance ecosystems causing unknown negative knock on effects to animals, humans and climate change, as well as losing a large amount of income from tourism, biomedical products, coastal protection and really importantly the food source of millions of people. The value of coral reefs world wide has been estimated at $9.9 trillion, where comparatively the value of oil is $3.3 trillion.We created SunButter Oceans to give consumers a choice to use high quality natural sun protection that is gentle on our skin and doesn't coast the health of our planet. That's why we're delivering a new product that is built on the power of good quality sustainably sourced ingredients. SunButter sunscreen is made with non-nano particle zinc oxide, which blocks both UVA and UVB rays and lends superior restorative and nurturing qualities for sensitive or weathered skin.