Honor Earth Day with Peak [Biodegradable] Sunscreen

biodegradable sunscreen

There's little things we can do that add up to make Mother Earth a happier place for her and her inhabitants: recycling when needed, bike and walk rather than drive (although this is difficult if you live in a suburb), plant a tree, and support your local farmer's market by buying the produce. As beauty bloggers, I know we have researched products that are not tested on animals and are not made with ingredients that may cause harm to our bodies. Have you tried taking it to the next level by purchasing biodegradable sunscreen for your next beach vacation?

Over the past few months, Cecilio and I have been talking about where we are going to have our honeymoon, and we are 98% sure we are going to Playa del Carmen, Mexico. So I've been researching fun water activities for us to do, such as snorkeling, swimming in beaches and cenotes, going to Xel-Ha or Xcaret (Playa's natural theme parks), and all have one thing in common: you must bring biodegradable sunscreen. That means no Banana Boat or Coppertone. If it doesn't specifically say "biodegradable" on the bottle, then it most likely isn't.

The back descriptions say that this is biodegradable, even if the front label and the box doesn't say so.

All I had to do was type in "biodegradable sunscreen" on google and its associations with Mexico vacations pop up:

Though the Carribbean side of Mexico (Playa del Carmen, Cancun, Tulum, Cozumel) require bringing biodegradable sunscreen during your aquatic excursions, it's not mandated, but highly encouraged in Puerto Vallarta, which lies on the Pacific side.

Why is this important?

There are ingredients in most mainstream sunscreens that deteriorate coral reefs and feminize fish. Yes, oxybenzone, a common ingredient in sunscreen, is known to develop ovarian tissue in male fish. Oxybenzone and parabens are notorious for killing the coral reefs, that even a tiny drop can cause damage and bleach the coral reefs. According to Cozumel-Tours, 4,000–6,000 TONS of sunscreen wash off swimmers every year. So that means that during your snorkeling activity, you are probably not reapplying, thus not aware (it's okay, I had no idea before either) of the damage to the reefs.

The best solution is to look for a mineral-based sunscreen that contains titanium oxide and zinc oxide. Not only do they not risk the lives of the flora and fauna in the ocean, but they add an extra layer of UV protection. Which is why I searched high and low and found the Peak Natural Sunscreen on Amazon here for $19.99 and 4 oz. Yes, that's quite pricey for a small bottle, but it's the price to pay for protecting sea life. It has SPF of 30, offers UVA/UVB protection, and is water-resistant for 80 minutes. 

The Peak Natural Sunscreen contains no: Fragrance, parabens, oxybenzone, gluten, PABA, Retinyl Palmitate, Propylene Glycol, SLS, SLES and Phthalates.

But here are their ingredients, which contain all of the good stuff:

Active Ingredients: Titanium dioxide (6.00%) Zinc oxide (6.00%)

Inactive Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) extract, beeswax, camellia sinensis (green tea) leaf extract, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, cucumis sativus (cucumber) fruit extract, daucus carota sativa (carrot) extract, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, punica granatum (pomegranate) extract, tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E).

Although this does not have the scent of the mainstream sunscreens that I love, I know that I am better off without it. What I noticed about this has a much thicker texture.

 Also, it leaves a white cast, so it really made my legs look super ashy, especially because it is very difficult to blend. I applied this before Picnic Day (an annual event in UC Davis, where there are a lot of open houses and food stands, and outdoor activities), and once again within an hour and a half. Because I spent quite a bit of money on this and because I also want to protect my skin (people with lupus are discouraged from going out in the sun because of photosensivity, but I find that while I am a bit sensitive to the sun, it is not as bad as other lupus patients' sensitivities), this will be my go-to sunscreen for the summer. I also want to make it a habit to wear it even when it's cloudy.

Do you guys use biodegradable sunscreen when out on the beach? What efforts are you making to "green" up your beauty products/routines/habits?


  1. I loved this post. Going green is so important. But to be honest, I hadn't even thought about a "green" sunscreen! It sounds great though and I definitely love the thought of it. I'll have to look more into it too before the summer starts! Thanks for the tip :)
    I hope you have a lovely weekend <3
    Emma xxx


    1. Glad you enjoyed this post! It's a wonderful way to become more aware of nature and prevent harm. I hope you have an awesome weekend as well!

  2. What a great way to make a difference with small things like this (which end up being huge!). Well done, love. It had never even crossed my mind to use a product like that but I sure will look into it now. Mexico sounds amazing. Beautiful country, kindest people, amazing beaches and let's not even start talking about food :)
    We spent a week in Cabo as a part of our honeymoon and it was out of this world. Next on the list to visit is Cancun <3
    I can't wait for your life updates, hon. Super excited about you & Cecilio starting your life together as a family <3 <3 <3
    xox Nadia

    1. Oh wow, Cabo is gorgeous and I would love to go there someday. Cecilio and I were initially thinking of going to Puerto Vallarta for our honeymoon but decided to go to Playa because of the bright blue beaches (more swimmable) and the Mayan ruins. We are so so excited! Thank you so so much for reading about our journey and being so supportive it means the world to me <3

  3. I never ever thought of trying a biodegradable sunscreen but what an awesome idea! This product sounds fab, love the packaging too xx