The New Story in Sunscreen, Chemicals, and More with Goddess Garden

I’ve been posting quite a bit about “what drives me,” and how my story has evolved over the years. I’ve also been talking to friends and colleagues about their stories and how they are writing their next chapters.

As we close the chapter on the summer and gear up for back-to-school, it’s time to pause and think about your story. What drives you? What are you talking about? For advocates in the safer chemical industry, the next chapter is focused on government legislation. And recently, one state made a big move that will be driving the personal care industry.

The Next Chapter in Sunscreen Safety

For Goddess Garden Founder Nova Covington, Hawaii’s decision to officially ban chemical sunscreens oxybenzone and octinoxate has been the top news story of the summer. She knew this milestone decision would change the way people see sunscreens, simplifying the chemical conversation to five simple words, “They’re so bad they’re banned!”

Some of the chemicals people slather on their skin are so toxic, they have been banned by an entire state, likely setting the precedent for other states to follow.

Research has shown chemical sunscreens like oxybenzone can kill coral reefs and make them more susceptible to other environmental stressors such as rising water temperatures. To save their coral reefs, Hawaii legislators banned the use or sale of reef-harming chemical sunscreens. Even though it is found in 80 percent of chemical sunscreens, Oxybenzone is also harmful to people. The Environmental Working Group gives oxybenzone an eight, meaning it is one of the most toxic ingredients found in cosmetic products.

Many companies are already talking about reformulating their sunscreens, but there are still ingredients to watch out for. Often falsely labeled “natural,” octinoxate is also toxic to coral reefs, even in low concentrations. It was also banned in Hawaii as part of their recent vote. Avobenzone is one of the only chemical options that offers UVA protection and makes a sunscreen broad-spectrum. By itself, avobenzone is relatively safe in terms of toxicity, but it breaks down very quickly in the sun. Once exposed to the sun, avobenzone alone only offers about 30 minutes of protection, so its paired with not-so-safe chemicals like octocrylene, a known endocrine disruptor, to make it work longer than 30 minutes.

Is Oxybenzone in Other Products?

Oxybenzone is also used in nail polish, hair spray, and cosmetics as a photostabilizer. It also sometimes shows up in fragrances where it won’t be listed among the ingredients because fragrance ingredients aren’t required to be disclosed.

Fragrances are often “mysterious,” so I choose products made with certified organic essential oils like Goddess Garden Essential Oil Roll-On Perfumes. I just bought a bottle for my friend who is a die-hard fragrance addict so she would stop wearing the synthetic ones that give me a headache!

To further cut out synthetic chemicals, check out the Goddess Garden Story Starter variety pack (an amazing deal at $21.99) with essential oils that can be used for a wide variety of purposes, including organic rosemary, eucalyptus, lemon and clove bud. Eucalyptus is a must for the upcoming cold/flu season and lemon is a great antibacterial agent for homemade cleaning products.

Disclosure: This post was created in partnership with Goddess Garden. Regardless, my opinions are honest. See my full disclosure here.



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