Remember last year when Hawaii banned some conventional sunscreen ingredients that were totally toxic to the coral reefs?
And now last month the FDA is actually beginning to take steps to remove GRASE status from pretty much ALL the conventional, non-mineral sunscreen ingredients! Things are moving in the right direction for the health of our oceans AND our children’s development (and future fertility) and I couldn’t be more excited.
Today I get to host Tatyana Cerullo to talk about what really happened in Hawaii and how that legal battle started a snowball effect about sunscreen in the tropics that hopefully won’t stop anytime soon!
The good news is that other places are following Hawaii’s lead; the bad news is that there’s always going to be pushback from the industry, and that’s definitely happening. Enjoy Tatyana’s interview and passion for the subject and for the health of all our children! (This just in! Oxybenzone linked to serious birth defect, Hirschsprung’s Disease.)
Sun Protection Trends Video Timestamps
No time for the whole interview? It’s fascinating but I hear you, busy families! You can “skim” the video using these notes and learn a lot just from reading. (You’re welcome) 😉
Our guest, Tatyana Cerullo, is an attorney from Hawaii, a former triathlete, a sunscreen formulator and most importantly, mom of 2 lovely children. She and her husband, an adventurous sailing/outdoor type, founded Kokua Suncare in 2017 and are fervent advocates of reef safety and human health when it comes to what we put on our skin to protect from the sun.
- 0:16: Chemical sunscreens are bad for our bodies, the oceans and the environment – more “why” in the vid.
- 0:34: In 2018, we began seeing some legislation against some of the ingredients in these chemical sunscreens. It’s very exciting!
- 0:51: Today we’re talking to Tatyana Cerullo. She’s an attorney turned sunscreen formulator, and we’re going to talk about sunscreen legislation.
- 1:45: Tatyana shares how she got from law school to owning a sunscreen company. Her plan was to be an environmental lawyer. As she began her career, she ended up in corporate law, and always wanted to do something for the environment.
- 4:28: Tatyana started Kokua Suncare with her husband in 2017. They wanted to create a sunscreen that was safe and natural, but went on smooth like a lotion.
- 5:12: When Tatyana met her husband they were at different places when it came to sunscreen. She was using mineral sunscreens and wasn’t pleased with the application. He was using cheap chemical sunscreens and complained that they didn’t even work. They came together bridge the gap between high performance and safe.
- 7:22: It’s a tall order to make a mineral sunscreen go on smooth and clear! Tatyana shares some of the details of formulating their sunscreen. They had no idea it would take years to find the right recipe!
- 9:02: Kokua is one of the only sunscreens we’ve continued using and finished after testing. We have tried a lot of sunscreens in our house! Get your own for 15% off with the code KS right here.
- 9:17: Last year Hawaii banned oxybenzone. The media went wild speculating what the ramifications would be. Many claimed skin cancer rates would go up and people would just have to deal with sunburn without this chemical sunscreen ingredient.
We’ve come a long way since the days of the paste over the nose that lifeguards used. There are quality products out there. -Tatyana Cerullo
- RELATED: Best Natural Daily Facial SPF Moisturizer
- 10:44: The chemical sunscreen industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and they have a lot to lose by these chemical bans.
- 10:59: Hawaii has passed this ban already, but it doesn’t go into effect until January 1, 2021. In the meantime, the sunscreen industry wants to sell off their inventory and reformulate. There are other toxic ingredients that can be used. This is a great start to raise awareness, but there’s still education and changes that need to be made.
It’s a process of education and awareness and evolving to the point that we have products that are safe and healthy. -Tatyana Cerullo
- 13:11: Two weeks after Hawaii passed their law, the Caribbean island Bonaire also banned oxybenzone and octinoxate.
- 13:56: Palau, a small western pacific island, banned 10 ingredients in sunscreens! They are very aware of environmental protection and sustainability. You can’t even bring toxic sunscreen into the country.
- 16:03: The law in Hawaii and Bonaire only bans the buying and selling of banned sunscreens, but you can bring them in with you.
- 17:44: The trend is started. Most places will likely start with oxybenzone and octinoxate, but hopefully we will then see more and more toxic chemicals being banned. California just introduced a bill in late 2018.
As the momentum builds people will become aware of other chemicals that are highly toxic as well. -Tatyana Cerullo
- 19:19: Tatyana has spoken with some lawyers in other tropical islands about passing a sunscreen law there as well. She hopes to write the bill and make it as stringent as the Palau law.
- 20:16: Key West has the third largest barrier reef. They recently passed a local law against oxybenzone and octinoxate.
- 21:22: Many “green” laws are meant to care for the environment. They rarely base anything off human health and safety. Thankfully, these laws benefit both!
- 23:17: What can we do to help save the oceans and protect our families from these toxic sunscreens? Always read the ingredients on the back of the bottle, sometimes the front can be misleading. You want to use a zinc based sunscreen.
Too much to digest?
I organized alllll the sunscreens we reviewed in their recommendation category – one page at-a-glance to find out what is safe to buy AND works! Print it or save to your phone for reference!
The guide also includes answers to questions people ask me all the time:
- Which brand rubs in the clearest?
- What’s the best for all day outdoor sports?
- How do I save money on natural sunscreens?
- What looks good on ladies’ faces?
- Is there an option that is FAST to apply to wiggly kids?
I’ll send a copy to your email so you can find it later, but you’ll also be taken right there to reduce overwhelm!
- 24:46: Other chemicals you may want to avoid are parabens and phenoxyethanol. These are both preservatives. Phenoxyethanol has been used to stun fish for collection, it’s an eye and lip irritant and is found in many “green” products.
- 26:37: Anything you put on your body gets absorbed and comes back out. Even if you don’t live near coral or the ocean, our waste treatment facilities don’t filter all these chemicals out, so they end up back in the environment and in the rivers, lakes, streams and oceans eventually.
- 27:36: It’s not just about the coral, it’s about the global environment. The chemicals get in the water system and are in your drinking water and all the bodies of water in your area. Your sunscreen might not directly kill coral, but it’s affecting you and your local environment. RELATED: Your Sunscreen is Full of Estrogen
- 28:52: We tend to think of ourselves as an island. Our choices do effect other people and our environment. I just spoke with Craig Downs about research done in Spain and Portugal testing fish for chemicals. Hear what they found! We need to care for our environment and our fellow human beings!
- 30:31: Spray sunscreens are the new smoking but worse! People don’t think it’s weird to be breathing in sunscreen and spraying it right next to other people. Even if you chose to not use spray sunscreens, it’s hard to not be exposed though other people! RELATED: Why Spray Sunscreen is the WORST (with a cool, freaky flammability video + my best alternatives with the convenience of a spray!)
- 32:50: If you’re in a place where coral matters then support legislation initiatives. If you aren’t, it’s still important to care for your water quality.
Use the coupon code KS for 15% off Kokua Suncare here.
Read more from Tatyana about the damage to coral reefs and laws around the world here.
Learn more about non-toxic sunscreen and sun safety:
- Natural Sunscreen Review: Over 100 Mineral Sunscreens Tested by One Family!
- Have Some Hormone Replacement Therapy with your Bikini
- Sun Protection from the Inside Out (VIDEO INTERVIEW)
- Best All-Day NATURAL Facial Moisturizing Sunscreens with SPF
- Your UVA Protection Probably Isn’t Working (Especially in the Pool)
- Why I Won’t Listen to Consumer Reports on Sunscreen
- You CAN Put Sunscreen on Babies Safely – Best Choices Here!
- 3 Reasons You Should Never Touch Spray Sunscreen
- Frugal Options to Protect your Family NATURALLY from the Sun
- Sun, Sunscreen, Skin Cancer and Safety: How Much do You Need?
- Hawaii’s Ban on Toxic Sunscreen Ingredients
- Will the FDA Really Remove “Safe” Status from ALL the Conventional Sunscreens??
- Sun Protection Trends Finally Moving in the Right Direction! (VIDEO Interview with lawyer and safe sunscreen advocate)