Biodegradable Sunscreen: What is it and what does it mean?

Biodegradable Sunscreen: What is it and what does it mean?


Biodegradable is defined as an object or substance that is capable of decomposition by bacteria or other living organisms.  In the sun & skin care industry, formulating a biodegradable sunscreen (or other product) capable of natural decomposition is not easy. Finding ingredients that bind and work well together takes time, patience, and the right team.

When defining a biodegradable sunscreen, we at Caribbean Sol use the phrase ‘compatible with nature.’ This means that when our ingredients are washed off your skin and released back into our environment, they decompose and are broken down by the living organisms in which they came from. Unlike synthetic and chemically formulated sunscreens, we take pride in knowing that our products (from sunscreen to daily moisturizers to self-tanners) are causing no harm to our precious eco-system.

Let’s break biodegradable sunscreen down even more.

What is biodegradable sunscreen?

Biodegradable sunscreen is as simple as the definition of biodegradable itself. A biodegradable sunscreen formula can breakdown and decompose in the environment through a natural process.

Chemical or synthetic sunscreen formulas do not have the ability to break down or decompose naturally. Chemicals come off the skin and are released into our environment where they land and stay. Over time, this can cause deterioration of their landing spots.

Biodegradable sunscreen that breaks down naturally is not only safer for the environment, but it is also safer for your skin.

Who carries biodegradable sunscreen?

Unfortunately, not enough retail locations offer truly Biodegradable sunscreen, even though the demand for it is increasing…

Caribbean Sol is proud to have formulated a completely biodegradable sunscreen formula that breaks down when released back into our environment. Whether you are washing it off in the shower or getting in the lake or ocean, when our sunscreens come off your skin, they break down on their own and are completely compatible with nature because they are made from nature. In order to further our mission to protect and preserve our environment, we now bottle our sunscreens in a fully sustainable, made from sugar cane, tube. This tube can be decomposed and re-used for renewable energy.

When did it become such a hot topic?

Research into marine life decay has been ongoing for the last 10+ years. During the last 2-3 years, the importance of preserving and protecting our coral reefs has become a hot topic. After extensive research and testing, scientists ruled that the biggest and most controllable factor causing harm to our corals are the chemicals Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, and Octocrylene. These three chemicals are not biodegradable and are most commonly found in sunscreens. High tourist destinations like Hawaii, Key West, and the US Virgin Islands were seeing the impact and decided something needed to be done.

As a result, a sunscreen ban was initiated in such destinations. When this started, the harmful effects of sunscreen were brought to light and consumers, tourism operators, and state legislators became actively aware of a change needing to be made.

Now, consumers are becoming more and more aware of what they are putting on their skin. Consumers are noting what ingredients are in their products and making a conscious decision to switch to naturally biodegradable products.

Why is it important? Why is it better for the environment?

When products are biodegradable (such as biodegradable sunscreen), they can break down quicker than other, non-biodegradable products. Biodegradable products break down into carbon dioxide, water vapor, and organic material which is not harmful to our eco-system.

Chemical or synthetic sunscreen formulas do not have the ability to break down or decompose naturally. Therefore, these formulas are not biodegradable and cause harm to our eco-system. Chemicals come off the skin and are released into our environment where they land and stay. To put it in perspective for you, the chemicals found in most sunscreens sink like a rock and land on corals and other living organisms that live on the ocean floor. Over time, these chemicals bleach, suffocate, and kill the living organisms that they are living on. These living organisms are a major food source for much of our marine life. When the food sources are contaminated, the marine life that feed off them also become contaminated, causing a whirlwind of issues including survival, reproduction, and hormonal imbalance.

Recent studies have shown that the same chemicals found in sunscreen that are causing so much uproar in the marine environment, are causing similar problems in humans. These chemicals are being found in the human bloodstream after the use of sunscreen.

Biodegradable sunscreen products

We at Caribbean Sol proudly sell biodegradable sunscreen products for a wide range of needs and applications. Please use the following links to learn more about our specific biodegradable sunscreen products:

You can also click here to view all of our biodegradable sunscreen products.