How do some UV filters impact the environment?
UV filters are the only way to protect exposed skin from sun-induced damage: they’re irreplaceable when it comes to sun protection. There has, however, been public debate around some UV filters that are suspected of having an impact on marine life. Two in particular - oxybenzone and octinoxate - have been discussed as potential contributors to coral bleaching, thereby having a negative effect on our fragile marine eco-system.1,2
In May 2018 the US state of Hawaii passed a bill that bans the use of oxybenzone and octinoxate in sunscreens from January 1st 2021.
2 Downs et al, Ecotoxicology 23 (2014) 175-91
Superior sunscreens that respect the environment
With Eucerin you can be confident of superior sun protection that’s tailored to your skin type and condition. You can also be confident that you’re using sunscreens that respect our environment:
- All the products in Eucerin’s extensive sun protection range are free from octinoxate and oxybenzone (UV filters thought to contribute to coral bleaching) and compliant with the Hawaii Reef Bill
- Most of our products are already free from nylon, a type of microplastic. Our full range will be nylon-free by the end of 2020
- Up to 70% of each Eucerin Sun formula is readily biodegradable. This reduces their impact on the marine environment
- We continuously evaluate our formulas to further reduce their environmental impact, aiming to offer you both the highest standards of sun protection and improved environmental compatibility.
How do Eucerin sunscreens minimize impact on the environment?
Eucerin Sun and UV filters
Although research into the impact of UV filters on coral is still in its early stages (with studies being laboratory-based rather than `real life) all Eucerin sunscreens are already free from oxybenzone (benzophenone-3) and octinoxate (ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate) and are fully compliant with the Hawaii Reef Bill.
Eucerin Sun goes nylon-free
Nylon is a type of microplastic. Microplastics are very small, solid plastic particles that are water-insoluble and non-biodegradable. Once they are in seawater, microplastic particles remain there and break down very slowly, thereby contributing to marine pollution. Again, there is considerable public debate around the environmental impact of using them.3
Nylon is often used in cosmetic and personal care products to improve skin-feel: it helps to give a formula its smooth feel during application. While there is no legislation around the use of nylon in skin care, Eucerin has taken the initiative to remove it. We haven’t used any microplastics in new product development since 2015, and by the end of 2020 all Eucerin products will be 100% nylon-free. We also proactively support scientific research in the field of the use of synthetic polymers as skin care ingredients to ensure continuous improvement.
Eucerin Sun and biodegradability
Biodegradability is an important consideration when talking about environmentally friendly products.
A material is biodegradable when it can be decomposed biologically in accordance with European standards. Biodegradability is crucial because it means that material which enters the ocean will degrade faster rather than remaining in its present form for a very long period. The more readily a product biodegrades, the less it burdens the environment.
Most of the ingredients used in Eucerin sunscreens are not only classified as biodegradable but as readily biodegradable. According to internationally accepted and approved testing methods, a substance is considered readily biodegradable when biological agents in an aquatic environment e.g. micro-organisms, can break it down into primary elements by at least 60% within 28 days.
Not all the biodegradable options for ingredients, and especially UV filters, meet our high standards in terms of skin tolerability and effectiveness. Eucerin conducts individual analysis on each ingredient in all our Sun formulas to determine the ease of biodegradability and up to 70% of each Eucerin Sun formula is already readily biodegradable while giving your skin the highest standards of sun protection.
High-quality, no compromise sun protection for your skin
With more than 130 years of skincare expertise, we’ve built a reputation for innovation and effectiveness in sun protection and remain committed to delivering superior sun protection that’s gentle on your skin and the environment.
Eucerin Sun products use only the very best ingredients. Our UVA and UVB filters meet the high standards defined by Cosmetics Europe and offer levels of UVA protection higher than the EU recommendation. Our Advanced Spectral Technology combines these broadband and photostable UVA/UVB filters with Licochalcone A to neutralize free radicals caused by UV and high-energy visible (HEVIS) light. The formulas also contain Glycyrrhetinic Acid, which supports skin’s own DNA repair mechanism and, depending on the product, other ingredients proven to address specific skin concerns.
We create products with textures you’ll love using. Whether you choose a light cream-gel, a richer cream, pump spray or aerosol all our sunscreens absorb quickly and are non-greasy.
They’ve been extensively tested too – both in a lab and in the home environment – with a range of consumers including those with skin concerns. All Eucerin Sun products are clinically and dermatologically proven to be highly effective at protecting against sun-induced skin damage. Dermatological tests also demonstrate that the products are well-tolerated by sensitive skin and other skin types with specific needs.