Your Sunscreen Is Destroying The Planet

Your Sunscreen Is Destroying The Planet

What are you going to do about it?
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Nobody likes to get sunburned, that’s a fact. We all hate it when we go to the beach and get a little to cocky on the first day, saying things like, “I’m dark enough not to get sunburnt.” Or, “I want to get tanned so I don’t need sunscreen.” And then we kick ourselves for the rest of the week, walking around in the weirdest clothes because they were easy to get on without touching the angry, red consequences of our arrogance.

And of course, everyone knows that sunburn is bad for you, beyond the burning and itching as the dead cells slough off (ew). The UV light your skin absorbs could cause skin cancer and damage to your skin-cells. All of this is a good reason to wear sunscreen when out in the sun for long periods of time, but here’s the catch. Your sunscreen-wearing habits are destroying our planet.

Hear me out, this isn’t going to be a global warming article so don’t leave yet. When you get in the water, 25% of your sunscreen washes off within the first 20 minutes or so. That’s why your mom always reminded you to reapply after playing in the water too long, right? And every time you do, you release 25% more Oxybenzone into the water.

Oxybenzone is an ingredient found in most sunscreens, and is responsible for absorbing the UVB and UVA radiation that would normally enter your skin cells. It is also responsible for coral bleaching and mass reef death. It causes the coral to reject the symbiotic organisms they need to survive, killing the coral and turning them into stiff white skeletons littering the sea floor. Just a few drops of this stuff is deadly to reefs. Imagine what happens when you dump over 5000 tons of it into the ocean every year.

There is good news, though. You don’t have to stop wearing sunscreen, in fact most scientists frown upon not wearing it, as it does offer important protection. Instead, you should be more aware of what kind of sunscreen you use. There are many sunscreens out there whose active ingredient is zinc oxide or titanium oxide, which are harmless to reef systems.

Studies have shown that zinc and titanium oxide sunscreens can actually be better for your skin than oxybenzone-based ones, too. However, if you don’t want to change your sunscreen, then consider wearing something like a wetsuit top to the beach, or any other long-sleeved beachwear that will cover and protect your skin from the sun.

The health of our coral reefs is directly indicative of the health of our world, so go and be a responsible beach-goer this summer. Your skin, and the planet, will thank you.

Cover Image Credit: Alexia Darnell

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

From an outside perspective, suicidal thoughts are rarely looked into deeper than the surface level. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is that people live in between those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead.

You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Sorry Guys, Girls Actually Want Attention From Other Girls

Who else knows fashion, beauty, style, or looks better than other females themselves?

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Men are ya know, "great." We love 'em (somedays). Some girls cry over men, run their lives around men, and make life choices because of men.

But, why should we try to impress men? Men don't understand the time it takes to "beat our face" with makeup. Men don't understand the soreness our arms experienced to get these perfect curls. Some men don't understand how excited we are to score big in the Urban Outfitters clearance section.

Some ladies live by "beauty is pain." But sorry guys, they are not here to impress you.

Why would some ladies spend all the time, effort, and money for men, when some men can't distinguish mascara from lipgloss.

Women are trying to impress other women.

You ever get a compliment from a fellow female and they're like, "Girl, yes girl. The outfit, the hair, YES." Ladies understand and appreciate our efforts.

Do you think what ladies post on social media is to get men pouring in their DMs? No.

We are sharing pictures to inspire and create a group of women to be creative and stylish themselves. Us ladies are trying to build an empire of strong women, and we will not spend time just to look good for men.

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