Skip to main content

Every year, 25,000 tonnes of sunscreen reach the oceans. This is why we would like to propose a list of sun creams that are not only responsible for the skin, but also for the environment.

Sunscreens are necessary to protect us from UV rays, but their impact on the environment is more than obvious: every year, 25,000 tonnes of sunscreen find their way into the oceans, according to the environmental organisation Green Cross. The accumulation of toxic substances such as oxybenzone and octylmethoxycinnamate in marine and freshwater ecosystems causes disturbances in the environment and can even lead to hormonal and reproductive disorders in the species living there. Coral reefs are particularly affected: a study by the ONU Environment Programme and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) reveals that almost 80% of Caribbean corals have disappeared in the last 50 years.

Against this backdrop, many cosmetic brands have opted for sun creams that are environmentally responsible. This is the case of Isdin, Suncademy, Selvert Thermal, Nuura and Di Oleo.


Together with the Vellmarí Association, they lead the programme to recover the lungs of the Mediterranean, the Posidonia, which is responsible for absorbing large quantities of CO₂ and is one of the largest producers of oxygen on the planet.

ISDIN also runs two sustainability and awareness programmes: the COLPLAI plastics impact and product eco-design programmes.
For the former, they are collaborating with the CSIC to promote the COLPLAI project on the effects of plastic decomposition in the sea. This is a study to increase knowledge of this problem.
The second is the integration of eco-design in the conception and development of its products from 2021. Its new launches and redesigns contain 10% less plastic, are reusable and recyclable, and incorporate 25% recycled materials.

The Fusion Water Magic SPF50 range, with and without colour.

One of the best-selling products is Fusion Water Magic SPF50, an ultra-light, immediately absorbed, daily use facial sunscreen that melts into the skin and provides antioxidant action. It is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive and atopic skin.


As they themselves explain, Suncademy was created with the aim of caring for the skin while protecting the environment. To this end, it has launched two facial sunscreens: Citronella and Pinie. Their formulations are based on natural ingredients that combine vegan ingredients extracted from plants grown in organic gardens in Italy. This promotes a healthy microbiome while protecting the environment by being free of microplastics.

Citronella cream, SPF30.

Citronella cream offers SPF30 sun protection and has moisturising ingredients such as aloe vera and olive; anti-inflammatory and healing ingredients such as shea butter and lavender; and natural repellents such as citronella and pelargonium. It is suitable for all skin types, and especially suitable for skin with acne.

Pinie offers SPF50+ sun protection and contains sweet almond (with anti-ageing effect), pomegranate oil (powerful antioxidant), moringa (anti-pollution) and pine nut oil, which deeply nourishes the skin. Although it is suitable for all skin types, it is particularly suitable for sensitive skin.

Selvert Thermal

Although Selvert Thermal has been dedicated to skin care for years, its new facial and body suncare line has been formulated in a way that preserves the marine ecosystem: it is free of Oxybenzone and Octinoxate, components that damage the world’s coral barrier reef.

On the left, the Sun Care Age Prevent Gel-Cream; on the right, a body and hair lotion.

With light and water-resistant textures, the entire range features Full Light Protection technology and Pro-Vitamin D®, an active ingredient that promotes Vitamin D synthesis in the skin and helps improve its barrier function. It also helps protect the skin from a broad spectrum of radiation: UVB+UVA, IR (infrared radiation) and Blue Light (electromagnetic waves emitted by screens). We cannot overlook the pleasant fragrance of the range, with citrus and vanilla notes.

Some of its products are the Sun Care Age Prevent Gel-Cream with SPF 50 in gel-cream texture (there is the same with a little colour), the Sun Care Sun Sport Mist (a body spray ideal for outdoor sports) or the Cooling Effect After Sun, which is a soothing repairing emulsion indicated after sun exposure that provides a cold effect.


This Barcelona-based brand stands out for its organic sunscreen SPF50. It is totally mineral, highly biodegradable, ideal for sports and respectful with oceans and corals. It acts against UVA, UVB and IR rays, creating a powerful barrier between the sun and the skin, and is especially suitable for sensitive and fair skin.

Nuura’s sunscreen with SPF50, one of the brand’s best sellers.

Its main active ingredients are aloe, jojoba, raspberry, avocado, jujube and ginjo biloba. Of all these ingredients, 99.50% are of natural origin and 29.60% are organic. The formulation is free of chemical filters, nano-ingredients and organic ingredients.

The photoprotective cream also has a tinted version that simulates a slightly tanned skin. In both cases it is a cream with 0% chemical filters, without NANO ingredients, chemical preservatives, perfumes or silicones, which offers a high level of protection. In addition, it comes in eco-friendly packaging: 50% is recycled and the other 50% is made from cane sugar.

Di Oleo

Behind Di Oleo are two Belgians, Tina Wilssens and Filip Van, who came to Spain more than 25 years ago, and a beautiful story: Di Oleo means divine oil in Latin. Their purpose was clear: to work only with certified ingredients, with sustainable development and fair trade being the basis of their work. Extra virgin olive oil is the main ingredient in all their products, but they also use sandalwood, rosehip, calendula, activated charcoal, peppermint, lavender, aloe vera or tea tree.

Di Oleo sun creams with SPF30 and SPF50 respectively.

Among its photoprotectors, the SPF30 cream stands out, which provides high immediate protection. It is a 100% natural, vegan and organic product, which has a physical sunscreen based on non-nano zinc oxide. It helps to keep the skin healthy and moisturised while blocking the sun’s rays. It is suitable for all skin types, face and body, and its ingredients include olive oil, coconut and carrot oils, non-nano zinc oxide, candelilla wax and unrefined organic shea butter.
The same version is also available in SPF50.


These five sunscreen brands show us that taking care of our skin is totally compatible with taking care of the oceans, especially now in summer when we swim more in the sea.

Helena Moreno

Cultural journalist from Barcelona. I have collaborated in journals such as El País and Exit Media. I am interested in art, design, gastronomy and discovering unique places; including hotels.