Blue Lizard Sensitive Face Mineral Sunscreen is Reef Safe But Not Sustainable

A Review of Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen’s Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen, Including a Discussion on Sustainability

Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen Sensitive Face Mineral Sunscreen ($17.99) is Blue Lizard’s mineral face sunscreen. It features a cap that changes from white to blue when exposed to UV rays. This was actually an impulse purchase. I had gone into the store to pick up a different mineral face sunscreen when I noticed this one on sale.

But first, a primer on sunscreen.

Sunscreen comes in 2 flavors: chemical and physical. Chemical sunscreen soaks into the skin where it absorbs UVA and UVB rays. Oxybenzone and avobenzone are 2 common active ingredients of chemical sunscreens. Physical, or mineral, sunscreen sits on top of the skin and reflects the sun’s rays away from the skin. Active ingredients are zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. Mineral sunscreen is gentler on skin, making it the choice for those with sensitive skin.

The difference between chemical and physical sunscreen is important for sustainability. Several studies have shown that chemical sunscreen is harmful to marine life, especially coral reefs. Some popular vacation spots, including the state of Hawaii, have banned chemical sunscreens. To avoid harming marine life, mineral sunscreen cannot contain nanoparticles, particles less than 100 nanometers in size, either. In short, when looking for sustainable sunscreen choose a non-nano mineral one.

Sustainability

Poor: Less sustainable than several other brands. Needs improvements in all areas.

Crown Laboratories, Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen’s parent company, makes claims regarding environmental, social, and governance sustainability. But with no specifics, this feels like greenwashing. I contacted Blue Lizard but have had no reply. It is not uncommon for my questions to not be answered, but this is the first time I have had no response at all.

Packaging: The tube appears to be made from unrecyclable plastic. There is nothing on the tube indicating that it can be recycled. It comes in a cardboard box that is unnecessary but recyclable.

Ingredients: Non-nano zinc oxide is this sunscreen’s 1 claim to sustainability. Unfortunately, it contains nano titanium dioxide. As I mentioned above, nano particles in mineral sunscreen are harmful to marine life.

Carbon Footprint: I have no information about Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen’s carbon footprint. In my experience, brands that have taken steps to reduce their carbon footprint will include that information on their websites.

Ethics: Again, I have no information. Crown Laboratories claims to be socially responsible, but I have not been able to confirm.

Review

Rating: 1 out of 5.

As a sunscreen, it works fine. It is a broad-spectrum, meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. It is also SPF 30, which is the minimum required by the American Academy of Dermatology. Mineral sunscreen is infamous for having a white cast. It takes quite a bit of rubbing, but I can rub it in until it is clear. I am light skinned and I don’t know if it remains visible on deeper skin tones. It is oil-free, but still feels greasy.

Would I Buy Again?

No. If it was sustainable, I might overlook the greasy feel of it. Unfortunately, it is not a sustainable product.

My next sunscreen purchase will be a mineral sunscreen from a sustainable brand. If you have a favorite, please let me know in the comments.

Pros

  • Mineral sunscreen
  • Broad spectrum protection
  • SPF 30

Cons

  • Not sustainable
  • Feels Greasy
  • Might leave a white cast on deeper skin tones

Read more sustainable and green beauty reviews.

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