How to formulate ocean- and reef-friendly suncare products while preserving their efficacy


Laura Busata
Cosmetics R&D Senior Specialist, Unifarco S.p.A


One of the last big challenges for a formulator is understanding how to develop safe and effective sun care products, considering the great consumer’s attention and awareness about their environmental impact, especially on the marine ecosystem.
Many studies have been carried out to investigate this topic, focalizing the attention on UV filters negative impact on corals. The experiments carried out so far have used concentrations of sunscreens and sunscreen components significantly higher than what is generally found in the marine environment. Further research is thus needed before firm conclusions can be reached.
However, considering the studies main results, a proactive approach in formulation is required and the removal of some specific chemicals should be positively beneficial to the ocean, without detracting from educating the public on the importance of photoprotection.


Climate change is the defining global challenge of our time (1). Rapid changes to the global climate over the past several decades have already resulted in widespread impacts across

human societies and natural systems. Continued changes of this magnitude will have severe and irreversible planetary impacts lasting hundreds of thousands of years, further threatening people and communities everywhere. Considering the devastating and evident effects of climate change, more awareness has arisen and there is a change in people’s behaviour towards a sustainable planet.

People often report feeling hopeless that they can affect change on a scale that matters for something as big as climate change. But individual behaviour change, when taken up by billions of people, makes a decisive difference.

Who hasn’t changed something in his daily routine to be more careful about the environment? Some emerging topics are now the talk of the town, such as sustainability, recycling or renewable energy. Therefore, the attention is now focused on the energy environmental impact, on objects and products we use every day and actions we ofte ...