It has finally begun to feel really like spring; the cherry blossoms are blooming, and there’s a warm breeze in the afternoon. Before we know it, all the summer trips and adventures will be right around the corner! For my husband and me, it’s sooner than we think, we’ll finally be heading off on our honeymoon to Puerto Rico in less than two weeks. While I’ve been making day plans and packing lists, I found the one thing I can’t imagine going on this trip without Manda Sun Paste. Manda Sun Paste is a sustainable and reef safe alternative to chemical based sunscreens.
I grew up visiting Puerto Rico nearly every year because my family lived there, we had two beautiful homes that sat in the middle of the rainforest and only a few minutes drive from the beach. My days were filled with sand and swimming with beautiful reefs, sea turtles, sting rays, and countless colorful fish. Even when I wasn’t in Puerto Rico, I practically lived on the beach, so it’s a part of me.
I would swim in and out of the bright reefs, always looking for sea urchins and starfish; I was always taught to look but never touch. Reefs are living organisms, and they’re very fragile; the oils on your hands can harm them as well as increased sea temperatures. Every year I’d go back, and the reefs were slowly changing, they weren’t as bright, and there were less and less fish living in them. At the time, I didn’t really understand what was happening, but now I know that the reef was dying and becoming bleached.
Ocean coral reefs are dying and becoming bleached for a multitude of reasons, and they all stem from us: man. The three top reasons for this are coral mining, pollution, and global warming. When you think of pollution impacting coral reefs, I’m sure the first thing you’ll think of is dumping waste into the ocean and while this isn’t wrong, there’s actually something else that we’re doing. Wearing chemical-based sunscreen. All the years while swimming and snorkeling I never considered the impact my sunscreen had on the ocean life. I never thought about how while snorkeling near the reefs, the lotion would naturally come off and stay in the water.
According to Manda and backed up by Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Ingredients commonly found in chemicals in sunscreens, such as Oxybenzone, can awaken coral viruses. The coral then becomes sick, expelling their life-giving algae. Without these algae, the coral “bleaches” (turns white), and prematurely dies. Each year an estimated 8 million lbs. of sunscreen washes off ocean-goers into coral reef environments.
Out of the three sunscreens that I have sitting on my shelf, two of them had the first or second active ingredient listed as Oxybenzone. If you can, go check your stock right now and see if your lotions have it listed, I can almost guarantee that it does. Having sunscreens with these chemicals in them and knowing that I’ll be swimming near fragile marine life, isn’t okay to me.
So what can you and I do? Start wearing chemical free and reef safe sunscreen. Manda Sun Paste is a sustainable, and organic alternative sunscreen. It’s toxic-free and made from natural organic ingredients making it safe for both you and for the coral reefs & marine life. I say it’s safe for you, but it’s not only safe, it’s healthy and good for your skin! Manda has a total of eight ingredients which include Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Beeswax, Zinc Oxide, Organic Cocoa Butter, Thanaka, Organic Cacao Powder, Organic Shea Butter, and Organic Cinnamon Oil. You’re probably familiar with all of these except for Thanaka.
Thanaka is from Myanmar and has been used for thousands of years not only as a cosmetic but as a physical barrier form of sunscreen. In addition to blocking harmful rays, it has many benefits for your skin like providing moisturizing benefits without having to worry about oil. If you’re interested in learning more about the ingredients and their benefits for your skin, Manda has a wonderful page on their website.
Comparing my typical sunscreen to Manda, it has over 40 ingredients and chemicals, most of which I can’t pronounce and I have no clue what they are. I say I don’t know what they are because it includes things like fragrance which is a mixture of chemicals that they don’t have to specify since it’s a brand secret. It also includes the coral reef damaging ingredient oxybenzone. You can bet that this lotion is not coming with me to Puerto Rico.
I have not personally tried out Manda in the water yet. However, the creator of Manda Sun Paste is a professional surfer and environmentalist. Durability, reliability, and environmental protection were important in the creation of this sustainable sunscreen. Cyrus Sutton worked to ensure that this sunscreen would stay on long even with water, sweat, and windy weather. It’s created with adventurers and athletes in mind.
To use Manda, you’ll open up the sustainable bamboo packaging and work the paste with your fingertips if it’s a little firm. Coconut oil and Beeswax solidifies at colder temperatures, so warming it up a little with your fingers will help. You’ll then apply it to your skin, it will leave a little bit of a tint and that’s a visible cue that you’re protected from any harmful rays. Often you’ll have to wipe it off with a towel after you’re done at the beach to remove it, that’s how long lasting it is!
Don’t forget to check back and check my instagram account for photos and updates of me using Manda Sun Paste while I’m snorkeling and visiting Puerto Rico! My flight is on the 21st so keep a lookout!
So what do you all think? Have you ever considered what’s in your sunscreen before? Are you going to look to new alternatives this summer?
I did receive product in exchange for my honest review and opinion. All opinions are my own and uninfluenced from all brands.