Six Senses is setting a new standard in sustainability with its latest move towards eliminating the use of sunscreens containing ingredients that could harm marine life.
The renowned operator of luxury hotels, resorts and spas is initiating a brand-wide ban on all potentially toxic sunscreens and embracing environmentally friendly and biologically safer alternatives.
As of September 1, 2019, all Six Senses properties, including 18 hotels and resorts across 14 countries, will only be providing sun products that do not pose a threat to marine ecosystems. All sunscreens that will be available have been recognized as 100% reef-safe, passing safety measures established from acceptable Environmental Working Group standards and the latest scientific research on coral reef health. Six Senses has also selected products that use plant-based or fully compostable packaging.
Anna Bjurstam, wellness pioneer at Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas said in a statement, “We’re proud to be the first hotel group to feature a selection of environmentally-safe sun products throughout our organization. We undertook extensive research in selecting the best products on the market that are not only good for the land and ocean, but good for us too. We know that what we put on our skin ends up in our bodies. Multiple studies around the world have examined sunscreen use and the results have shown that significant penetration of toxic chemicals agents into the skin can result in cancer. It was our goal in mandating that all hotels and resorts use the new products that we provide our guests with the healthiest sun products available and that we do the right thing for the earth too.”
According to Marine Life, a marine conservation NGO, up to 82,000 chemicals may be polluting our marine environments from personal care products alone, particularly around popular swimming and diving areas.
Most sunscreen products contain chemical ingredients like oxybenzone that reportedly cause significant damage to corals and other marine life when introduced into the ocean environment. Most coral reef-safe sunscreens contain the alternative ingredients non-nano zinc oxide and titanium oxide instead. These protect from the sun by reflecting UVA and UVB rays off the skin like a mirror, and are not easily absorbed into the skin. They are also said to provide a longer period of sun protection.
Six Senses plans to use this initiative to create an environment of safety for biological communities, as well as to provide a learning environment for guests to become more aware of safer options.
Some destinations already have bans in place, or are in the process of enacting bans, on non-biodegradable and potentially harmful sunscreens. These destinations include Hawaii; Key West, Florida, the Caribbean island of Bonaire, and Palau.
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