Is SPF Sustainable? Seen in Country & Town House

23 May 2023 | Category: Medical

Lifestyle website Country & Town House featured expert advice from Dr Ross Perry on the sustainability of SPF sun screen in a feature entitled: 


Country and Town House describes itself as

“the go-to destination for trusted, inspiring and uplifting content that will enhance your lifestyle wherever you live.”

Their article looked at how sunscreen is polluting the ocean and also shares information about which ingredients to avoid.

Why do we need to wear SPF

Dr Ross Perry told Country & Town House:

“Sun Protection Factor works in two ways [the first] as a physical barrier using ingredients such as titanium or zinc oxide that reflect sunlight, and the second is as a chemical sunscreen which absorbs the UVA and UVB rays to prevent skin damage.”

Dr Perry stresses that SPF is essential with a range of benefits from avoiding sun spots to preventing skin ageing and, most crucially, skin cancer; particularly when spending time in warmer climates.

How does SPF impact on the environment?

A report by Sustainable Travel International suggested that approximately 14,000 tons of sunscreen end up in the oceans each year. Some is washed off in the sea and some may be showered away, but the results is that SPF chemicals could end up in the ocean.

Dr Ross Perry said:

“The biggest concern about SPFs is the pollution it causes for the ocean, thus affecting the ecosystem of these delicate environments which are already experiencing major pollution from other sources.”

Hawaii and Palau have already signed legislation to ban ingredients such as oxybenzone, which have been linked to coral bleaching. Dr Perry says:

“We can start to make a difference by using sunscreens that do not contain chemicals that affect the delicate nature of the coral reefs.”

Sunscreen ingredients to avoid

Dr Perry says:

“When looking for a coral friendly sunscreen, ideally you’re looking for ones that don’t have oxybenzone and octinoxate ingredients as these are known to cause the most damage to coral reefs. Other than that, you’re looking for a sunscreen that has a high UVB rating to ensure that it protects your skin.”

There are now products emerging which recognise the importance of sustainability for SPF ingredients. Susie Ma, founder and CEO of Tropic Skincare says:

“As well as Tropic’s SPF sun care being independently certified to pose no risk to marine health, the brand’s products are packed with natural plant extracts and vitamins offering a range of skincare benefits”

Read this article in full

To read more, please visit

Dr Ross Perry

doctor ross perryDr Ross Perry regularly provides expert comment and advises the media on a range of skincare and health-related issues.

He has particular expertise in skin surgery mole removal and melanoma; having removed thousands of moles in his career, both within the NHS and privately through Cosmedics Skin Clinics. He has provided expert advice on sun damage and sun protection for a variety of UK media and publications.

He also comments on the latest cosmetic and anti-ageing treatment methods.


Cosmedics Skin Clinics

Cosmedics Skin Clinics was established in 2003 and has built up an excellent reputation for cosmetic and medical skin treatments, carried out by GMC Registered Doctors.  The company offer a full range of cosmetic treatments, including popular lip enhancement and wrinkle relaxing injections, dermal fillers; plus medical treatments including mole removal, thread vein treatment and excessive sweating injections.

Cosmedics Skin Clinics has a team of skin treatment doctors and surgeons in their 5 skin clinics across London and Bristol led by Dr Ross Perry.

Call 020 7386 0464 or email  to book an appointment.


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