Reef-Safe Sunscreens

Are Reef-Safe Sunscreens Really Coral-Friendly?

Check out these truly harmless options.

The first rule about buying reef-safe sunscreens is to ignore any labelling claims (including logos) such as “marine-safe”, “marine-friendly”, and “coral-reef safe”. Why? Because there is no agreed definition on what coral reef-safe sunscreens are. In fact, less than 10 countries have taken any action in protecting coral reefs from controversial sunscreen ingredients, and less-than-scrupulous manufacturers use such labels as vacuous marketing terms as there is no law preventing them from doing otherwise. 

What Are Coral Reefs?

Corals are living organisms that join each other to form coral reefs that can stretch hundreds of miles (think: the Great Barrier Reef in Australia). They have also often been described as the “rainforests of the seas”. What coral reefs contribute to our ecosystem and economy is hard to appreciate.

The Environmental Protection Agency (an American government agency) estimates that coral reefs contribute to at least 25% of all marine life. These delicate ecosystems are vital to the survival of at least half a billion people globally through food, coastal protection, and supporting local economies (through fishing and tourism). And with #OnlyOneEarth – the theme of World Environment Day 2022 – calling for transformative action on a global scale, the time to protect them is now.

Modern-Day Threats to Coral Reefs

It’s unsurprising that coral reef sites (such as in Australia or Hawaii) are also very popular tourist destinations. However, there are several threats to coral reefs including pollution, rising ocean temperatures (via global warming), and the acidification of oceans. Corals derive their beautiful colour from algae that they hold and, when stressed, they expel their algae. This leads to coral bleaching, which can kill them.  

Modern-Day Threats to Coral Reefs

Coral Reefs and Your Sunscreen

Sunscreens contain ingredients called UV filters that are designed to filter out specific UV rays to prevent the skin from getting affected by some of the damaging effects of these rays. In most countries, only specific ingredients are permitted as filters. The most controversial filters are:

  • Oxybenzone (or Benzophenone-3) 
  • Octinoxate (or Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate)
  • Octocrylene 
  • Avobenzone (or Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane)

Hawaii specifically bans all four ingredients. A 2015 study by a group of scientists, including a US government body and Dr Downs of Haereticus Lab (HEL), found that Oxybenzone was highly toxic to juvenile corals in four ways:

  • Inducing coral bleaching (which can lead to their death) 
  • Damaging DNA (which can prevent them from reproducing)
  • Acting as an endocrine disruptor 
  • Causing juvenile coral to become deformed

Octinoxate pretty much has the same effect. Avobenzone and Octocrylene were only recently banned by Hawaii (with final measures coming in 2023) and the state government notes that these chemicals can not only affect corals, but also disrupt human hormones. Octocrylene can also degrade into a carcinogen.

Other Ingredients You Should Look for in Sunscreens

The HEL laboratory lists out 11 ingredients that it suggests you look for in sunscreens and other personal care products. The most relevant are:

  • Parabens
  • Oxybenzone
  • Nano Zinc
  • Titanium Dioxide

Note that ingredients such as Parabenzoic Acid and Methylbenzylidene Camphor that are listed are not found in most sunscreens anyway. Both Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide are commonly referred to as “mineral” sunscreens in the USA. Mineral sunscreens tend to sit on top of the skin and leave a not-so-flattering white cast. Nano or micro-sized Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide sunscreens have smaller particle sizes and, therefore, do not leave a white cast and are increasing in popularity. A US government study indicates that, at high concentrations, they can be damaging to aquatic life – not just corals. But further research needs to be carried out to confirm the specific impact on corals. Specifically, Nano Zinc Oxide – also called Coated Zinc Oxide – can accelerate coral bleaching. 

Where Does That Leave Us?

Not many countries ban sunscreen ingredients, and most cannot police every sunscreen bottle that tourists bring into the country. Therefore, it really is up to you and me to do the responsible thing. That means opting for non-Nano Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide sunscreens.

Which Sunscreens Should You Use?

My primary criterion for selecting a sun cream is how harmless it is for corals and marine life. I’ve gone through each ingredient label andpersonally tried products, arriving at these top three sunscreens: 

1. Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30, REN CLEAN SKINCARE

This is a 22% Zinc Oxide sunscreen and, while it is not cheap at a price tag of AED 120, it comes with the benefit of blending in without leaving a white cast and not smelling like chalk.


2. SPF30 Sunscreen 100% Mineral Uv Filters, THE INKEY LIST

When this sunscreen first came out, the brand touted it as being the price of a coffee. I find that to be quite a disservice to this decent tinted sunscreen, with the only caveat being that it smells like chalk.


3.  Mineral Uv Filters SPF30 With Antioxidants, THE ORDINARY

For a normal Zinc Oxide sunscreen, this is of excellent value. My only issue with it is that you have to double cleanse because once it’s on, it really does not want to be removed!   


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These Are the Top 10 Beauty Salons in Sharjah

Pamper yourself in the UAE’s cultural capital.

Have you ever felt like you need some me-time? Something to help you feel more confident and empowered? Well, look no further than your local beauty salon! Getting your hair done, your nails done, or even just a massage can do wonders for your self-confidence. 

And it’s not just about looking good for other people. When you take care of yourself and make yourself look and feel good, it sends a message that you are worth taking care of. That you are worth investing in is an incredibly empowering feeling.

If you want to look your best, you need to find the best beauty salon in Sharjah. With so many salons to choose from, how can you be sure that you’re picking the right one? Choosing the right salon is an important decision, but it doesn’t have to be complicated because there are many great options out there. 

With a bit of research and some guidance, you can find the perfect place for you. So next time you’re feeling down or like you need a boost, consider treating yourself to a trip to one of the best beauty salons in Sharjah. It just might be exactly what you need. We have compiled a list of the top 10 best beauty salons in town so that you can find the right one.

1. Saray Beauty Centre

Saray Beauty Centre is a rejuvenating haven if you want to feel and look your best in a setting that exudes beauty, serenity, and elegance at every turn! This salon’s goal is to be a one-stop shop for all your beauty needs, from a single facial to a full bridal makeup and hair service. 

So, if you are searching for the best beauty salon in Sharjah, give this place a try. With the advanced equipment with the latest technologies, they can provide you with the highest quality of hair, skin, lash, and makeup services with the latest techniques supervised by highly reputable staff. Saray Beauty Centre ensures that treatment is provided and that more than maximum client satisfaction is achieved each visit.

Saray Beauty Centre, Al Meena St – Al Layyeh Suburb, Sharjah, 06 554 8487, open 10 am-10 pm daily.

2. Stone Beauty Centre

Stone Beauty Centre will quickly become your go-to destination of choice for a pampering experience unlike any other. It’s among the best beauty salon in Sharjah that you must check out. They are not just a salon; Stone Beauty Centre is an escape. 

Rather than spoiling you with material goods or lavish surroundings, their focus is on enhancing your natural beauty and wellness. Their stylists are among the best in the industry and have considerable experience. Among their popular treatments are hair services and mani-pedis, with 4.8-stars in Google reviews. As someone who has been providing quality beauty services for years, they ensure that you will have an experience tailored to your needs and customised to your lifestyle.

Stone Beauty Centre, Al Meena Street, Sharjah, 06 555 3390, open 11 am-9 pm daily.

3. Raidan Ladies Salon

The Raidan Ladies Salon, located in Al Nahda, is one of the most reputable in the area. It’s a professional hair and beauty salon with the latest hairstyling equipment, a professional team of experienced hairstylists, and special skills in all aspects of beauty. 

You can’t go wrong in visiting this salon with the vast array of services available, including manicures, pedicures, facials, eyebrow shaping, excellent service, and a beautiful atmosphere. That’s why this salon is on the list of the best beauty salon in Sharjah. They have been around for many years and generate positive reviews from clients.

Raidan Ladies Saloon, Al Buhaira Towers, Shop No 11, B Block, Al Nahda – Sharjah, 06 566 1704, open 1 pm-10 pm daily. 

4. Touq AlYasmeen Ladies Salon

Touq Al Yasmeen Ladies Salon offers quality services guaranteed to make you look your best. They believe that having healthy hair and taking care of one’s appearance are essential components of leading a healthy lifestyle. It’s one of the best beauty salons in Sharjah using some of the best products currently available in the beauty business for hair, nails, and makeup to ensure that you will leave the salon with the most beautiful and long-lasting results possible. 

Their highly trained and experienced staff are experts in all of the services you could ever require, including hair coloring and care, hair treatments, manicures and pedicures, cosmetics application, facials, nail extensions, waxing, and henna tattoos.

Touq AlYasmeen Ladies Salon, Robot Park Tower – Al Khan, Sharjah, 06 537 6756, open 10 am-10 pm daily. 

5. Al Jazibiah Beauty Salon

Al Jazibiah Beauty Salon has established itself as a leader in the beauty salon business. This beauty salon is also well-known for being the largest and cleanest establishment of its kind in the surrounding area. Their helpful employees are a big part of what makes this salon successful, and they stand behind the quality of everything they sell and provide. 

Their hair treatments are popular with regular customers, so if you’re looking to get treated with the best services in a relaxing and friendly atmosphere, then head to Al Jazibiah Beauty Salon, one of the best beauty salon in Sharjah.

Al Jazibiah Beauty Salon, Malaka street – Al Nahda – Sharjah, 06 531 7173, open 10 am-10 pm daily.

6. Al Inekas Ladies Salon

Al Inekas Ladies Salon is among the best beauty salon in Sharjah because the staff is professionally qualified and has experienced beauticians on board for hair and beauty services. They work with well-known and leading premium beauty products. 

Their 24/7 customer service and after-care will help you achieve the best results from your visits to Al Inekas Salon, and they also offer home services, which is an added plus. The staff is well-trained in their respective fields and will give you a pleasant and honest service suggested by your beauty needs. 

The hair services are top-rated and this salon is all about beauty care to provide you with the most relaxing and intimate beauty experience in a well-equipped salon. Every woman is attractive and beautiful and deserves to feel good about themselves and their looks. Al Inekas Ladies Salon is here to help you look and feel your best!

Al Inekas Ladies Salon, Shop no 9 , Al Mahatta Tower, Sharjah, 055 698 2809, alinekasladiessalon.com, open 10:30 am-10:30 pm daily.

7. Anisaty Ladies Salon

Anisaty Ladies Salon is a full-service salon dedicated to consistently high client satisfaction levels by providing outstanding service, high-quality products, and a comfortable setting at a reasonable cost. It’s no doubt one of the best beauty salon in Sharjah! 

At Anisaty Ladies Salon, they promise to make you look and feel stunning. When you leave the salon, your friends will be jealous, and your significant other will appreciate you! This salon believes that beauty is for everyone. They have a 4.2-star review on goggle, and their mani-pedi services are a must-try. Regardless of your taste in style, this salon can help you achieve it with their skilled work and premium brands.

Anisaty Ladies Salon, Shop #4, Buhaira Oasis Building, Buheira Corniche, 32681 Sharjah, 06 556 0303, anisatysalon.com, open 10 am-10 pm daily.

8. Shammasi Ladies Salon

Shammasi Ladies Salon implements modern beauty treatments and products so that you will be comfortable and satisfied. Being among the best beauty salon in Sharjah, they provide a relaxing, soothing experience for all customers who come in for a beauty service. 

This salon has fully equipped rooms that provide maximum comfort during care procedures. They are popular with services such as massage, hair treatments, and mani-pedis. They work with the most famous international brands to ensure the quality of their products and guarantee customers only receive top-notch treatments.

Shammasi Ladies Salon, 25A, Al Nasserya Street, Sharjah, 04 261 0153, open 10 am-10 pm daily.

9. Noura Hamdi Beauty Lounge

Noura Hamdi Beauty Lounge has got all your beauty needs covered from head to toe. The inviting atmosphere, comforting surroundings, and excellent customer service will definitely make your visit worthwhile. 

Thanks to its skillfully crafted signature and most innovative services, this salon is a one-stop-shop for your beauty care needs. Whether you want the look of a fun, fresh bob or a classic, elegant hairstyle, Noura Hamdi Beauty Lounge has you covered. 

Suppose you are still looking for the best beauty salon in Sharah; you might want to consider paving them a visit. Their in-house stylists are masters at everything from up-dos to curly hair and offer expert advice on makeup application, skincare, and nail care. Using only the finest products and carefully selected ingredients, ensure your experience is luxurious at every step.

Noura Hamdi Beauty Lounge, Al Asmawi Tower, 13, Al Taawun Street, Sharjah, 06 525 2112, open 10 am-10 pm daily. 

10. Mariot Beauty Salon

Whether you are looking for their hair services, makeup, facial treatments, or body waxing, Mariot Beauty Salon has it all. You’ll experience a tranquil and relaxing atmosphere that will take your cares away. 

This one of the best salons in Sharjah will pamper you from head to toe with their popular hair services and mani-pedis, making your appointment a wonderful experience that you won’t forget! Their qualified hairdressers and facial specialists are highly skilled and trained in the latest beauty technologies.

Mariot Beauty Salon, Al Majed Towers Al Majaz 3 06 5560400 – 06 5560700 – Sharjah, 065560400, open 12 pm-9 pm daily. 


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