Review: Human Heart Nature SafeProtect “Reef-Friendly” Sunscreen

TL;DR
+ SPF label was actually lab tested according to Human Nature
+ possibly reef-friendlier
+ crazy waterproof
+
no, really. It’s crazy waterproof
+ gives an even, bronze tan
– weird smell in chlorine (but not in salt water)
– white cast upon application (but none in the water)
– too heavy/oily for everyday use but not an issue when swimming

Ingredients: Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, Ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, hydrogenated castor oil, zinc oxide, Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride, dicaprylyl ether, Cera alba (beeswax), Glycine soja (soybean) oil, fragrance (all-natural), glyceryl caprylate, tocopherol (vitamin E), p-anisic acid

 

Full Review

I’ve talked about the reef-friendly label here and here (open to discussion and edits, of course), but long story short, no sunscreen is 100% reef-friendly. However, there are reef-friendlier products that are worth supporting. Locally, there are a lot of “reef-safe” sunscreens going around that aren’t actually laboratory tested*, so Human Nature is a good option if you’re looking.

Screen-Shot-2017-07-24-at-11.40.52-AM.jpg
Human Nature’s response when asked about the testing done on their sunscreen.

Right off the bat, you’ll notice it’s hella thick and oily. It’s actually reminiscent of sunscreens prior to this decade where they all had a sunscreen smell and white cast. It’s pretty bothersome for everyday use, but in the pool and the beach it’s not something you’ll notice. It actually spreads on well and doesn’t leave a heavy white cast. Waterproof sunscreens in general leave white streaks when you’re in the water. Human Nature’s suprisingly doesn’t – or at least not as much. The oil leaves a nice sheen upon application (like you dusted highlighter all over your body or you’re half-unicorn), which fades the longer you stay in the water. The sunscreen itself takes much longer to fade.

Now this sunscreen is so freaking waterproof. It beat out even Armada(!!!), which is no easy feat. Honestly, soap and water isn’t enough to get it off. Unless it’s already faded after a few hours since application, it takes multiple washes to get all the residue out. Water just sits on top of your skin, which also serves as a great indicator for when the sunscreen has faded. If I sweat, it just forms beads on top of the sunscreen.

I was able to test this out in both a pool and the beach. The only difference was the smell. I was only able to test out in my school’s pool so this may not apply to other pools, but it formed a sickening smell. It wasn’t too strong or too bad, but it was definitely there. In salt water, it was a completely different story. What little scent was present was barely detectable and inoffensive.

IMG_9391.jpg
Sweat just sat on top of the sunscreen, which formed beads. This was after 2 hours of swimming. On the train. During my commute home. Now that is what I call water- and sweatproof.

In terms of performance, despite seeming very sticky and oily at the beginning, it doesn’t feel like anything after time in the water. It gave me an even bronze tan. I usually burn easily or react badly to sun exposure (usually very dry skin and an uneven tan), but this didn’t happen at all with this sunscreen. I tried reapplying every two hours but found it more efficient to play it by feel. I can tell when it’s faded by how water “sticks” to me, which became the most useful indicator for reapplication. The heaviness wasn’t a problem even on the face. It didn’t cause any breakouts and faded evenly in the water. It does use coconut oil as the base, which a lot of people don’t jive with.

To be honest, it isn’t comfortable enough for everyday use though it works great in the water. A lot of sunscreen pollution actually comes from wastewater going into the ocean, so while wearing reef-friendlier sunscreen to the beach is a great thing to do, wearing reef-friendlier sunscreen everyday is an even bigger help. Other points of improvement include the fragrance. The fragrance in the ingredient list didn’t make sense to me because I’m familiar with Human Nature’s fragrances and I definitely couldn’t detect it in the product. If anything, it probably faded within a few minutes in the water so if I could suggest an improvement in formulation, it would be to omit fragrance completely.

Overall, I think this sunscreen is a great intro into going reef-friendlier. It truly is very practical for water-use and holds its own to commercial sunscreens. I argue it’s actually significantly more heavy duty than most commercial sunscreens.

While I think there’s a lot more Human Nature can do to address the reef-safe problem, creating this product does help bring awareness to the issue. I’ve listed some extra steps to be reef-friendly aside from using sunscreen (ranked easy to difficult) below if you’re interested.

  1. Do not use any additional skincare products before entering the ocean.
  2. Do not touch or step on corals (or any marine life for that matter).
  3. Do not bring home sand and shells.
  4. Use alternative forms of UV protection (eg. rashguards, hats, umbrellas). Check out this compilation for UPF clothing.
  5. Learn more with Save Philippine Seas.
  6. Turn your trash (especially discarded beauty products like sheet mask wrappers, old brushes, etc) into ecobricks.
  7. Say no to disposables, especially in tourist areas/provinces without good waste management. Or even easier, just refuse plastic straws when buying drinks.
  8. Switch to reef-friendlier products in your whole routine. (Easiest is to check first for biodegradability, and if you’re up for it, toxicity and waste management of said product/ingredients.)

 

* I’ve been guilty of promoting those sunscreens and I deeply apologize. A lot of those rely on homemade sunscreens, which you can learn more about here. Thank you to @kobecow and /u/Feanne for pointing this out to me!

Where to buy:
Philippine residents: website, nationwide stores and resellers, BeautyMNL
Non-Philippine residents:Β website

This sunscreen also comes with a version for babies and kids, but the regular version is more accessible in stores.

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7 Comments

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  1. Your description of this product reminds me a lot of Nature’s Gate Aqua Block, very 90s sunscreen.

    Anyway, I love that you suggested alternative forms of UV protection. I switched from wearing bikinis to sleeved rashguards. I am on the chubby side and I was once asked if I’m ashamed of my body because I cover it up. I don’t mind wearing 2-piece swimwear and have all my stuff hang out, but rashguards made my swimming trips so much simpler. No need for coverups while strolling on the beach and no need to reapply sunscreen (at least on the upper body). The only con is my face gets sooo much darker compared to my neck and chest but it’s fine. I’d like to think I’m saving money because I use up a smaller bottle now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May I ask where you like buying your rashguards? I’m having a hard time finding a lot of UPF items locally. They’re usually expensive because they’re branded, or there aren’t many sizes left because the store went on sale :/

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      • Fortunate that I was able to catch speedo when they were on sale. I also check out Lazada. They have rashguards listed with UPF on the listing title or nasa description. I list down the brands and prices before going to the department store.

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      • I forgot to mention Zalora. I just type in UPF 50, and the rashguards show up. The cheaper ones are by Sassa, but the latter doesn’t have a consistent fit, pero available naman sa landmark and sm so you can fit. Yun lang, I haven’t googled UPF and compliance / certifications. I just trust what’s written on the fabric or label.

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      • Ooh thank you for the suggestion!! Been seeing this local umbrella called Fibrella that claims UPF but there’s no rating and the silver reflector-y side is underneath rather than above :/ testing procedures seem to be similar to testing UPF in the sense that an accredited facility has to test them. I guess ideally local brands that claim UPF buy materials that already have a UPF rating. Otherwise, it’s like homemade sunscreen all over again :/

        Have you tried buying from stores like Bratpack, Grind, etc? They sell a lot of branded swimsuits so it’s usually pricey, but they often have big sales! The designs are pretty nice and some go for up to 50% off

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      • To shop for swimwear, not yet. Thanks for the recommendations! I usually only buy clothes during true sales (july, aug, jan, feb). Mga,further reduction. I hope uni qlo comes out with rashguards. They already have other UPF stuff.

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      • Oops forgot to link it to you! There’s a reddit thread that compiled a list. It’s western brands though :/ But anyway, in case you’re interested! https://www.reddit.com/r/Sunblock/comments/5z1dyx/upf_clothing_where_to_buy/

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