Aethic Sunscreen: protection of your skin, as well as the oceans

I must admit that for the last few years I have been wearing sun protection pretty much all year round ( with lower SPF in the autumn & winter ), experimenting with brands and formulation but never before have I come across a brand like Aethic before, which developed its sun protection formulas that will not only protect your skin but act considerately towards the environment we all inhibit.

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Aethic sunscreen is a relatively new sun care brand on the market, with the offices based in London and the products formulated and created in Italy, where the sun effect is felt more acutely than say in the UK. According to Aethic their first product, Sovee, is probably ‘the world’s most complete sunscreen’, as it contains three sun filters, as well as three moisturisers and is especially formulated not to damage aquatic life ( it is certified marine positive ).

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My journey of discovery of this brand started in Moscow, where I arrived in July in the middle of an overwhelming heat wave. I used the lightweight, flowery smelling formula with a colour of cocoa almond milk for a few days, much to my skin’s content but decided to save most of it for my trip to the sea in August, so the bottle was 2/3 full when I arrived in Spain, that seemed to have swapped places with Moscow in terms of heat-Spain was cool, yet the sea remained more pleasant than a dip in the swimming pool.

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When Aethic team was doing their product research they realised that some sun filters can be photo-unstable as well as kill delicate coral life when a person wearing a specific sun protection product goes into open water, thus depositing product residue into the sea or ocean. UV filters were tested and selected based on:

– provision of broad spectrum UV protection ( different UV wave lengths of the sun rays need to be covered by different filters ),

– proven to be photostable when the product is applied and exposed to direct sunlight ( both of the above were done at University of Pavia and experts at March Polytechnic University in Italy ),

– doesn’t have a negative impact on coral and marine organisms ( testing for eco-compatability was done in both tropical waters, as well as in the Mediterranean and a research company was hired to do ‘blind’ testing with consumers in Brazil ).

If you compare Aethic packaging to other sun-protection brands it also differs-it appears somewhat simpler, less gimmicky, less sophisticated yet the main reason behind it is consistent with brand’s strategy of being eco-friendly. So the bottle in which Aethic ‘first summer edition’ is made out of PLA, a material made from corn – that is not to say that you shouldn’t keep your eyes peeled for the exciting packaging developments next year ! The box paper in which you buy the bottle comes from a sustainable Swedish paper supplier, which doesn’t use bleach nor glue – all you need to do is unfold the paper box and read everything about the product that you plan to use to protect your skin from the sun.

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I like the scent of this product and the moisturising feel of it on my skin ( its more lotion than rich cream, which makes it very easy to squeeze it out of the bottle ) – when you swim in the sea daily the salt and the sun ‘dry’ your skin up, so a sun protection product that not only protects you from UVA & UVB rays but also helps to keep your skin well-moisturised is an added bonus. However the sun rays seem to be getting hotter and hotter with each passing year and as my own pre-set rule I tend to go for SPF 50 when I am on the beach, which gives me a more even, longer lasting tan even a few months after the summer holiday becomes a beautifully sunny memory.

Interestingly my OH wasn’t convinced when I was telling him about sun protection that we wear on our skin affecting seas and oceans, while slathering myself with Aethic Sovee body cream but if we consider that skin is our biggest organ and whatever we put on it gets absorbed into our blood stream, why not contemplate the fact that oceans and seas are living environments and whatever we add or put into it might upset the delicate balance, so isn’t it worth it to consider a brand like Aethic instead of your usual sun protection brand. I wonder what Jacques Costeau would say….

Aethic Sovee eco-compatible sunscreen, UVA/UVB SPF 25 ( medium protection ) Body, first summer edition, 150 mls, available to purchase in Selfridges.
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Furry creaters-friends or foes?

Close your eyes and picture a walk in the park or a forest and a squirrel jumping down from a tree into your path – a happy image? Well, I would have said definitely so, until I found out what those furry creatures are capable of.

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It all started last year, when a roof started leaking in the middle of the winter. A roofer came to examine it and told me that there was a hole in one of the tiles, so it was easy to fix – all he needed to do was replace the tile. I was puzzled to see a photo of a tennis ball sized hole on the roofer’s iPhone and became even more so when I was told that the tile was… eaten by a squirrel. Wait a second, the cute little squirrel that we all love to feed nuts? The bushy-tailed creature that is such a lovely character in kids cartoons? Yep, that’s the one! How its stomach digests it and the teeth don’t get broken – should I ask a squirrel for the name of the toothpaste brand it uses – were the questions at the forefront of my mind. However, with the source of the leak fixed and other things needing my attention, I forgot all about it, until very recently that is, when I came out of the door in the morning… to find my garbage thrown around, like a rave party took place without me participating in it but having to clean up. Maybe there was a strong wind during night-time, might you ask? Well, it has been happening daily now for the past couple of weeks and the tops of both of my rubbish bins have taken quite a ‘biting’ from the sharp-toothed brown vixen.

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The boiling point happened when I arrived back home a couple of days ago, to see a cute creature sitting on a fence, without a care in the world, eating a banana skin and not even bothering to move its ears as I approached. I felt anger inside, looking at the rubbish that yet again I would have to collect and put away. Was I tempted to take a stone, if I had one in the vicinity and throw it? I would be lying if I said that the thought didn’t cross my mind. Instead I took a breath-ok, quite a few (!), taped the bin tops with black tape, cleaned everything up… and put it in a place where the squirrel won’t have access to it-well, at least I hope it won’t or there will be drama.

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Ultimately a squirrel taught me a few valuable lessons:

– use the sink extractor more often if you have food leftovers,

– try not to stock up too much food in the fridge, so you have no choice but to throw it away if it goes past its ‘sell-by date’,

– think about the people for whom, sadly, daily food remains a luxury and try to appreciate what I have,

– rubbish trucks do come weekly, but there are lots of people living on planet Earth, we all produce rubbish, it doesn’t just disappear – it goes somewhere & affects the environment we all inhibit. I will think twice not only about throwing things away from now on but also about new purchases.

And if the same thing happened to you, do let me know if you have any other handy tips that won’t harm the animal but will offer a solution to the problem at hand.

Image courtesy of Chris Johns