Scientific Proof

The Need for Scientific Proof in the Eco -Unregulated Beauty & Wellness Industry

Amidst No Regulations and Standards :

In the unregulated terrain of beauty and wellness, especially within the eco-friendly sector, the absence of standardized criteria resembles the Wild West. With no clear regulations in place, brands can make bold claims without facing substantial consequences, leaving consumers in a state of ambiguity.  Discussions around anti-Greenwash legislation in the EU and initiatives to establish standards are underway.  However, until these regulations are implemented, the industry remains open to a wide range of assertions from brands.

Consumers are pushing back against this ambiguity. A simple Google search for “Class Actions Suits Reef-Friendly Sunscreens” reveals a growing trend of consumers holding brands accountable for their claims.   This underscores a shifting landscape where consumers increasingly demand scientific proof, transparency, and authenticity.




The need for change

In July 2007, Allard Marx took on the challenge of finding sustainable solutions for water pollution. Collaborating with Susannah Stewart, who is a sustainability expert, they founded Marine Positive Ltd. and The Going Blue Foundation to address the neglected issue of water pollution. Prof. Roberto Danovaro’s research on sunscreens’ harmful effects on marine life sparked collaboration, resulting in the creation of Aethic, the  The world’s only proven and patented reef-safe sunscreen. Led by Susannah at Marine Positive and Allard at Aethic, the venture produced a safer sunscreen, emp.comhasizing the connection between skincare and ocean preservation. This success marks the beginning of more innovative products to come from Aethic. You can find  the back story here.

Scientific Validation: Aethic’s sunscreen patent upheld!

Over a long period of 9 years German sunscreen giant Beiersdorf challenged the patent’s uniqueness and environmental claims in an attempt to have it revoked, but their initial opposition and subsequent appeal at the European Patent Office were each rejected,   and AETHIC’s patent was upheld intact!    It was a true David and Goliath fight; which Aethic won. The patents in other territories remained in place throughout this long, drawn-out battle.


The Proof 

We have dedicated a page on this subject, containing all the proof and evidence of our patent. After all, it is an invention. Here’s a summary of the patent.

Aethic reef safe sunscreen keeps coral alive

Commercially available sunscreens comprise a variety of chemical compounds, both synthetic and natural, all potentially harmful to the marine environment of the coral reef. Instead, our inventors have selected a unique combination of substances that, individually and in combination, are completely safe for marine environments but concomitantly are highly effective in screening the skin from solar radiation.

Debunking ‘Reef-Friendly’ Claims: 

The Imperative for Scientific Proof Amidst Industry Ambiguity

The cosmetic industry’s use of terms like ‘reef-safe,’ ‘reef-friendly,‘ and ‘ocean-friendly‘ has led to confusion among consumers. Brands employ various tactics to market their products, some of which may mislead consumers seeking genuinely eco-conscious options!

The term “BIODEGRADABLE” is often used but is a red herring, creating the illusion of environmental safety. The mere degradation, dilution and dispersion of ingredients does not guarantee harmlessness at all.  Molecular compatibility is the key determinant.

Aethic reef safe sunscreen :the proof - we won

Aethic has the scientific proof that all of it’s sunscreens are truly reef-safe sunscreens.


Similarly, labels like “ORGANIC/NATURAL/MINERAL” serve as misdirection, diverting attention from the fact that the active sun filters in these products are, in reality, manufactured in the same factories as ‘chemical sun filters.’

All of these sun filters (the active ingredients doing the protective work) are not harvested or mined from nature as these names suggest but instead man-made in the same factories as ‘chemical sun filters’. They’re all ‘chemical’ too in fact but then again, so are you. So while Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide do occur in nature, the ones in Organic/Mineral/Natural formulations, are factory-made and often coated, or are very small and according to this study react with sunlight to create hydrogen peroxide, thereby damaging phytoplankton.

Understanding the nuances of these terms is crucial, as this study  suggests that even seemingly natural ingredients may react with sunlight, potentially causing serious harm to marine life, including essential fish food like phytoplankton. Phytoplankton, alongside coral, is another main crucial pillar of marine life.

Discover Aethic’s sunscreen : Scientifically Proven Reef safe formula 

“Excudes / does not contain”

The scientific proof behind Aethic’s sunscreen, is revealing the damaging impact of certain sun filters on coral reefs. Notably, many filters have been found harmful and are excluded from our formulations, emphasising our commitment to coral and human well-being.

Excluding them from (U.S.) formulations, is a great start in mitigating damage to coral (and humans). However, what about the other ingredients?  At Aethic, we know for a fact, from having tested them, that a good number of fillers, thickeners, preservatives, essential oils and perfumes can also harm coral.

Our tested and approved reef-safe sunscreen stands out in providing effective protection.

Aethic’s sunscreen: Industry-tested, Peer-Verified, and Patent-Protected 

The crucial test is compatibility

Ingredients must first provide skin with photo-stable UVA/UVB protection and should be compatible with people as well as marine life. Only testing of the entire formula can verify this.  Please visit /the honest truth/ for so much information about filters, photostability and so much detailed scientific information.

We had a full range of ingredients tested on coral. The harmful ones were then excluded and a finished product was formulated with the harmless ingredients and tested on coral once more. Intact.

We also had the finished product tested on sea urchins and clams. It left these intact too.

The testing was done by the same scientists who first discovered the problem sunscreens posed to coral and published their seminal study in 2008. (Upon reading this, our founder decided something had to be done and started Aethic- You can download the PDF here

On behalf of corals and marine life worldwide, thank you for your protecting your skin with Aethic’s products.

If you wish to have more detailed information about reef protection, save the ocean, the skin care industry, environmentally friendly sunscreen and face cream :  please visit this site.



The ingredients in our patented formula.

Aqua, Cera Alba, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Olea Europaea Fruit Oil, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Methylene bis-benzotriazolyl tetramethylbutylphenol (nano), Hydroxyethylcellulose, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Potassium Sorbate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Sorbic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Lavandula Hybrida,  Abrialis Oil, Parfum, Limonene, Linalool, Edta.

“There is growing consumer concern that words like biodegradable, reef safe, eco-friendly, natural, mineral or organic could just be bluewash. We urge all sunscreens producers making or implying eco-claims to substantiate them for their final finished formula. Consumers today deserve scientific proof; true, relevant, eco-compatibility test results published and peer-reviewed by reputable marine scientists”


Aethic Founder & CEO Allard Marx

  • The Need for Scientific Proof in the Eco -Unregulated Beauty & Wellness Industry
  • Amidst No Regulations and Standards :
  • The need for change
  • Scientific Validation: Aethic’s sunscreen patent upheld!
  • The Proof