Why You Should Care About Reef Safe Shampoo Too!

Many people are making the shift to reef safe and biodegradable sunscreens, but how many people are concerned about shampoo and the other products you use in your bathroom everyday (or on a boat, at the campsite, or when travelling)?  It may seem like choosing a biodegradable Reef-Safer™ shampoo should be a no-brainer. After all, how much damage can a cleanser cause? Turns out it can be a lot, as our first shampoo, formulated to the toughest standards for human safety, killed a tank full of fish when we tested it for aquatic safety.



According to Autumn Blum, an award-winning cosmetic chemist and our founder, it was actually harder to make a shampoo that would pass our aquatic safety standards than it was to make a reef safe sunscreen.


Our initial failure inspired us to create what is still the only sunscreen in the world that’s been tested and proven safe for fish and vulnerable coral larva – and we did finally create a shampoo that doesn’t kill fish.


The ingredients that makes most shampoos – including baby shampoos – sudsy is also the same stuff that kills fish, usually sodium laurel sulfate aka Sodium Alkyl Sulfates or one of its multiple derivatives.  They are used in laundry powders and are widely used in shampoos, cosmetics and even toothpaste!  Other ingredients to be aware of are preservatives parabens and other harsh surfactants like DEAs and MIPAs. 


Those suds are great cleansers (you’ll also find them in laundry detergent and car washes) but in addition to being harmful to the environment, they also strip your hair of natural lipids that protect its outer layer from damage. Without that protective layer, your hair is easily damaged, particularly if you’re an adventurer who spends time outdoors in sun, snow or water.


Now that you know how damaging those suds can be for your hair and the oceans we love, you’re probably wondering just how important those bubbles are. And while Stream2Sea’s Conditioning Shampoo and Bodywash may not be as bubbly as other brands, it outshines them when it comes to performance!


Don’t believe us? Check out some of the reviews posted at Conditioning Shampoo & Bodywash – Stream2Sea Europe


  • This body wash and conditioner is the ONLY thing I trust and use; I’m in the ocean a lot, and before Stream2Sea came around, my hair took a beating. Now, my hair looks and feels hydrated. And I can feel good about my hair and skin products not hurting the reef. 

  • I love this shampoo. I have bought all kinds of shampoo from cheap to expensive and none compare to Stream2Sea. This will be my new shampoo from now on. 

    – Evangelina L.
  • I was first introduced to the Stream2Sea shampoo and body wash on the Turk & Caicos Aggressor liveaboard. They had it right there beside the deck showers, so it was conveniently located to use after rinsing. It left my fine hair soft and clean, no conditioner needed!

    – Chrissy B.
  • We travel the world by sailing, so it’s comforting to know that the items we use on the boat and on our bodies when submerged in the water don’t harm marine life. I wasn’t sure at first how anything made for hair and body would work because I have long, wavy hair. I expected my hair to be a complete disaster, but it wasn’t.

    – Elaine


And this is all before we start telling you how amazing it is as a bodywash.


This was better than I expected! I have dry, sensitive skin and this product didn’t cause any issues. And my skin didn’t feel dry after using. Very satisfied. And it’s safe for the fish!


I love this product!!! It saves me time in the shower, smells and works great. My skin feels fresh, clean and balanced after a shower. And it works great as a shampoo! My hair is soft and silky with no residue and it doesn’t dry it out.


I’m amazed! I’ve always avoided body washes because I didn’t want to create more plastic waste, but when this started dripping off my head and down my arms, I was hooked. I won’t be giving up lotion, but it’s amazing for my dry skin and my hair has never looked better! 


And one more important point about choosing the shampoo and bodywash that’s good for your skin and our oceans: Surfactants are not typically captured in wastewater treatment plants, so what you use in your shower at home ends up in the nearest waterbody that ultimately empties into an ocean. All streams lead to the sea!


P.S. – The same goes for most mask defoggers, particularly if you’re still using baby shampoo. Even “gentle” shampoo contains ingredients that can be toxic in an aquatic ecosystem. Check out our Reef-Safer™ Sea Clearly Reef Friendly Mask Defog – Stream2Sea Europe Review – it’s not only better for our ocean, it’s a better mask defog!

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