By Ashley Anderson
Did you know that your sunscreen could be making a direct impact on the health of the oceans? With spring breakers on the beaches and summertime on the horizon here in sunny Florida, choosing the best sunscreen is important. Many factors come into play when choosing a sunscreen, such as spray or lotion, brand name, skin sensitivity, tanning production, and – now – determining if it is reef-safe and ocean-friendly.
Do You Know What is in Your Sunscreen?
Some sunscreens contain ingredients that may damage ocean reefs. Before your next sunscreen purchase, take some time and read the ingredients on the back of the bottle.
Knowing what is inside your products is the best option for making an informed decision for your own health as well as that of the oceans. Many sunscreens are a primary source in aiding ocean toxicity, which causes coral reef bleaching.
In fact, Hawaii is the first state to ban the sale of sunscreen containing oxybenzone and octinoxate, which are both chemicals that harm coral. The law went into effect at the start of 2021.
When looking at sunscreens, please remember “reef-safe” and “reef-friendly” terms on labels are unregulated and so may not be what you expect. Please check for harmful ingredients on the label for yourself.
Ingredients to avoid in sunscreen:
- Avobenzone, related to benzophenone
- 4-methylbenzylidene camphor
- Microplastics, such as “exfoliating beads”
- Octinoxate, or Octyl methoxycinnamate
- Oxybenzone, or benzophenone-3
It is not easy to remember every ingredient you should avoid, so here are a few eco-conscious sunscreen brands that you may want to check out further.
- Kokua Sun Care – natural zinc sunscreen
- Raw Love — mineral sunscreen
- Bare Republic – mineral sunscreen
- Raw Elements – natural zinc sunscreen
- All Good – zinc sunscreen
- Thinksport — mineral sunscreen
- Badger – mineral sunscreen
- Stream2Sea – mineral sunscreen
Simple Choices Create Great Change:
Who knew choosing sunscreen could have such an effect on our oceans? Sea turtles and hundreds of other marine animals call coral reefs home. Coral reef health is vital to the ocean’s chances of survival. By making a simple choice to use ocean-safe sunscreen, you are making a positive change and helping to protect the oceans and the planet. Enjoy the summer with peace of mind knowing that your body is healthy, the oceans are healthier, and you made a difference.