All the Reasons Why You Need to Switch to a Reef-Safe Sunscreen this Summer
July is here with its promise of fun in the sun, long beach days and refreshing jumps in the ocean. Some of you may be even lucky enough to snorkel on the reef with colorful fish!
It all sounds so lovely, until you realize that most of us are hurting the ocean and ecosystem when having the perfect beach day.
How? Well did you know that the common sunscreen we rub on each other's back to protect our skin from the sun is actually hurting life underwater...
What? Sunscreens are unsafe for the ocean? 😱
Most sunscreens have chemicals that are threatening the reef and life underwater and millions of people have been using them for years...
The good news?
You don't have to choose between your health and the health of the ocean. You can still protect your skin, jump in the ocean, be kind to the reef and be even kinder to your body. Yes - you CAN have it all!
How? Simply choose a reef-safe sunscreen. The good news is that many brands have now developed eco-friendly formulas that do not hurt life underwater.
What is really happening with regular sunscreen?
You may have heard that global warming is causing the ocean temperature to rise. The warmer water causes the coral reefs to bleach and weaken. If the water gets a couple degrees warmer it causes corals to die. --> Read more here.
Common UV-filtering chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinoxate that are found in over 3,500 commercialized sunscreens are also a cause of coral destruction. The chemicals nestle in the coral reef and the reef absorb all the bad chemicals, putting it is a critical state and letting them die.
Did you know? One drop of sunscreen contaminates a football size area in the ocean!
Oxybenzone and octinoxate are chemicals that also allow viruses to develop, increasing infections for marine life.
Remember, if the sun screen has oxybenzone or octinoxate, say NO and look for alternatives.
Regular sunscreens are very harmful for marine life. Sea Turtles, among others, are sensitive to these chemicals. Not only does their skin absorb the chemicals but it can cause rashes on their body. They have even found oxybenzone in sea turtle eggs and in the fish we eat...
What can you do?
✅ Switch to a reef-safe sunscreen with no oxybenzone and octinoxate in the ingredients.
✅ Choose a mineral sunscreen instead of a chemical one.
Mineral sunscreen will most often use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide which is biodegradable and ocean safe! Mineral sunscreens work in a different way than chemical ones. They don't penetrate your skin as chemical sunscreen do. They 'sit' on top of your skin working as a shield and reflecting UV rays away from your body. Which means no harmful chemicals in your body and better protection!
As consumers we have the opportunity to make a positive impact. Take this into consideration when you go buy your sunscreen this summer and help spread the word!
Thank you for helping us save the sea turtles and the ocean. 🌊
We wish you a wonderful, fun and safe Summer. ☀️