If you wonder what is a reef-safe sunscreen and why is it imortant, read our article about the impact of these products on our environment.

When we swim or shower, sunscreens wash off and enter our waterways. These cosmetic creams and lotions made to protect our skin from UV rays can be harmful for other living beings. When they contain certain chemicals (such as oxybenzone) or nano size particles they pollute our oceans, sea and waterways and damage the creatures living there.

Useful tips on how to you protect yourself and our planet at the same time:

  1. Shadebetween 10 am till 2 pm seek shady spots or bring an umbrella /a beach tent to create your own shade.
  2. Put the SPF in your outfit – wear hats, shirts, and other clothes with UV protection. This will reduce the amount of sunscreen you need by up to 90 percent!
  3. Skip the spray – vaporizers cause much of our sunscreen to fall to the sand/soil, where it is easily washed into the sea.
  4. Check the ingredients – reef-safe sunscreens are free of chemical pollutants and nano size particles. Choose mineral-based sunblocks (zinc oxide or titanium dioxide). Some brands are formulated for water sports so they are very water resistant with no water-soluble fillers (H2O, Aloe, Alcohols).
Infographic on sunscreen chemicals and marine life taken from NOAA website

What to avoid in cosmetic products?

This is a list of pollutants* to avoid in everyday life. You can make a positive impact on our environment not buying products that contain these harmful substances.

  • Any form of microplastic sphere or beads.
  • Any nanoparticles like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
  • Oxybenzone, Octocrylene, Octinoxate
  • Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate
  • Parabens (Methyl Paraben, Ethyl Paraben, Propyl Paraben, Butyl Paraben, Benzyl Paraben)
  • Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA)
  • Triclosan
  • 4-methylbenzylidene camphor

* Chemicals that endanger Earth’s ecosystems (freshwater streams, river, beaches, and ocean systems) and wildlife (e.g., corals, fish, birds, marine mammals, sea turtles) made by Haereticus Environmental Lab – a non-profit, scientific organization.

If you want to find out more about this very important topic, please take a look at these websites:

http://haereticus-lab.org/protect-land-sea-certification/

https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/news/sunscreen-corals.html

https://bantoxicsunscreens.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/eco-friendly-reef-safe-sunscreen-guide-ban-toxic-sunscreens-web2.pdf

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/features/sunscreen-destroying-coral-reefs-alternatives-travel-spd/

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