For years we hadn’t thought about a simple thing like sunscreen and what effect it had on the ocean. Surely the companies who make them know what they are doing, right?
There is an enormous focus on protecting our skin from the sun and we should cover our bodies as much as we can in sunscreen. But as soon as we step into the water, what happens then?
Not only do many of the sunscreens have harmful chemicals in them for us humans, but what they are doing to the coral reef is heartbreaking.
“When you swim with sunscreen on, chemicals like oxybenzone can seep into the water, where they’re absorbed by corals. These substances can disrupt coral’s reproduction and growth cycles, ultimately leading to bleaching. Each year, about 14,000 tons of sunscreen end up in our oceans.” – National Geografic
What can we do?
Thankfully, Hawaii is banning sunscreen containing oxybenzone and octinoxate (and other harmful ingredients) and there are more companies who offer us a safer way to protect our skin against sunburns. Some places even require you to use biodegradable sunscreen. Perfect!
Here is a list of companies who are doing a great job protecting both us and the sea life.
Note: Sunscreens with “non-nano” size particles are safer because they can’t be ingested by corals.
Here you can read a lot more about what sunscreen is doing to our oceans and lists on what chemicals to look out for in your sunscreen: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/features/sunscreen-destroying-coral-reefs-alternatives-travel-spd/