The Effects of Chemical Sunscreens on our Coral Reefs

Posted: Monday, April 15, 2019

With summer fast approaching, many of us are already looking forward to spending days on the beach and getting in some much-needed vitamin D. But before you buy your sunscreen for the summer, we wanted to give you the lowdown on sunscreen ingredients and ocean health.

Recent studies have found that sunscreen chemicals in many popular sun care products actually hurt corals. In fact, over the past three years, one-fifth of the world’s coral reefs have died off. Sunscreen is playing a roll and the main chemical culprits are oxybenzone and octinoxate, which convert sunburn-causing UV rays into harmless heat on human skin. But once these chemicals are in the water, they actually decrease corals’ defenses against bleaching, damaging their DNA and hurting their development.

To protect Hawaii’s precious coral ecosystems, the state’s lawmakers passed a bill in May 2018 that prohibits the sale and distribution of sunscreen containing oxybenzone and octinoxate. Even if you aren’t on the beach in Hawaii you can still make a difference. By putting our awareness into action, we can make different choices that lessen our impact on the ocean.

1. You’ve taken the first step – becoming informed

2. Choose mineral sunscreens, especially lotions with non-nano  particles

3. Look for reef safe sunscreens, that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide

4. Look for broad-spectrum products, so you gain protection from both UVA and UVB rays

5. Avoid aerosol sunscreen

6. If you can, apply less personal care products before you go swimming

Here at Raining Rose, we are doing our part by offering an entire line of mineral sunscreen products that are all reef safe. The main ingredient in our mineral sunscreen is zinc oxide that offers broad-spectrum coverage, reflecting UVA and UVB rays.

Take time to care for the ocean while you enjoy carefree time on the beach and in the ocean by using our reef safe mineral sunscreens.

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