Laboratory research has shown that a widely used sunscreen ingredient, oxybenzone, harms coral. The findings are now taking on a new urgency as climate change weakens the resilience of reefs worldwide. — News Deeply, 2017.
No, this blog is not sponsored by any skincare company, just doing my part to help put the word out about sunscreen and the impact that most have on our coral reefs.
On a recent trip to Hawaii, we learned much more about the impact of the chemical used in most sunscreens, oxybenzone, and how it is contributing to the death of coral reefs. It’s gotten to the point that Hawaii is exploring a ban on “reef un-friendly” sunscreens in order to address the problem. Without getting too science on folks, here are a few articles that talk a bit about about the studies and the science.
- Your sunscreen may be killing coral reefs (Fast Company, 2017)
- Scientists Probe Role of Sunscreen in Accelerating Coral-Reef Decline (News Deeply, 2017)
- Sunscreen Chemical Threatens Coral Reefs (National Ocean Service, 2o14)
Okay, so now that you know what is bad, what is a better alternative?
Basically any sunscreens made with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide AKA “mineral sunscreens” are what you want to use when you are headed to the ocean. We landed on Australian Gold SPF 50, a little more expensive, but you will be able to tell the difference right away . . . and it smells good.