It’s quite simple. Harmful chemicals in chemical sunscreen are bleaching and killing the coral reefs. Yes, there are other contributors (i.e. global warming, pollution, harvesting), but the use of chemical sunscreen is one of the only factors that the average person has a direct hand in.
We would never suggest that you go to the beach without sunscreen! Sun protection is incredibly important — but there is a better option. Mineral sunscreens are a great alternative that protect your skin from harmful UV rays without the harsh chemicals in traditional sunscreen products. Just some of the harmful chemicals that can be found in drug store sunscreens are: Oxybenzone, Octisalate and Octinoxate.
More than 3,500 sunscreen products worldwide contain the chemical oxybenzone. This chemical, in even the smallest concentrations, is damaging to the ocean’s coral reefs. This is important to ALL of us because coral reefs contain some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, they protect coastlines, provide oxygen, provide substances for life-saving medicines, and economically support communities through tourism.
Not only is it important to wear mineral sunscreen at the beach, in the ocean and on snorkeling excursions where you’re up close and personal with coral reefs and marine life, but it’s just as important to be using reef-safe sunscreen when you visit your neighborhood swimming pool, when you take a walk in the park or spend a day on the lake. Eventually, sunscreen is washed off and ends up down the drain, making its way to rivers, lakes, and the ocean. And as we know, thanks to Finding Nemo, “All drains lead to the ocean, kid."
Making the switch to mineral sunscreen is easy. Check the active ingredients on the back of your sunscreen bottle. If the active ingredients are Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide (or both!), you're all set! If your sunscreen contains Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, or any other hard-to-pronounce chemicals, your sunscreen is harmful to corals and marine life.
Still not convinced? We created an infographic with 5 reasons why you should make the switch to mineral sunscreen today. Find it below & share with your friends!