Consumers are becoming ever more aware about the impact that purchasing choices can have on the environment and our own health.
Maybe that's why more and more sunblock companies are claiming their products to be "natural sunscreen" or "dermatologist-approved."
Still, others blare out their use of exotic, super-food ingredients like green tea or beeswax and claim to be "mineral-based sunscreens".
This can all be a bit overwhelming and confusing…
What do any of these buzzwords actually mean? Are they actually helping to protect the oceans and the reefs?
And if they are, what criteria do I need to look out for before purchasing my next sunscreen?
In other words, it's important to know what makes a sunscreen truly environmentally friendly and "reef-safe", especially because more than 14,000 tons of sunscreen product reach and damage our coral reefs each year.
What's Important About Reef-Safe Sunscreen?
Coral reefs are beautiful to look at while snorkeling or diving, they hold up an incredible underwater ecosystem of explosive biodiversity, and their very existence defends our coastlines against the worst effects of storms and hurricanes.
However, climate change and human impact (like overfishing and chemical runoff from agriculture) are accelerating coral bleaching and death.
To avoid making this situation any worse and to make fun times at the beach sustainable, it’s important to ensure that the sunscreen you use doesn’t contain any of the harmful ingredients listed below.
Almost all of these chemicals are just as damaging to human health as they are to marine life health, showing that conscious sunscreen application is as vital for your own body as it is for the environment.
So...What Makes Sunscreen Reef and Ocean Friendly (or not)?
The Bad and Toxic Sunscreen Ingredients...or "The Awful Eight"
NO to Chemical Suncreens & the Awful Eight
Most chemical sunscreens have one or more of the following active ingredients that are toxic to our coral reefs and marine ecosystems:
- 1. Oxybenzone
- 2. Octinoxate
- 3. Octocrylene
- 4. PABA (Aminobenzoic Acid)
- 5. Enzacamene
- 6. Octisalate
- 7. Homosalate
- 8. Avobenzone
NO to Toxic Preservatives and Additives
Parabens, Pthalates, Triclosan, Microbeads (plastic)
YES to Zinc Oxide:
Non Nanoparticle Zinc Oxide offers the most effective UVA/UVB broad spectrum sun protection in the world. The key word here is Non-NANO. Nano sized particles of zinc or titanium dioxide are microscopic, can be consumed or absorbed by marine life and disruptive to reef growth processes.
YES to 3rd Party Testing:
As you are aware, loose regulations allow many companies to claim their products as 'green' or 'eco-friendly' but those claims tend to fall apart under testing. If they claim green, ask them to show verification by a third party laboratory.
Together, we can go #ReefFriendly
What’s good for coral reefs is also what’s good for our bodies.
Take care of yourself and the environment by buying reef-friendly sunscreen lotion and cosmetic products, like the ones here at All Good Products. Whether you're looking for reef-friendly lip balm or body butter, sport sunscree,n or sunscreen for the beach, it's All Good. We've got you and your commitment to our precious coral reefs covered!