When you put on sun screen for a day of outdoor fun, coral reefs are probably the last thing on your mind. But new studies show that chemicals found in sunscreen can have a seriously harmful effect on the ocean’s ecosystems – and that’s bad news for everyone. Fortunately, not all sunscreen is created equal; by being conscientious about your choices, you can keep yourself protected from the sun’s rays without putting the ocean at risk.
Coral reefs are an important part of the ocean’s ecosystem, serving as the home for many species of fish and other wildlife. It’s been discovered that the chemical oxybenzone – an active ingredient in many commercial sunscreens – is responsible for damaging the reef by leeching nutrients from it and making it vulnerable to other sources of damage.
It’s estimated that about 14,000 tons of sunscreen ends up in the world’s oceans, much of it settling into the reefs. That is a lot of sunscreen! And even if you’re not living near the ocean or lazing near the beach, your sunscreen may someday find its way to the sea as well – which is why protecting the reefs is everyone’s responsibility.
The good news is that not all sunscreen relies on oxybenzone. There are other active ingredients that are just as effective at blocking the sun’s dangerous rays while posing no known threat to the ocean.
Hale Cosmeceuticals produces sunscreen made with titanium dioxide – a natural chemical that physically blocks the sun’s rays without exposing you and the environment to irritating synthetic chemicals. In addition to being reef-safe, it’s also 100% vegan and cruelty-free, so you don’t have to worry about harming the environment in any way while you protect yourself against the sun!