Not all sunscreens are created equal. Here are the latest eco-savy skin protectors to keep you and our reeds safer under the sun.
Stretching more than 1,200 miles in the Central Pacific Hawaii`s coral reefs account for about 85% percent of all coral reefs in the United States.
It’s one of Hawai‘i’s many natural treasures—and one that’s dwindling in part because of all the sunscreen that beachgoers bring into the water each day.
Chemicals in sunscreen—specifically oxybenzone and octinoxate—from snorkelers, divers and beachgoers can easily wash off in the water, especially in places like Hawai‘i where snorkeling is common. These harmful sunscreen ingredients can stunt the growth of baby coral, cause coral bleaching and threaten marine life. The good news is you can still protect yourself from the sun with coral- and reef-safe SPFs that deliver UV protection without hurting the environment.
If you’re lost on where to even begin when it comes to screening coral-safe SPFs, here are three ground rules to guide you: 1. Avoid oxybenzone (the most common compound found in sunscreens) and octinoxate. 2. Look for sunscreens with the simplest formulas. Basically, the simpler the formula, the better. 3. Choose an SPF lotion or cream over a spray. Sprays are more likely to stick to the sand than your skin, which can lead to chemical-covered sand being carried out into the ocean and contaminating water and wildlife.