Are Sunscreens Harming the Oceans?

Yes, they are! But not all of them, at least on a significant level. Considering cosmetics are one of the most unregulated industries out there, the danger has been hiding in plain sight all these years. From an early age, we’ve been taught by our parents, especially at the beach, to use as much sunscreen as possible to protect ourselves against the dangers of UV rays. Little did everyone know that by going in the water, we were harming a whole ecosystem. The irony is, by harming the corals and fish, we end up harming ourselves in the long run through consumption! 

Now, it’s not like we should just start investing in parasols, not all sunscreens are made with the evil formula that is confirmed to damage the seven seas.


Oxybenzone and Octinoxate 

The real villains of UV filters. Oxybenzone has been banned in a few countries and states in the US, being the one you should be looking out for, as it’s the main perpetrator when it comes to the intoxication of corals, plants, algae, fish, and other marine life. Naturally, in order to protect ourselves and the planet, we want to buy “reef safe” sunscreens. The bad news is that this concept is mainly based on the absence of these particular chemicals because the best solution is still unclear.


So what’s the best current approach? 

We concluded that we’re still dwelling on a pretty grey area. Fair enough. That being said, the best thing we can do for now is to cover our grounds with everything within our reach: 

  • Get yourself a nice beach umbrella and seek shade during the periods of the day that have higher UV levels (10 am - 12 pm). Unless you’re planning to work heavily on your tan, it is much more pleasant to enjoy the sun in the early morning or late afternoon. 
  • Wear sun protective clothing: t-shirts, hats, and swimwear that offers UV protection! I also didn’t know about it but it’s a thing now, so why not make use of this scientific-fashion breakthrough?
  • Limit the usage of “reef-friendly” sunscreen on the parts of the skins that you know will be exposed.

The good news is scientists continue their research on the matter, trying to find out the most balanced solution. Taking into account the increasing worldwide temperatures, it’s extremely important to keep on tackling this issue. If you’d like to know more about this subject, check out what our friends over at suntribesunscreen have to say and offer, you won’t regret it! 

Stay tuned and see you next week!