The weather is finally starting to warm up, and that means it's almost time for long relaxing swims in the pool, breathtaking sunset strolls, and those long-awaited weekend surf sessions.
And it goes without saying that more frequent trips outdoors calls for sun protection like sunglasses, sun cover-ups, hats, shirts, your favorite extra-long boardshorts, beach umbrellas, and of course, sunblock.
But while we love spending time in the sun slathered in our coconut-scented SPF, we should also be mindful about what exactly we're putting on our bodies, and into the environment.
Traditional sunscreens have been found to be seriously harmful to our oceans and coral reefs, resulting in things like coral bleaching and other forms of irreversible environmental destruction.
This issue has made researchers and eco-friendly companies more conscious of the need for ocean-friendly sunscreen, and reef-safe options are now widely available in all places where sunscreen can be purchased.
In this blog post, we'll be discussing the importance of switching to eco-friendly reef-safe sunscreen and the benefits it has for both you and the environment.
Reef-Safe Sunscreens Protect Our Ocean Life
A variety of chemical compounds such as octinoxate, oxybenzone, and avobenzone are fundamental components of traditional sunscreens. When you enter the ocean with these compounds on your skin, they can leech into the water and can offset the balance of our ocean's ecosystems.
According to the Hawaii National Park Service, approximately 4,000 to 6,000 tons of sunscreen wash off swimmers into ocean waters around the world!
These chemicals can cause coral bleaching, harm marine life, and damage important ocean ecosystems that we rely on for survival.
Reef-safe sunscreen, on the other hand, primarily contains natural ingredients, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are chemicals that breakdown in the environment without harming the reefs and other marine life.
Not only does reef-safe sunscreen protect our environment, but it's a much safer alternative for everyone!
Eco-Friendly Sunscreen is Skin-Safe
Not only are these reef-safe sunscreens beneficial to our oceans, but they're also better for you!
Eco-friendly sunscreens contain natural ingredients that won't harm your skin. They provide the same type of sun protection against harmful UV rays from your head to toes, without the adverse effects of chemicals present in traditional sunscreens.
It's especially nice for water-lovers with sensitive skin, since reef-safe sunscreen is much more natural and therefore less likely to cause irritation and allergies.
And if you're headed to Hawaii anytime soon, don't worry about struggling to find reef-friendly sunblock, Because as of 2018, Hawaii has permanently banned the sale of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate, which are the main chemicals in sunblock that have been shown to cause damage to marine life.
This makes reef-safe sunscreen an easy improvement to your sun protection routine, and a win-win situation for both yourself and the planet.
It's the Smart and Responsible Choice
Every single decision we make has an impact on our planet. So when you head outside to enjoy all that nature has to offer, give a little back by choosing to use only eco-friendly reef-safe sunscreen.
Plus, it has good benefits in the short and long term. By purchasing reef-safe sunscreen, you're also help to reduce our carbon footprint, support businesses with eco-friendly values, and contribute to the long-term sustainability of our lifestyle. (And we think that's a pretty cool thing.)
Make no mistake-- small changes can make all the difference! By making an informed choice, we can not only protect ourselves, but we can also protect the world we live in for years to come.
Time to Make a Change
It's our responsibility to take care of our planet for ourselves, and for future generations. You can easily do your part by being aware of the ingredients in your sunscreens and other products, and choosing eco-friendly, reef-safe options from reputable brands.
Or if you want to use even less sunscreen and protect yourself from UV rays without using chemicals, consider opting for a premium pair of longer boardies or a stylish sunshirt.
Let's make this summer about protecting our oceans, our environments, and our skin. By making the switch today, we can create a better tomorrow.