Practice Safe Sun
July is National UV Safety Month, and living in Hawai`i we all know the importance of using sunscreen to protect our skin. But have you thought about using sunscreen to protect our coral reefs?
Many sunscreen products use oxybenzone and octinoxate that are excellent for blocking harmful UV rays. But as you swim, those chemicals react with the water and can cause coral bleaching, a process that kills our coral and marine life.
Last year, Governor Ige signed into law a ban against sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate, which takes effect January 1, 2021. This historic law got worldwide attention as it set a new standard in UV protection for everyone who enjoys having fun in the sun.
Sunscreen companies have a few more years to improve their formulas to comply with the new law. But in the meantime, there are already reef safe products in stores today. Some of them are even made here in Hawai`i such as:
Kokua Sun Care Hawaiian, SPF 50 Natural Zinc Sunscreen
Little Hands Hawaii, SPF 35+ All-natural and Organic Sunscreen
Mama Kuleana Waterproof, SPF 30 Reef-safe Sunscreen
Raw Love, SPF 35 All-natural Mineral Sunscreen
If you can’t find these brands in your store, look for sunscreens such as Ocean Potion that have low to no amounts of:
As with all of Hawai`i’s natural resources, our reefs are precious and must be treated with respect. If we all work together and do our part, it will be around for generations to enjoy!