Sunscreen and Coral reefs Imagine yourself on a beautiful beach. You can hear the water, smell the ocean, and feel the warmth of the sun in your face… wait a minute! The sun! That surely must remind you of the many times you’ve got sunburns because you forgot the number ONE thing for a trip […]
Sunscreen and Coral reefs
Imagine yourself on a beautiful beach.
You can hear the water, smell the ocean, and feel the warmth of the sun in your face… wait a minute! The sun! That surely must remind you of the many times you’ve got sunburns because you forgot the number ONE thing for a trip to the beach: Sunscreen!
As you most probably already know, sunscreen is a great way to protect your skin from the sun but did you know that your use of sunscreen is definitely not protective for coral reefs!
You might have heard all the talk about how we need to protect our environment, coral reefs, animals etc., but did you know that your use of sunscreen (along with many other people’s use) results in an approximate amount of 14000 tons of sunscreen in the ocean yearly! The chemical, oxybenzone is used in most sunscreens, as it protects our skin from UV light, but this exact chemical makes a serious threat to coral reefs as it is damaging coral DNA, and this can happen even with low amounts of the chemical in the ocean!
Another miserable reality is that the sunscreen is actually not “only” harmful to the coral reef, it is also harming fish, as it can decrease their fertility. Apart from that, oxybenzone has also been shown to increase coral bleaching, which means that the corals get a white color, and this can finally cause death of the coral reef.
What to do about it?
There are many ways in which you can make a difference for the coral reefs and fish. The most obvious way is to stop using sunscreen! Nevertheless, this option might not be a good idea for you, if you really want to stay in the sun, and at the same time protect your skin! But do not worry, there are other options!
You can for example start to check the ingredients lists in the sunscreens before purchasing – if you see it containing oxybenzone, you should really avoid that one! Also, there are other options of sunscreens that in general contain less harmful chemicals. The Badger SPF 35 Sport Sunscreen is a good example, as it do not contain any oxybenzone or other chemicals that are harsh to the environment. As an extra pro, the tube of this sunscreen is actually recyclable ( Buy it in France | Buy it in Germany | Buy it in UK | Buy it in US).
Other sunscreens can be Suntribe sunscreen ( Buy it in France | Buy it in Germany | Buy it in UK ) New Layer sunscreen ( Buy it in France | Buy it in Germany | Buy it in UK ) and WOTNOT sunscreen (Buy it in the US) , which are all safer for the coral reefs. The good thing about these sunscreens is that they protect your skin without harming the coral reefs!
Finally, what you should really consider doing, is to let other people know about the harmful consequences of sunscreen, and then help others in how to help the coral reefs and fish. This should be a priority, so we together can help save our environment, and at the same time protect our skin from the sun.