Most everyone knows by now that applying sunscreen before any amount of sun exposure is essential for your skin’s health (we know Holly does, see her earlier post!) What you might not know is that those same sunscreens that are protecting our skin from UV rays are harming the ocean’s coral reef system.
It’s been estimated that up to 6,000 tons of sunscreen are released into reef areas every year. The chemicals make the coral stressed and force out algae and other organisms that call it home, causing it to become bleached. Additionally, because most sunscreen is petroleum-based, it doesn’t biodegrade. Seeing as coral reefs are one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the world (and with potential health benefits), they’re worth saving.
I know what you're thinking: I just got into the habit of wearing sunscreen, and now they're trying to tell me I shouldn't? I thought it too. Fortunately, there's another option.
Reef Safe Suncare by Beach Buff, the world’s first truly biodegradable sunscreen, is non-toxic to sea life. Not only is it safer, but also less of it comes off in the water, further decreasing the impact on the delicate coral reefs.
Still not convinced? Take the advice of some experts in sun protection! The lifeguards patrolling the shores of Daytona Beach, Florida, announced last month that they’re slathering themselves with Reef Safe this summer.
For more information on these products or to order a bottle for your family, visit tropicalseas.com or reefsafesuncare.com
-Perry Del Favero, Editorial Intern