Reef-friendly Sunscreens: What Are They & Why Are They Important

The colourful and lively coral reefs comprise a major part of the vibrant marine life. However, the marine ecosystem often gets impacted by the chemicals present in traditional sunscreens. A new type of sunscreen has emerged as a solution to protect the marine environment while protecting our skin. So, let’s delve deeper into reef-friendly sunscreens and know how they help in environment preservation.

What Is A Reef-Friendly Sunscreen?

The question, what are reef-friendly sunscreens, is new to many. These sunscreens are formulated with non-toxic ingredients that do not harm coral reefs or marine life. Since there is no legal definition for what is reef-safe, brands and environmentalists define it in their own ways. The most widely accepted formula for reef sunscreens includes using mineral UV filters instead of chemical filters. 

Oxybenzone and octinoxate are considered immensely harmful to coral reefs. Therefore, a sunscreen that does not contain the above two ingredients is said to be reef-safe.

How Does Sunscreen Impact Coral Reefs?

A vital part of our underwater ecosystem is coral reefs. We all know the importance of sun protection creams to safeguard our skin. However, certain sunscreen ingredients are responsible for bleaching and killing coral reefs. They can also impact other aquatic plants and animals. Therefore, one must understand the environmental impacts before using certain products like sunscreen.

Reef-Safe Sunscreen Importance 

The ‘rainforests of the sea’ or coral reefs not only enhance the beauty of oceans but also are vital for our planet's health. Besides protecting the vast number of marine species and protecting them, it also prevents the coastlines from erosion. They also help produce more oxygen, absorb carbon dioxide, thereby preserving the global ecosystem. 

Climate change, ocean pollution, and overcrowding of the tourist spots have put immense pressure on coral reefs. Besides, the ingredients of traditional sunscreens further contribute to its decline. Therefore the importance of reef-friendly sunscreens must not be underestimated. We can contribute to preserving the fragile ecosystem by switching to eco-friendly sunscreens for coral reefs

Reef-Safe Sunscreen Benefits 

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  • Exposure to excess UV radiation is one of the major causes of skin cancer. Being sun smart is an excellent way to reduce the risk. However, not all sunscreens offer equal benefits. Besides, the majority of the products contain chemical filters. The long-term use of such ingredients can impact human health. One of the most significant benefits of using reef-safe sunscreens includes the presence of mineral filters. They offer immediate protection and do not lose their effectiveness easily. 

  • Reef-safe sunscreens are usually free from harmful ingredients like parabens, benzophenones, etc. The presence of zinc oxide makes the product even more effective for your skin. Reef-safe sunscreen ingredients heal wounds, protect from sunburns, and help with chapped skin. The mineral sunscreens possess nourishing oils that enhance your skin’s response to UV exposure. 
  • The harmful effects of chemical sunscreens on coral reefs are not hidden. The solution is extremely simple - switching to the best reef-friendly sunscreens. Remember to see the label and opt for products and brands prioritising titanium dioxide and zinc oxide filters. It will limit the wash-off of toxic chemicals into the seas and oceans, besides protecting your skin.
  • A solid reef-safe sunscreen better protects your skin and lasts longer. Their chemical-free nature safeguards your skin from several skin conditions too. So you get the best long-term value for money upon reef-safe sunscreens. Choosing environmentally-friendly sun protection is not only an investment for your skin but also for the fragile marine eco life.

Wrap Up

Takeaway -

  • Reef-safe sunscreens are formulated with non-toxic ingredients that do not harm coral reefs or marine life.
  • Reef-safe sunscreens use mineral UV filters instead of chemical filters.
  • Choosing reef-safe sunscreens helps protect your skin and supports coral reef conservation.

Reef-friendly sunscreens are an excellent option to mitigate the damages caused by traditional SPFs. Since you have understood the relation between coral reef conservation and sunscreens, it’s time to invest in a few. By choosing them, you will ensure your own protection as well as of the oceans. 

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Explore more reef-safe sunscreens here.