Remember years ago when the media focused on the damage caused by humans to the coral reefs? Where did that attention go?
Luckily for the reefs, Hawaii still thinks about them. Hawaii has implemented the world’s first ban on sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate, chemicals found in most sunscreen brands. Unfortunately, this law isn’t in effect until January 2021.
Essentially, these two chemicals, when washed off beachgoers or otherwise enter the ocean, are bleaching the coral and breaking down the reefs. Oxybenzone and octinoxate have been detected in waters all over the world. According to the National Oceanic and Atomospheric Admin., scientists found that 56% of the Big Island’s coral was bleached, 44% of West Maui’s corals, and 32% of Oahu’s reefs.
Well how am I supposed to protect myself from the sun? According to the American Academy of Dermatology, a chemical sunscreen protects the skin by absorbing the sun’s rays. Physical sunscreens (without oxybenzone and octinoxate) deflect the sun’s rays and contain titanium dioxide or zinc.
There are PLENTY!!! Of sunscreens WITHOUT these chemicals. Here are some popular ones below.