Avoid Sunscreens That Damage Coral Reefs

April 23, 2018

© Kemaltaner | Dreamstime

Over the past few years there has been growing concern that chemicals used in our sunscreens are causing coral reefs across the world to die. More research is confirming that two ingredients in most sunscreens are indeed causing significant damage. Oxybenzone and octinoxate, which absorb harmful UV rays as well as parabens, which are used a preservatives, are the main culprits.  Thankfully there are alternatives that work in protecting your skin from the sun's damaging rays without damaging coral reefs.  Seek out zinc oxide or titanium dioxide based sunscreens.  While oxybenzone and octinoxate chemically absorb sun rays, zinc oxide or titanium dioxide actually reflect the sun's rays. While that sounds wonderful the white, chalky residue it leaves it a turn off (remember life guards with their noses covered in white cream?). But manufacturing technologies have created a titanium dioxide sunscreens without the white visible crème.  Look for non-nano titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. The Environmental Working Group offers an extensive list of sunscreens that are safer for the reefs and planet, CLICK HERE to see them.  Also use sunscreen as a last resort. Depend more on a broad-brimmed hat, sun protective clothing with a UPF rating will prevent the sun’s rays from penetrating the fabric and an umbrella that offers shade and blocks UV rays.

SOURCE: Travel + Leisure

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