Did you know that wearing sunblock and sunscreen products can affect reefs?
While these products protect your skin from the sun rays, it can have harmful effects on the coral reefs.
This does not mean you have to stop wearing sunblock and sunscreen products. It means that you may want to pay attention when choosing such an item.
Reef Safe Sunblock Products
A reef safe sunblock can be a great alternative. This is a product which takes care of your skin, protects it and does not harm the coral reefs.
Using a reef safe sunblock can have some great benefits for your skin and the environment.
Benefits of using a reef safe sunblock
Does not contain ingredients that harm reefs
Sunblock products contain certain ingredients which are affecting reefs.
Oxybenzone is one of them. This is an active ingredient which has the role of protecting your skin from UVB rays (the ones that cause sunburns).
Oxybenzone has been shown to have harmful effects on coral reefs, being linked even to the death of these beauties.
Using a reef safe sunblock can help you avoid these chemicals. In this way, you contribute to taking care of the environment and protecting the aquatic flora and fauna.
If you’re interested in avoiding sunscreen products with oxybenzone, check out best hypoallergenic sunscreen.
The product protects your skin from the sun
Sunblock products which are safe for the reefs and the environment can do a great job in protecting your skin from sun rays.
They have other active ingredients which protect your skin and help you maintain it healthy.
These products are an essential alternative that protect your skin from sunburns and health problems and cause little to no harm to the environment.
What’s essential to keep in mind is to always check the ingredients list. Make sure that what the product contains matches the label it wears.
The same idea goes for non-comedogenic moisturizer with SPF as well.
How are sunscreen and sunblock products affecting the reefs?
Every time a person enters the water wearing sunscreen, the product starts to go away and particles disperse in the water.
Chemicals spread over a wide area and they end up reaching the coral reefs.
Imagine that this happens every day and with thousands of people entering waters where reefs can be found.
To be more precise, between 4000 and 6000 tons of sunscreen enter in waters where coral reefs live. This happens all over the world annually.
Coral reefs can be found in different parts of the world (particularly in tropical oceans areas) such as Australia, Central America, and Hawaii.
They play a huge role for local economies and for maintaining an environmental balance.
Coral reefs are a wonderful tourist attraction sought by many people every year. This translates into great numbers of tourists visiting areas with coral reefs and contributing to their economies.
Reefs also absorb carbon dioxide, a gas which would otherwise contribute to global warming.
Places with coral reefs are currently affected by these chemicals. One of them is oxybenzone.
This ingredient has been found to cause damaging effects to coral reefs such as:
- make corals lose their nutrients
- lose their bright colors and bleach
Because of these chemicals, coral reefs lose their ability to reproduce and they eventually die.
Research has shown that the areas with great numbers of tourists are the ones that are the most affected. These places are seen as being under a huge ecological threat.
What can be done to protect coral reefs?
Researchers are not encouraging people to stop using sunblock and sunscreen products. They are advising consumers to be more careful when choosing these skincare items.
Reef safe sunblock and other products which lack oxybenzone can be a great alternative.
Studies have shown that products which use titanium oxide and zinc oxide as their main active ingredients do not harm reefs.
If you’re interested in this topic, you may also want to check out cruelty-free laundry detergent.
What’s the difference between sunblock and sunscreen?
You’ve probably seen this before: sunblock products and sunscreen products.
What’s the difference between these two?
Sunblock (like the reef safe sunblock) refers to products which use physical absorbers such as zinc and titanium oxide. They basically form a barrier on your skin and this is how they protect you from the sun rays.
Sunscreen refers to products that use chemical absorbers such as avobenzone, oxybenzone, and octinoxate.
Basically, the difference stands in the active ingredients that these products use.
This is how you can identify which products to buy. Look at the ingredients list and see what kind of active ingredients they use.
If you’re interested in reef safe sunblock, you should also check low VOC vinyl plank flooring.