Reef Friendly Sunscreen

RV Lifestyle

In today’s environmentally conscious times, it is important for all beachgoers to choose ocean and reef friendly sunscreen. Several types of chemical sunscreens contribute to pollution in the ocean, and others may even kill vulnerable coral reefs. If you are an RV vacationer spending time in Florida, you will need a good sunscreen which protects your family from the potentially cancer-causing rays of the sun. When you want to choose an environmentally friendly sunscreen, there are concrete steps you can follow to make sure you have the best possible solution.

Look For Dangerous Ingredients

The ingredients that are most likely to damage the ocean and reef environments are oxybenzone and octinoxate. These chemical sunscreen ingredients have been banned by the state of Hawaii and may be outlawed in other places as well. These are beneficial to the wearer because they convert dangerous UV rays into harmless heat. They are dangerous for the ocean, particularly sensitive reefs. When these chemical sunscreens dissipate in the water, they can prevent corals from defending themselves against bleaching. These sunscreens damage coral’s DNA and make it less likely that they will grow back healthy.

In 2015, a study found that oxybenzone damages corals when the concentration is as low as one drop of water distributed across six Olympic-sized pools. This makes it doubly urgent that beachgoers start using reef friendly sunscreen.

Besides oxybenzone and octinoxate, other ingredients that may be harmful to the ocean and to coral reefs are octocrylene, homosalate, and octisalate. These ingredients not only damage coral, but they can also be unhealthy for the fish that live in the reefs.

Choose a Reef Friendly Sunscreen

Fortunately, there are many products on the market that do not contain these harmful sunscreen ingredients. Environmentally friendly sunscreens are becoming more popular among RV vacationers. There are also many cruelty-free options which enable vacationers to use the products without worrying that they have been tested on animals or that they contain animal ingredients of any kind.

Ingredients to Look For

Mineral-based sunscreens do not harm the oceans. They are also less dangerous to human health. Some sunscreen manufacturers will advertise on the front of the bottle as “mineral” sunscreen but also have dangerous chemicals.  Double check the active ingredient list to make sure that zinc and titanium are the ONLY active ingredients. Ingredients that vacationers should look for include zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and non-nano zinc dioxide. These lotions have the reputation of being white and chalky when they are applied, but they are becoming more wearable as the years go by. Cruelty-free sunscreens are great for vegans, vegetarians, and other people who are concerned about the effects of animal testing.

Recommended Products

Be aware that products that are labeled as “reef safe” may not be truthful in their labeling. Checking the ingredients list is a must when choosing a sunscreen for your family.

Sun Bum, KLAR, TruKid, Kokua, Thinksport, Blue Lizard, and Raw Elements all produce sunscreens that are free of dangerous chemicals. Other brands also produce ocean safe sunscreens, but you should always check the ingredients before buying.

Avoid Aerosol Sunscreens

It is best to avoid all aerosol sunscreens if you want to support the health of the oceans. Aerosol sunscreens are blown around in the air, making it possible for them to enter the ocean directly. They are also not healthy for humans to breathe. Aerosol sunscreens are also more difficult to apply properly to keep people, especially children, from getting sunburned. Using a quality lotion sunscreen with reef friendly ingredients is a better choice.

Safe Fun in the Sun

Environmentally friendly sunscreens are not only better for the Earth, but they also protect people better against sun damage that can cause skin cancer. Choosing a reef-friendly sunscreen product is an easy decision.

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