Coral reefs are some of the most productive ecosystems on the planet. They are home to 25% of all marine life and provide most of the world’s oxygen.
In recent years, there has been a major decline of our coral reefs due to coral bleaching:
40% in Hawaii
40% in the Great Barrier Reef
85% in the Caribbean
99% in the Florida Keys
A major cause of this decline is sunscreen pollution. Chemicals found in many sunscreens have been extremely detrimental to our reefs. Approximately 14K tons of sunscreen enter waters around corals each year, but that’s only a piece of the problem. Sewage is one of the biggest sources of pollution. Whether you live inland or by the beach, what you put on your body is going to reach our waters. When you shower, it’s going to wash off and end up in our lakes, oceans and rivers. A small amount of these chemicals can cause a lot of damage. As little as 1 drop of oxybenzone in 6.5 olympic sized swimming pools is enough to cause an adverse effect in coral.
We feel a great responsibility to raise awareness about this issue and make a positive impact, which is why we use only non-nano zinc oxide as the active ingredient in all our products. It is the only active that does not damage corals.
"When ingredients are uncoated and nano-size (less than 35 nanometers in diameter), they can enter the cells of invertebrates and cause oxidative stress in sunlight. This blows up the cells so they die. Your best bet is to go for non-nano zinc oxide larger than 150 nanometers. At that point, the toxicity drops off and there is no threat.” – Dr. Craig Downs, Executive Director of Haereticus Environmental Lab
When you use our products, you will be protecting both yourself and the ocean.
INGREDIENTS BANNED IN ECO-MARINE RESERVES:
Many people are unknowingly using sunscreens that damage corals. There is so much misinformation and little regulations on the terminology. You will often see words like “natural”, “eco safe” or “reef safe” in the name or description of very toxic products, which can mislead consumers. Some brands add minerals or organic ingredients into the mix and tout those, distracting from dangerous active ingredients.
Below is a list of cautionary ingredients not allowed in many eco-marine reserves. This is because they have a negative effect on corals from damaging DNA to bleaching. Unfortunately, one or more is in over 90% of sunscreens on the market:
Padimate O / Paba
Titanium coated in Aluminum or Dimethicone
For some more information on this issue, check out these great resources: