Protecting Our Oceans: The Importance of Reef-Friendly Sunscreen
Wearing SPF throughout the year, especially on our face, is crucial for protecting our skin from harmful UV rays. However, it's equally important to consider the impact of our sunscreen choices on the oceans when shielding ourselves from UV rays. Did you know 75% of reefs are currently facing threats, and this number is predicted to rise to 90% by 2030. To address this concern, we’ve done the research, so you don’t have to and found two reef-friendly sunscreens: SETT SPF 50 and UpCircle SPF 25 face sunscreens. Both sunscreens provide protection against UVA and UVB rays, allowing you to enjoy the sunshine without any worries. By choosing these products, you can join us in safeguarding marine life while responsibly enjoying the sun.
Preserving Coral Reefs: Coral reefs are vital ecosystems providing diverse habitats for marine life. However, certain sunscreen ingredients like oxybenzone, which absorbs UV rays and octinoxate which soaks up UVB rays have been found to seriously harm coral reefs, leading to coral bleaching and damage. Opting for reef-friendly sunscreens, such as SETT SPF 50 & UpCircle SPF 25, helps preserve coral reefs by using ingredients that don't pose a threat to their survival.
Protecting Marine Biodiversity: SETT SPF 50 & UpCircle SPF 25, safeguards your skin and the marine environment. Both are mineral-based formula, including zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, offers effective sun protection without harming marine organisms or delicate reef systems.
Preserving Water Quality: Non-reef-friendly sunscreens can contribute to water pollution when they wash off our bodies and enter the ocean. Both sunscreens eco-friendly formulation minimises the release of harmful chemicals into the marine environment, preserving water quality and ensuring the well-being of aquatic ecosystems.
Choosing Reef-Friendly Sunscreens:
Reef-safe principles for sunscreen involve using formulations that minimise harm to coral reefs and marine ecosystems. Here are our top tips to consider when choosing reef-friendly sunscreens:
- Avoid Harmful Chemicals: Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Benzophenone-1, Benzophenone-8, Od-paba, 4-Methylbenzylidene camphor, 3-Benzylidene camphor and Octocrylene are known to harm coral reefs and marine life. These chemicals have been linked to coral bleaching and can disrupt the development and reproduction of marine organisms.
- Mineral-Based Ingredients: Choose sunscreens that use mineral-based ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as the active ingredients. These minerals create a physical barrier on the skin that reflects and scatters UV rays, providing effective sun protection without relying on harmful chemicals.
- Broad-Spectrum Protection: Ensure that the sunscreen guards against both UVA and UVB rays. This helps protect your skin from sun damage while considering the overall health of marine ecosystems.
- Eco friendly Packaging: Opt for sunscreens that prioritise sustainable packaging. Look for biodegradable or recyclable packaging materials to minimise waste and reduce the environmental impact.
- Environmental Testing and Certification: Check if the sunscreen has undergone independent testing and certification to verify its reef-friendly claims. Look for certifications such as the "Reef Safe" or "Ocean Friendly" labels, which indicate that the product meets specific environmental standards.
Embrace the importance of reef-friendly sunscreen, in protecting the health and vitality of our oceans. By selecting sunscreens that avoid harmful chemicals and prioritise the well-being of coral reefs and marine life, we actively contribute to the preservation of these invaluable ecosystems.
There is hope for the future of coral reefs, as several coral reef restoration initiatives are showing promising results in different parts of the world. These projects involve techniques such as coral transplantation, coral gardening, and the use of artificial structures to provide a substrate for coral attachment and growth.
Positive restoration programmes:
- Florida Keys, USA: The Florida Reef Tract, the third largest coral barrier reef system in the world, has seen positive signs of recovery through restoration efforts. Coral nurseries and out planting programs have been successful in replenishing damaged areas.
- Great Barrier Reef, Australia: Selective breeding programs for corals that are more resistant to heat stress and implementing strategies to reduce pollution and improve water quality have shown some signs of recovery in specific regions of the Great Barrier Reef.
- Philippines: Coral transplantation projects, such as the Coral Restoration Program in Apo Island and the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, have demonstrated significant coral regrowth and increased biodiversity.
This is positive news and if we continue to do our bit and make the switch to reef-friendly sunscreens we can help to create a future where both our skin and marine life thrive together.