Reef – safe Sunscreen

Reef – safe Sunscreen

What is reef safe sunscreen?

We are all conscious nowadays of the importance of protecting ourselves in the sun. Thousands of people visit places like The Red Sea every year and the majority wear sunscreen. Sunscreen is very important for our protection from harmful sun rays, however many sunscreens are damaging to sea life. Sunscreens fall into two major categories, physical and chemical.  Chemical sunscreens are popular but contain oxybenzone and octinoxate which causes the bleaching of corals. Physical sunscreens contain minerals instead to block the harmful sun rays and are much better for the environment.

How can you tell if it is reef safe?

There are many popular brands of sunscreen to choose from. Reef safe is often written on physical sunscreens. If you are unsure of whether it is reef safe you can always check the ingredients on the back of the bottle. If you spot either oxybenzone or octinoxate then put the bottle back and consider choosing something else.

You can also check out mineral sunscreens as they use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These sunscreens are great because they don’t absorb into the skin like traditional sunscreens, instead they form a protective layer over the skin to protect from the sun.  These sunscreens are a lot less harmful to the coral reefs.

Where can you get it?

All major pharmacies worldwide stock reef – safe sunscreen. It can also be found with special offers online. Check out some of the popular and trusted brands below.

P40’s SPF 30

Badger Sport SPF 35

Manda Organic Sun Paste

Stream 2 Sea Sport SPF 30

Tropic Sport SPF 30

Think Sport SPF 50+

Little Urchin Natural Sunscreen

Is it affordable?

This is a commonly asked question as many people believe reef – safe sunscreen is more expensive. Although there are some pricey brands on the market a quick search on amazon will show you reef – safe sunscreen starting from 5 American Dollars to 30.

Why are commercial sunscreens so dangerous for the sea?

Due to global warming our oceans are already suffering. The rise in ocean temperatures causes the bleaching of coral reefs. Chemical sunscreens also cause the same reaction in coral. The chemicals found in many commercial and popular sunscreens such as Tropicana encourage viruses in the sea to thrive. These viruses attack coral and cause them to bleach and then die.  It is estimated that over 3500 popular sunscreens are not reef – safe. Some people may believe the effects of these sunscreens are not significant however when many swimmers, snorkelers and divers visit a coral reef all year round the amount of sunscreen easily reaches toxic levels.