On the last blog, we spoke about how to pack your luggage for your trip to Hawaii. Of course, we mentioned sunscreen,
remember?! Your skin can be feeling pretty smooth on windy or rainy days, but do not be mistaken. If you do not apply sunscreen, you will end up looking like a lobster! It is important to make sure that you have sunscreen with you for this trip, but not any kind of sunscreen. Use Reef Safe Sunscreen!
Many sunscreens are not only bad for the reef, sea flora and fauna, but if you go jump in the rivers and enjoy the beautiful water falls (which is something you should definitely do! ) not only does that sunscreen end up in the ocean, but it will also pollute the water that local people use at home and even drink.
Hawaiians are extremely welcoming and friendly, but they do not appreciate having their water polluted and intoxicated
To help you have a very pleasant stay on our beautiful island, we would love to explain to you why sunscreens can be very damaging, and recommend certain brands that are safe to use:
Why are certain sunscreens bad?
1) They kill the reef!
Oxybenzone is found in many sunscreens. This ingredient breaks down coral, causing it to lose nutrients, turn ghostly white and often die. We need these coral reefs. They are an important part of the ecosystem for life underwater.
Thousands of species can be found living on one reef. From seaweed, algaes, mollusks, to bigger Kish and turtles, everyone needs the coral. If the coral dies, marine life dies. This does not not just effect the beauty of diving, but also the food source of many local Hawaiians. These corals also protect coastal areas by reducing the power of the waves hitting the coast. If the reef dies, the erosion will progress faster and faster.
2) Makes water undrinkable
Not many locals still use the river of the water as their drinking water, but some still do. It is reassuring and beautiful to know that some places in the world still have rivers pure enough to offer drinkable water. Not to mention,
local families are able to harvest this fresh water for their farms that they grow food and eat from. Let’s not ruin this by
leaking all these harmful chemicals from some sunscreens into these little slices of heaven.
3) Effects your health
Recent studies have shown that several active ingredients of different sunblocks enter the bloodstream at levels way superior of the FDA’s recommended threshold. There are not many studies that demonstrate how bad this can effect your health, but better be safe than sorry by using harmless and organic sunscreen.
Which Reef Safe Sunscreens should we use?
There are many different “Reef Safe” sunscreens out there. However, this term is not regulated, so it is always important
to double check the active ingredients to conKirm that it is not just placed as a marketing technique.
Chemicals you do NOT want in your sunscreen:
- 4-methylbenzylidene camphor
- Any nanoparticles or “nano-sized” zinc or titanium
- Any form of microplastic, such as “exfoliating beads”
Now that you know which chemicals to look out for, here is a list of a few of the sunscreen brand options that are safe for you and the environment!
- Raw Elements
- Suntegrity Natural Mineral Sunscreen
- Sun Bum
- Lahaina Organics Sunscreen ( sold in our shop! )
- Ola Sofia
- Badger Suncreen
- Little Hands Hawaii All natural and organic sunscreen
- Kokua Suncare Hawaiian SPF 50 natural zinc sunscreen
Mahalo from the island of Maui for helping protect our reefs, animals, and the future generations to come!