WHAT MAKES A SUNSCREEN REEF-SAFE?
The sea, the sand, and the waves: There is no alternative to spending a relaxing day at the beach. When you are heading to the beach, sunscreen is the first thing you put into your beach bag. However, you may not have the slightest idea that you have contributed, to hurt coral reef when you hop into the ocean, slathered with your traditional sunscreen.
Admittedly, various factors, such as climate change, can affect marine life beyond sunscreen. As it may be, the rapid declining of reefs has turned into an undeniable global phenomenon. According to the study published in Environment Health Perspectives, most coral reefs worldwide are undermined by anthropogenic activities. Among them, slipping off of sunscreen into the seawater, regularly applied by swimmers, paddlers, snorkelers, surfers and other beachgoers to protect their skin against the harmful effect of UV radiations, can influence mass coral bleaching. Mass coral bleaching has resulted in significant losses of live coral in most of the world. Besides, information suggests that the limit with regards to acclimation by corals has just been exceeded and that adaptation will be too delayed to prevent a decline in the quality of the reef ecosystems.
In fact, as much the sunscreen is beneficial for people for basking in the sun safely, it has contrary impact on the corals. When you swim with sunscreen on, synthetic organic UV barriers like oxybenzone, octinoxate, and octocrylene which convert sunburn-causing UV rays into harmless heat on human skin can wash off into the ocean, where they're consumed by corals. A recent publication of National Park Service estimates that up to 6,000 tons of sunscreen products enter marine waterways each year and other estimates range as high as 14,000 tons. These substances decrease corals’ defense against bleaching, damaging their DNA that can disrupt coral's generation and development cycles. Humans might be responsible for this contamination, but on the other hand, we are capable of recuperating these delicate submerged ecosystems. By putting our awareness into action, we can make different decisions that minimize our impact on the ocean.
Unfortunately, the terms “Reef Safe” and “Reef Friendly” are not regulated. The term reef safe typically means that the sunscreen contains only mineral UV-blocking ingredients. Therefore, it's important to be aware of the ingredients on the label to ensure that reef-hurting substances and particles are not included. As an alternative to chemical-based sunscreen, mineral-based (or physical) sunscreen is progressively being advanced as “reef safe “or “reef friendly alternatives as they are less detrimental to the underwater environment. However, not all mineral sunscreens are formulated similarly. The fundamental difference lies in the particle size of physical UV barriers. Scientific data supports that nano-sized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are remarkably more toxic to marine creatures, and potentially humans than their micro-sized counterparts. In contrast, non- nanoparticles (micro-sized) are larger than 100 nanometers and unable to permeate the skin or blood-brain barriers within the body. Therefore, choosing mineral sunscreens, especially lotions containing non-nano zinc dioxide and titanium dioxide which are considered physical UV barriers, and are frequently used together to provide “broad-spectrum protection” from UV rays is the smartest step to protect yourself and corals.
KAANI Sunscreen is a 100 percent mineral formula that protects you from environmental aggressors. The sleek and sheer texture makes it easy to blend into all skin tones, leaving no chalky white cast behind for skin that looks healthy and preserved. It is ideal for broad-spectrum beach defense. This eco-friendly formula does not contain chemicals such as Oxybenzone (benzophenone-3), Octinoxate (octyl methoxycinnamate), Octocrylene, 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor. It is free from synthetic preservatives like Ethyl paraben, Butyl paraben, Benzyl paraben Methyl paraben Phenoxyethanol or Triclosan, Silicone, and Alcohol as well.