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How does sunscreen work?

Sunscreens are composed of UV filters, which disperse UV rays so they are not absorbed by the our skin. These UV filters can be made of chemicals or minerals.

Chemical UV filters use chemicals like Oxybenzone and Octinoxate to deflect UV rays from our skin by converting light energy into heat energy, which is then released by our skin. These chemicals harm not only corals, but also us humans.

Mineral UV filters instead use Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide to scatter the UV rays, thus blocking them from being absorbed by our skin. These ingredients occur naturally and do not harm humans or corals.

Yikes, so how do I avoid these chemicals that harm not only me, but also corals?

You can avoid the bad side effects of chemical sunscreens by opting to consume mineral sunscreen. Remember, to look for sunscreens with Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide.

You can also use alternative sun protection, like hats, sun shirts, etc.

Businesses that sell Ocean-Friendly Sunscreen

If you are a business that sells Ocean-Friendly Sunscreen, please take our pledge and sign up for our sunscreen audit to be recognized by Reef Relief’s Protect Your Skin Protect Our Reef Campaign.