You probably can’t pronounce them. You may not have even heard of them. But if you enjoy the beach, swimming, surfing or generally having good time in the ocean, you’ve surely encountered chemicals like oxybenzone, octinoxate, octocrylene—and that’s not a good thing.
For more than 50 years, chemicals like those have been included in formulas for the world’s most popular sunscreens. But in the past decade, scientists have shown that those same chemicals cause serious harm to the ocean environments we love. The negative effects on coral reefs—the backbone of the world’s most biologically-diverse underwater edens—range from mortality in developing coral to bleaching in established coral and increased vulnerability to the perilous effects of pollution and climate change. If that wasn’t enough, these chemicals also increase the rates of disease in fish and marine mammal species—and we’re only just beginning to grasp their potential impacts ocean-wide.
As awareness of these issues has grown, the tide has finally started to turn on harmful chemicals in our sunscreens. The state of Hawaii has been at the leading edge of the movement, signing legislation in 2018 to ban all sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate from their shores. Similar restrictions have since gone into effect in places like the U.S. Virgin Islands, Palau, Bonaire and some parts of Florida.
Hopefully this wave will continue to build, with legislation spreading around the world to codify the protection of ocean environments. Because regardless of which beach you visit, or the specific flora and fauna that exist there, the fact is that you don’t need to put marine species at risk to protect yourself from UV rays. Sea & Summit uses all-natural, organic, zinc-based sunscreen formulas that aren’t packed with unpronounceable toxins. That’s why our products don’t just protect you from the sun, they also protect the places that you love.
The time is up for toxins in our sunscreen. And while many big sunscreen companies would love to keep the status quo, environmentally-conscious consumers are increasingly choosing reef-safe products. It’s a choice to not only use higher-quality sunscreen for a long day on the beach or in the surf, but to respect the ocean as much as we enjoy it.
In other words, it’s the right choice—for us, and for our oceans.
Written by: Todd Prodanovich