Reef-Safe Sun Protection

Reef-Safe Sun Protection

Many of the coral reefs of Hawaii are located on the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The allure of the ocean and the necessity for sun protection has caused the topic for sustainable sun protection to come to the forefront; not only for humans, but for the survival of our coral reefs. Here at UV Skinz we support eco-friendly sun protection. We know that having fun in the sun without the worry of sunburns is just as important as protecting the oceans we enjoy.

On May 1, 2018, Hawaii passed a law that prohibits the distribution of sunscreens that contain chemicals scientists have found to contribute to coral bleaching. Sunscreens that contain the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate also contain nanoparticles and do not meet the law’s “non-nano” rule. Nanoparticles are dangerous because coral reefs can ingest nanoparticles that are smaller than 100nm (nanometers), resulting in coral bleaching. Of course there are many other factors that contribute to coral bleaching; sewage dumping, ocean warming and agricultural runoff. Being mindful of harmful chemicals is one variable that beach-goers and swimmers can control.

There are reef-safe alternative sunscreens like mineral sunblocks that provide sun protection with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Using a “non-nano” sunscreen is one step you can take to protecting and ending the damage to our coral reefs. Keep in mind that sun protection doesn’t rest solely on sunscreens that need to be reapplied often and can be forgotten. UPF 50+ sun apparel is really the best approach to staying safe in the sun for both our skin as well as the environment.

UV-protective clothing is specially treated and designed to filter UVA and UVB rays, provides a physical block that doesn’t wash or wear off like traditional sunscreen, and sun is better at blocking rays and stopping them from hitting the skin. The UV-protection of clothing is measured in UPF; just like a sunscreen’s SPF rating, the higher the UPF, the greater it blocks UVA and UVB rays.

There is an extreme benefit to wearing UV-protective clothing along with your “non-nano” sunscreen. You don’t need to wear sunscreen under your UV-protective clothing, only needing to apply your sunscreen to the exposed parts of your skin not covered. UPF doesn’t wash off and doesn’t lose its sun protection when wet. UV Skinz makes UPF 50+ clothing that comes in lots of trendy styles and options including shirts, pants, shorts, dresses, and swimwear for children and adults of all sizes. UV Skinz UPF 50+ apparel is versatile and can easily go from the beach to a hike, providing all-day sun protection.

Our coral reefs need you! We have the choice to switch to more eco-friendly sun protection options. Wearing UV-protective clothing and “non-nano” mineral sunscreens is the first step, telling a friend is the next! Be mindful and help save our coral reefs. Pass it on!

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