Preserving the Environment can be Part of Your Holiday

You’ve been planning your getaway for a while, or maybe it’s a spur of the moment decision. Either way, part of your holiday may involve spending time in the sun. Depending on your destination, you may be swimming, snorkeling, water skiing or surfing. You know that with all the warnings about protecting your skin from harmful UV rays, you need to wear a good sunscreen. You may also know that the recommended sunscreen is 30 spf or 50 spf for the best protection

A Sunscreen that Helps the Environment

When you’re swimming or snorkeling, you’ll probably see a vast array of beautiful fish, along with some spectacular coral formations. Have you ever thought about trying a reef-friendly sunscreen that can help preserve the beautiful colors and structures of reefs? If you choose a more harmful type of sunscreen, you take a risk of bleaching or discoloring precious coral that fish and other aquatic life rely on for food and shelter.

Did you know that about a quarter of marine life relies on coral reefs to be their home? It’s estimated that if things keep going the way they are, many reefs could be destroyed or damaged in just 30 years. Man-made pollutants like sunscreen can harm the reef just as much as unsafe fishing practices. There are sunscreen ingredients that are toxic to coral. But you can have a positive impact when you shop now for coral reef friendly sunscreen.

Sunscreen Ingredients that Harm a Coral Reef

You may already know that zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are two ingredients widely used in sunscreen products. They are often considered to be safe, but studies have proven that these two ingredients can interact with UV rays and salt water in a harmful way by creating hydrogen peroxide that bleaches coral reefs. Here are other sunscreen ingredients that could harm coral reefs:

– Parabens – Thought to be safe for humans, parabens are often found in cosmetics and are a preservative. What some people don’t know is that this preservative can stimulate existing viruses in coral. It does this by re-energizing viruses that were thought to be dormant, causing problems within coral structures

– Benzophenones – Oxybenzone and BP-2 – These ingredients are used to block harmful UV rays and are found widely in sunscreens. When they’re introduced to coral, they can damage the DNA of coral and cause mutations, along with bleaching the coral

– Octinoxate – Another ingredient that can stimulate dormant viruses and eventually lead to the premature death of coral formations

Finding effective sunscreens that are free from harmful ingredients is the best defense to help protect coral and to keep the aquatic environment safer. It’s something that anyone can do, simply by paying attention to the ingredients listed on sunscreen labels and making a wise choice.

Always Have Sunscreen With You

It’s critical to have sunscreen with you when you travel to prevent premature aging of skin and skin cancers. Making a smart choice can also help preserve coral and aquatic life that depends on coral for their survival. It feels good to know that you can make a true difference, while using helpful skin protection products. Get out there and enjoy the sun in a smart way.