Reef Safe Sunscreen, does it matter beyond the reef?
At MDSolarSciences, we take our commitment to sustainability very seriously and it has come to life in 3 important ways.
Our commitment to Humans
- Our mineral formulas are made with Eco-Cert Zinc Oxide.
- Our collection is PABA free, oxybenzone and octinoxate free, paraben free.
- All our SPF formulas have the Skin Cancer Foundation seal for Daily or Active protection.
- All our SPF formulas are gentle enough for children 6 months or older.
Our commitment to the environment
- We have been Reef Safe since the beginning.
- Our formulas are waterless.
- Several of our products are top EWG rated (Environmental Working Group).
- Our cartons are made in a facility powered with wind energy, thus reducing our carbon footprint.
Our commitment to Animals
- Our formulas are Cruelty Free and we do not test on animals.
Before we dive into the heart of the matter, let's make sure we all know what we are talking about here. What does it mean for a sunscreen or sunblock product to be reef safe or reef friendly?
Since there are no official guidelines, it can be confusing. Most companies and non-profits agree that products made without oxybenzone or octinoxate are reef safe or reef friendly. In 2008, the governor of Hawaii signed a bill into law to ban the sale of any sunscreens made with these two chemicals. The city of Key West voted a similar ban, and these will both come into effect in January 2021. The intention is to help preserve our fragile marine ecosystems.
Why oxybenzone and octinoxate?
These two common chemicals have been found to cause coral bleaching. Coral bleaching happens when the coral expels the algae living in its tissues, turning it white. The algae provide the coral reef with nutrients. While the reef can survive a short-term episode of coral bleaching, it becomes weaker and is subject to mortality.
Now we can all agree that we (and the environment) are better off without these two chemicals. But does it matter beyond the reef?
Should I buy products that are 'Reef Safe' if I am not an avid snorkeler, traveling to Hawaii, or swimming in the ocean?
The Environmental Working Group ranks Oxybenzone and Octinoxate as the most toxic among sunscreen filters. They both penetrate into the bloodstream. There is some, but insufficient, data showing that they may cause hormone disruption.
The answer is clear, a reef safe sunscreen is going to be better for the environment AND for you and your family.
For more information about our commitment to sustainability, check out our ‘Ingredients with intentions’ blog.