We all have the right to a sexy tan, a healthy skin and a long-lasting planet; however, little is known about the damages that traditional sunscreen has on the ocean. Places in the Caribbean coast of Mexico and the USA have already banned the use of sunscreens containing the harmful substance oxybenzone (or any other benzophenone) often present in cosmetics to help protect from UV radiation.
Oxybenzone is a threat for juvenile corals that can die when exposed to just 1 drop of sunscreen. For the more resistant, the chemical is capable of bleaching colourful corals and induce mutations by affecting their DNA. Benzophenones cannot be removed through regular water-treating processes, thus going all the way into coastal waters and affecting near-shore coral reefs.
To protect our skins and our planet, there are many reliable brands in the market offering biodegradable and eco-friendly sunscreens. These lotions are composed of natural minerals such as Zinc Oxide and Titanium Oxide, which create a layer that prevents UV radiation from reaching your skin.
There are many hazards affecting coral reefs every day; using a conscious sunscreen in sensible areas,
like our island, may be the difference they need to resist a long, hot summer.