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What is Reef-Safe Sunscreen?

Plus reasons why you should be using it!


Many people know the importance of wearing sunscreen daily to protect their skin from the harsh UV rays of the sun. Long days at the beach are synonymous with bringing along an effective and safe sunscreen. However, did you know that the type of sunscreen you use may significantly impact the environment?

Not all sunscreens are created equal, and many contain harmful chemicals that damage the ocean and its environment, especially coral reefs. Because coral reefs are so vital in the ocean’s ecosystem, choosing a sunscreen that doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals is important to help preserve and protect the Earth’s environment.

Continue reading this article to learn more about reef-safe sunscreen, why coral reefs are so important to the ecosystem, how sunscreens damage coral reefs, and what makes a sunscreen reef-safe.

Why Are Coral Reefs Important to the Ecosystem?

Coral reefs play a huge role in the ecosystem, supporting more marine life than any other ocean environment and protecting coastlines from erosion and storms. This protection is greatly valued by coastal communities where storms are more common. Additionally, coral reefs are used as food and medicine sources, and the biodiversity within coral reefs is a gold mine for developing new life-saving medicines and treatments. Coral reefs are also depended on by many businesses such as snorkeling and fishing and are vital for the tourism industry. In fact, the necessity of coral reefs is so great, that according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, more than half a billion people depend on coral reefs for food, protection, and income.




How Sunscreens Damage Coral Reefs and Marine Life

Unfortunately, sunscreen has greatly affected the destruction of coral reefs. Because sunscreen does not always stay on the skin, it can be rinsed away when it comes into contact with water. This exposes the ocean to chemicals, such as oxybenzone, which can be harmful to reefs and marine life. These chemicals not only affect coral reefs, but marine life too, such as green algae, coral, mussels, sea urchins, fish, and dolphins, causing physical harm and possible death.

Is My Sunscreen Reef-Safe?

Reef-safe sunscreen ensures that coral reefs and marine life are not harmfully affected by toxic chemicals. To check if a sunscreen is reel-safe, it’s best to read the active ingredients list and make sure there are none that aren’t reef-friendly. Some harmful ingredients to look out for include:

  • Oxybenzone

  • Octinoxate

  • Octocrylene

  • Homosalate

  • 4-methylbenzylidene camphor

  • PABA

  • Parabens

  • Triclosan

  • “Nano-sized” zinc or titanium

  • Microplastic

Just because a sunscreen states that it’s reef-safe or reef-friendly doesn’t mean that it is. Always read the ingredients list before purchasing or using it to avoid causing unnecessary harm to the marine environment.

Coral reefs are an enormous source of biodiversity in the ocean. Choosing to wear reef-safe sunscreen is a small way that you can do your part to help Mother Nature thrive! The ocean covers over 70% of our planet- it's our job to take care of the largest and most beautiful part of the Earth.

COSMAX OEM Reef-Safe Sunscreen Concept

COSMAX has introduced a White Lumiteria Anti-Light & Pollution Sun Gel that helps protect skin indoors and outdoors. The sun gel has a high SPF (50) with a light texture, meaning it doesn’t feel sticky, or leave any white marks on the skin. In addition, the product line is developed with marine health and coral reefs in mind using our proprietary reef-safe concept. It is also free from paraben, fragrances, and mineral oil.

The OEM sun gel is available in three different packaging options: a 40 ml oval tube with a screw cap, a 40 ml tube with a flip top cap, or a 7 ml sachet spout with a cap. If you’d like to know more about minimum order quantities, pricing and ordering, contact COSMAX Thailand today.


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