First of all, you should always wear sunscreen. All day.
Every day. Even on a rainy day.
But all sunscreens aren’t created equal. You may have heard media coverage on different ingredients in sunscreens that are getting extra scrutiny and even some places where certain sunscreens are now banned.
Sunscreens Getting Banned:
What and Where?
Hawaii and Key West are two places where certain
sunscreen ingredients (oxybenzone and octinoxate)
are being banned because of the negative ways they impact coral reefs.
While some industry experts say the connection between
the ingredients and coral bleaching isn’t proven, studies including one by the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published in the Archives of Environmental
Contamination and Toxicology journal, showed four major toxic
effects in early, developing coral.
Both bans – in Hawaii and Key West – don’t
actually begin until 2021, but many consumers are making the change now. These two
ingredients are pretty common, unfortunately. NPR reported earlier
this year that up to 70% of sunscreens on the
U.S. market contain oxybenzone, and up to 8% contain octinoxate. These include
products sold by Neutrogena, Coppertone, Aveeno, and other major brands.
More Details on Sunscreen Ingredients
Wondering what to look for on the ingredients list? The Kohala Center, an independent, community-based center for research,
conservation, and education in Hawaii, explains, “If the sunscreen is
mineral-based, containing zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide as active ingredients, you’re
“If the sunscreen
lists oxybenzone, avobenzone, homosalate, octinoxate, octisalate,
octocrylene, and/or nanoparticles as
active ingredients, it’s best to avoid them,” adds The Kohala Center. Because even if you don’t plan on swimming or snorkeling, they say these
ingredients can wash off in the shower and be absorbed into your skin, so they
could eventually end up in the ocean.
Safe Sunscreens to Use
Many of the sunscreens
our Vitalogy Skincare Providers recommend for sensitive skin are the same ones
that are deemed safe for the reefs, so they aren’t being banned. Some of our
favorites include the line of EltaMD®, Revision
Skincare®, and SkinCeuticals.
When used with other sun protection measures, sunscreens help prevent sunburn, decrease the risk of skin cancer, and
minimize early skin aging caused by the sun. These are formulated with
transparent zinc oxide and are noncomedogenic, sensitivity-free, fragrance-free
Revision Skincare’s sunscreen is formulated with a blend of three peptides – THD Ascorbate
(Vitamin C), Green Tea, Pomegranate Extract – and Hyaluronic Acid to brighten
skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles so your skin stays healthy
and hydrated. It also contains a strong blend of antioxidants.
sunscreens offer 100% mineral broad-spectrum sunscreen protection and have no
chemical filters. They are also paraben-free and non-comedogenic, so they’re ideal
for all skin types including sensitive skin.
can also find a complete list of recommended sunscreens on the Skin Cancer
Foundation website, though you’ll want to cross-reference the ingredients on
those to stay reef-friendly.
an appointment with one of our friendly Licensed Providers or visit
one of our locations today to discuss your skin and other sunscreens that may be
best for you.
Photo Credit: Toa Heftiba on Unsplash