Finally, the summer vacation comes that we have been waiting for! Beach, Swimming, Driving, Festival… Many of you must be excited about lots of these summer events. If you want to enjoy this summer, you cannot let go of the sunscreen. Sunscreen is essential because it causes wrinkles, or in the worst case, skin cancer if you are exposed to UV rays too much.
＜Sunscreen has Harmful Effects on the Environment＞
But before we use sunscreen, we need to know the effects on the environment. Sunscreen includes some negative chemical compositions, such as Oxybenzone, or Benzophenone. Lots of research indicates that these compositions are harmful to the environment, especially to marine organisms and coral reefs. It might be a very surprising fact because we use it in our daily life.
This picture shows the coral bleaching phenomenon, which is caused by the compositions of sunscreen products. According to the National Ocean Service, “without the algae, the coral loses its major sources of food, turns white or very pale, and is more susceptible to disease”.
※Some experts mention that the main cause of coral bleaching might be global warming or ocean acidification…
＜Efforts by Each Government＞
These days, some governments have started to put a restriction on sunscreen for the sake of environmental conservation. Let’s see some restriction cases around the world.
Palau: Restriction for 10 chemical compositions from 2020.
Palau is one of the most famous resorts in the world. So it may be true that the government put a priority on the conservation of beaches and marine organisms.
Hawaii: Restriction for 2 compositions (Oxybenzone and Octinoxate) from 2021.
It was argued that these two had a bad influence on marine animals, not only coral reefs, but also sea turtles, humpback whales, and migratory birds. In Hawaii, people need to buy organic products or ones that say “Reef Safe,” or “Eco-Conscious.”
Key West: Restriction for 2 compositions (Oxybenzone and Octinoxate) from 2021.
Key West has a lot of coral reefs and is famous for them. As the same as Hawaii, two chemical compositions are regarded as the most negative ones.
＜Recommendations of Good Sunscreen＞
So, what can be good sunscreen? How can we get such good products? -it’s not so difficult to find them. These are my favorite shops that deal with organic or eco-sunscreen. If you find it difficult to get an appropriate one with only the ingredients, let’s go there and ask a shop staff!
＜Environmentally Friendly for the Earth!>
Gradually, we are caring about the environment when we consume. But still, we also care for a lower price, more convenience, or other side effects. Yet the important thing is that we need to protect the Earth, future, environment, animals, and also ourselves.
Be environmentally friendly, be a smart consumer!