#9. Sunscreen and Coral Reefs and You

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It’s summertime which means lots of people are headed to the beach, which also means lots of sunscreen. But before you grab a new bottle, you might not have known that what you put on your body has been harming ocean life in a big way.

Sunscreen has had such a big impact on the marine environment, that the state of Hawaii even banned a certain type of it. Some ingredients in sunscreen hav been shown to negatively affect coral reefs. In this podcast episode, I break down not only sunscreen and coral reefs, but why you also have to think about sunscreen and you.

Specifically, I’ll go over:

Why are places banning sunscreen?

What kinds of impacts does sunscreen have on the ocean?

What kinds of impacts does sunscreen have on your health?

What kinds of sunscreen should you avoid?

What is reef-friendly sunscreen?

What kinds of sunscreen should you buy?

I first learned about sunscreen and coral reefs when I went to the Marietas Islands in Mexico.
I first learned about sunscreen and coral reefs when I went to the Marietas Islands in Mexico.

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Or listen on Apple, Spotify, or Google podcasts.

Resources and Sources Mentioned in Sunscreen and Coral Reefs and You

Why You Need Reef-Friendly Sunscreen Even If You Are Not Near a Reef

Effects of sunscreen on clownfish

NOAA’s summary of sunscreen chemicals on ocean life

Oxybenzone and climate change

Sunscreen ban summary

Sunscreen ingredients that can harm coral and other marine life.
Sunscreen ingredients that can harm coral and other marine life.

Overview of ingredients potentially harmful to human health

Environmental Working Group website

Sunscreen effects on breast cells

We Asked Women of Color to Test an Award-Winning Mineral Sunscreen — Here’s Their Verdict

Should Black People Wear Sunscreen?

Some scientists think there is not enough evidence to suggest it harms coral:

Is You Sunscreen Harming Coral Reefs?

Shop My Favorite Reef-Friendly Mineral Sunscreen

My favorite mineral sunscreen: Beautycounter

Beautycounter offers a range of mineral sunscreens that are reef-friendly.
Beautycounter offers a range of mineral sunscreens that are reef-friendly.

Read all about why I love Beautycounter.

Photos of Blue-footed Boobies from Marietas Islands

When we visited the Marietas Islands, I saw blue-footed boobies! (lower middle, right). Their feet vary in blue color from their diet. The more blue the feet, the healthier the bird and the more attractive it is to mates.
Blue-footed boobies and other marine birds in Marietas Islands.
Blue-footed boobies and other marine birds in Marietas Islands.

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