HONOLULU (KHON2) – When visiting Hawaii and swimming in the ocean it is important to wear reef-friendly sunscreen. That means using a SPF that uses physical UVA and UVB filters instead of chemical ones. 

Save the Reef is an organization dedicated to providing information on why it’s important to wear reef-safe sunscreen. 

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Some sunscreens say they are “reef-friendly” but the only way to truly know is by flipping your sunscreen bottle over and reading the ingredients yourself. 

List of harmful substances:

  • Oxybenzone
  • Octinoxate
  • Octocrylene
  • Homosalate
  • 4-methylbenzylidene camphor
  • PABA
  • Parabens
  • Triclosan
  • Any nanoparticles or “nano-sized” zinc or titanium
  • Any form of microplastic, such as “exfoliating beads”

Maui County recently banned the sale, distribution and use of non-mineral sunscreens without a prescription.

This took place Oct. 1 only allowing mineral sunscreens in the county which is safer for their coral reefs. 

For more information about Maui County’s new sunscreen ordinance head to their website

Studies have also shown mineral based sunscreens aren’t just better for the ocean but also for your skin.

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When you apply sunscreen to the body it absorbs into the skin. So, using a less toxic sunscreen can also benefit you.