Fish Are Friends, Not Things to Be Destroyed With Sunscreen

Hey. Hi. Hello!

Much like my last post, today’s post probably would’ve been better suited for sometime in May, when everyone was frantically running around to stock their shelves with sunscreen and tanning oil as they prepare to spend hours outside once the summer arrives.Like I also said in my last post, I’m not punctual with these things. But, if you listen to your dermatologist (or your mom), then you should really be wearing sunscreen every day, in which case this post is right on time and you’re welcome.

2018 has been the year for Hawaii in the news, both good and bad. Amidst the reports of volcano erruptions and hurricanes (if only ya’ll knew just how many people actually texted me about Hurricane Lane, as if it was something completely new to me), Hawaii passed a bill earlier this summer banning certain types of sunscreens. Why did they ban sunscreens, and what sunscreens did they ban? Well, I sure am glad you asked!


If you’re anything like me, you probably didn’t really put much thought into what sort of sunscreen you were purchasing. Growing up, I went the easy route of selecting the highest SPF with anything marketed as “sport” or “sweat-proof” in hopes that I wouldn’t have to constantly reapply it every 20 minutes. Then, as I transitioned into cruelty-free, I started placing a little more thought into what fell under this category, but that was also carry-on friendly, as the only time I was ever reaching for sunscreen was during vacations.

However, once I heard about Hawaii passing this law, and I actually needed suncreen to go outside since my rooftop deck is now *briefly* open at my buiding, I started investigating a little. The bill, which cleared in early May of this year, seeks to ban the sale of sunscreens containing the ingredients oxybenzone or octinoxate starting in January 2021. While that’s three years away, it’s never to early to start.

We’ve seen over the years the disastrous effects we as humans have had on the environment. Besides the expanding hole in the ozone layers and the massive upsweep in dangerous natural disasters, the world’s oldest ice cap has finally started to break. If you don’t believe in Global Warming and the role our global society has had on speeding it up, then you can kindly click away from my blog and go lick some peanut butter off the ground.

While I knew about all of this other stuff happening, I didn’t quite realize what was happening to coral reefs. Both oxybenzone and octinoxate have been linked to such problems as DNA damage and deformities in baby coral, as well as being highly toxic to marine life in general. When someone wears sunscreens with these ingredients and then enters the ocean, it washes off their skin and invades the coral and habitats of marine life. Thus, by banning these harmful ingredients, Hawaii is being a leader in proactively taking steps towards attempting to prolong the lives of coral and marine life in the Pacific.


“Why does it matter if I’m not planning on going to Hawaii,” is something one of my old work colleagues one asked after I told her about my quest to find a reef safe, cruelty free sunscreen. No, I’ve never been to Hawaii (and not sure I’ll be allowed in after Hurricane Lane tbh), but that doesn’t mean I want to contribute to companies who are producing sunscreens with these ingredients. It’s the same mentality I carry with cruelty-free products. And, even if you’re not planning a trip to Hawaii or even Australia ever in your lifetime, you can still walk into the Atlantic Ocean or Indian Ocean and cause just as much harm to the marine life over there with your stupid sunscreens as you could in a place that has prevelant coral life.

So, what are some sunscreens that are recommended? Well, the Environmental Working Group did a lot of the hard work for us consumers, and compiled a list, which will be linked below, for all the sunscreens so far that are accepted. I noticed as I was scrolling through, that a lot of them are markted as “kids” sunscreens. That’s because a lot of these sunscreens are mineral sunscreens formulated with zinc oxide or titanium oxide. They often tend to leave a white cast on the skin, which is ok for our children who don’t give two shits about what they look like as they frolic through the ocean, but for us adults, we’ve become reluctant to purchase them for fear of looking weird around our peers.

I’ve compiled a list of my five favorite reef friendly and cruelty free sunscreens for you to check out! Or feel free to check out the complete list from the EWG at the end. Until next time!



Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen (SPF 30)


$19.95 – available here

Coola Sport Spray Piña Coolada (SPF 30)


$36.00 – available here

Juice Beauty Sport Sunscreen (SPF 30)


$16.00 – available here

Pacifica Mineral Bronzing Butter (SPF 50)


$13.99 – available here

Supergoop! Mineral Mist Sunscreen (SPF 30)


$34.00 – available here

The full EWG List:


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