Coral Reef Education

Chemical Sunscreens Kill our Coral Reefs!

International research teams found the highest concentrations of Oxybenzone–a very toxic chemical in most sunscreens–around coral reefs in oceans teeming with tourists, like those near Hawai‘i and the Caribbean.

Did you know?

25 to 60 million bottles worth of sunscreen chemicals wash off into coral reef each year.

Between 6,000-14,000 tons of sunscreen enter coral reef areas around the world each year.

According to sea water testing, concentrations of sunscreen were 12 times higher in oceans around Hawaii and the Caribbean.

Most of the sunscreens sold in stores are formulated with the following toxic ingredients:

  • Oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3)*
  • Butylparaben
  • Avobenzone
  • Octisalate
  • Octocryebe
  • Homosalatte
  • Octinoxate (Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate)
  • 4-Methylbenzylidene Camphor (4MBC); allowed in Europe and Canada, not in USA or Japan

Oxybenzone, in particular, is one of the most common ingredients and can be found in over 3,500 commercial brands of sunscreen. This chemical badly alters coral DNA, making the coral more susceptible to fatal bleaching. It also acts as an endocrine disruptor, causing baby coral to encase itself in its own skeleton and ultimately die.*

All of the chemicals listed above can harm our coral reefs and the ocean's fish, plus they can cause humans to experience hormone imbalances and even reproductive issues. Although there are other factors such as global warming, pollution and human activities that threaten our coral reefs, we should not ignore the fact that the toxic ingredients in sunscreen damage our bodies and oceans' ecosystems.

Why Choose Organic Mineral Sunscreen?

Our skin is the body's largest organ, and the majority of what we apply to its surface gets absorbed directly into our bloodstream. Unlike chemical sunscreens, mineral sunscreens are made with non-nano active ingredients, which do not absorb into the skin. Instead, they act as a protective layer on top of your skin and reflect rays like a mirror, protecting your skin from both UVB and UVA rays. Although chemical sunscreens can protect your skin from the skin-burning UVB rays, they don't always block deeper-penetrating UVA rays, which are associated with premature aging–something most of us would like to avoid!

We formulate our Ao Organics Sunscreen with active ingredient Non-Nano Zinc Oxide–a mineral that does not absorb into your skin–to deliver a safe SPF (Sun Protection Factor). Furthermore, we have hand picked and highly researched each ingredient in all of our sunscreen products, ensuring that they are the highest quality, organic and reef-safe.