When the scorching days of summer come, most of us hit the beaches to cool off and soak up the sun rays. Of course, we all take various sunscreens with us, so as to protect our skin from taking too much damage from the rays. When it comes to the standard sunscreens, they are all created with a singular purpose – to protect our skin from the potentially harmful UV rays. However, over time, due to the extended use of these sunscreen products, we can produce an entirely different effect, not only on our skin but the aquatic and natural plant life living in our lakes, rivers, and oceans.
To prevent this from happening, many have started using organic sunblock products, which feature completely natural and chemical-free substances. Also, these products also contain mineral based ingredients as well, which are highly gentle on any skin type and marine life.
The dangers posed to coral reefs
One of the most heavily affected marine organisms is undoubtedly coral reefs, which rank among the most biologically productive organisms in the world. According to the latest studies, it has been proven that many of the chemical-based sunscreen products are directly responsible for the death of coral reefs. The biggest causes of this occurrence are four widely used ingredients in sunscreens, which are known to activate the viruses that are responsible for destroying the algae that feed off the coral reefs. These four chemical ingredients include Octinoxate, Oxybenzone, Butylparaben and 4 – MBC.
As a result of the recent studies, many marine scientists have started linking conventional sunscreen types with coral bleaching. A coral reef is a stone-like, aquatic structure that features crevices and cracks that are inhabited by a variety of symbiotic organisms. The process of bleaching, which is caused by pollution, changes in ocean temperatures, and bacteria. It’s a process in which coral reef loses its tenants, the symbiotic organisms. Thus leaving nothing but a white, bare rock, without any algae life forms, This causes the reef to whiten and ultimately die completely.
Reef safe products
To stop this process, and the ultimate destruction of the coral reefs, the majority of scientists have started recommending people to avoid using standard sunscreens and instead use reef safe sunscreen brands. These sunscreen types are known to contain natural, chemical-free ingredients, such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Also, scientists also recommend using biodegradable sunscreens, which can easily degrade in seawater, without causing any damage or harm to the ecosystem. As opposed to the damaging, long-term effects of standard sunscreens, reef safe ones decompose easily and naturally over time.
Protecting ourselves too
Of course, aside from saving the marine and coral life with these sunscreens, we are also saving ourselves as well. Some of the chemicals that standard sunscreens contain are not only harmful to the marine life and coral reefs but also to ourselves as well. Therefore, when choosing an effective sunblock product, one should try to avoid the ones that contain benzophenone, and other, similar chemical substances, which are known be linked to a variety of skin conditions and respiratory issues. Last, but not least, one should also remember to look for a nice shade during the strongest sun hours, as well as wear sunglasses and comfortable hats.…