Reef-Friendly Sunscreens

We all know how important sunscreen is to the protection of our skin, but when you slather yourself in SPF 30, here’s what you may not know: Your sunscreen may be unintentionally causing damage to the environment—namely, the ocean’s coral reefs.

According to the Environmental Working Group (, 25 percent of the sunscreen you apply washes off the skin and into the water within 20 minutes. Some 25 to 60 million bottles worth of sunscreen chemicals wash off into coral reef areas every year. And, you don’t even need to be in the ocean to cause coral reef damage. If you wear sunscreen in your daily life, and wash it off in the shower, your sunscreen can end up back in the ocean via wastewater through your shower drain.

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