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    Choose the Right Sunscreen for Your Hawaii Visit

    Selecting a sunscreen that is both effective and reef safe important not only to protect skin from burns and cancer, but also to preserve Hawaii's oceans and marine life.

    Hawaii is the first state in the US to
    ban the sale of sunscreen containing the coral-harming chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate. Oxybenzone and octinoxate are two ingredients believed to contribute to coral bleaching. When coral bleaches, it is not dead, but under significant stress and subject to increased mortality levels. The new law goes into effect January 1, 2021 but many folks have begun the switch as early as now.

    To help you choose the right sunscreen when swimming in the ocean, here are some things to consider:

  • Avoid sunscreens containing petrolatum, commonly known as mineral oil, which takes years to biodegrade, and are known to be harmful or fatal to aquatic life and waterfowl.

  • Avoid sunscreens with high content of Titanium Dioxide. This mineral does not biodegrade and is found to react in warm seawater to form hydrogen peroxide which is harmful to all sea life.

  • Avoid sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate, the two chemicals recently banned in Hawaii and are believed to cause coral bleaching.

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