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Sunscreen is a very important part of skincare and self-care. While we get Vitamin D from the sun, too much exposure to the sun can be bad for our skin. Sunscreen can protect us from harmful ultraviolet rays as well as sun damage in the form of discoloration, saggy skin, wrinkles, and more. However, while protecting ourselves, we must also remember that the products we use can be causing damage in other ways. Coral reefs, which are seriously threatened by climate change are also badly affected by most types of sunscreen.
Coral reefs are underwater ecosystems. Rising sea temperatures are bleaching coral reefs, but sunscreen also plays a role. As Sierra Club explains, “oxybenzone, which becomes more toxic when exposed to sunlight, contributes to that bleaching while introducing other issues to the coral—DNA damage and death among them.”
Places like Hawaii have banned sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate, two chemicals known to be harmful to reefs. While banning these products is an important step, it would be even best to eliminate the dangerous products. There are plenty of reef-safe options, but it requires people to make an investment. Affordable and common brands use these harmful chemicals.
Coppertone has been a leading sunscreen brand for over 70 years. If they made a change and made their sunscreens reef-safe, other companies would follow suit. If you agree, sign this petition telling Bayer (Coppertone’s parent company) to change Coppertone’s ingredients and go reef-safe before it’s too late.
Sign these relevant petitions to take more environmental action:
- Save the Elephants and Coral Reefs from Tourism Industry in Phuket, Thailand
- Save the Great Barrier Reef
- Demand that Florida Ban Reef-Killing Sunscreen Now
To Support companies that use reef-safe ingredients and to do your part in using a better sunscreen, check out these 15 Coral Reef-Safe and Cruelty-Free Sunscreens You Need This Summer!
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