Reef Safe Sunscreen

Posted on: July 10, 2022

The sandy beaches and warm waters of Maui are peaceful places that have been worshipped by the locals for centuries. Filled with vibrant colors and plenty of wildlife, it’s these waters that both your friends at The Pauli Family Condos at Wailea and the people of Hawaii want to protect. One simple way you can do this is by utilizing safe sun practices and reef-safe sunscreen.

Komo mai kau mapuna hoe – Dip your paddle in. Join the effort.

The Effect of Sunscreen on Coral Reefs

Until recently, it was thought that warmer waters were to blame for the bleaching of hard corals. And although temperature change is an issue, it seems that sunscreen has a bigger effect on coral reefs than researchers originally thought. Bleaching, damaged DNA and increases in deformities are just a few plights that sunscreen can cause.

Although there are a few different culprits, one of the main chemicals known to damage sea life is Oxybenzone. This chemical is found in over 3,000 sunscreen products and can decimate local coral populations. This chemical, along with a few other nano-particles, can also leave hard coral more susceptible to diseases like Coral Tissue Loss.

What Makes a Sunscreen “Reef Friendly”?

Although the term “reef-friendly” is not regulated, it can be a good starting point on your hunt for better sun care options. You should always check the active ingredients to make sure what you are purchasing is actually going to be safe for wildlife. Non-nano mineral sunscreens are the best option available. It is also important to note that lotion sunscreens are a better option as sprays can contain aerosols and titanium dioxide. Here are a few chemicals to look out for that can be harmful to corals:

Reef Safe Sunscreens

Now that we’ve dived into why some sunscreens are better than others, let’s talk about some of our favorites. As people that spend a lot of time outdoors, it was easy to narrow down some of our favorite options.

Hawaiian Sunscreen Brands

Kokua Sun Care – SPF 50, Natural Zinc

Little Hands Hawaii – SPF 35+, Natural, Organic

Mama Kuleana – SPF 30, Waterproof

Raw Love – SPF 35, Mineral Sunscreen DEAL -> Get 10% off your order with code: Ekahi10

Alternative Sunscreen Brands

All Good – SPF 30, Sport Sunscreen

Babo Botanicals – SPF 30, Clear Zinc

Banana Boat Sensitive – SPF 50+, Mineral

Olita – SPF 30, Mineral Lotion

Raw Elements – SPF 30, Certified Natural

Stream2Sea – SPF 30, Sport, Mineral

No matter which sunscreen you decide on, in Hawaii, it must be reef safe. You can always purchase once you arrive on our beautiful island or purchase ahead with any of the links above. And if you’re still not sure if Maui is the right choice for your next vacation, come check out The Pauli Family Condos at Wailea’s available units and amenities here. A hui hou – Until we meet again!