There is an alarming amount of research that what we use to protect our skin is bleaching our ocean's coral reefs. In a recent conversation with our 5 year old, I had to explain that bleaching our clothes sometimes gets difficult and yucky stains out, but bleaching our coral reefs mean that we're killing the natural and live coral and therefore also inadvertently killing the marine life that live there. In short, it's no bueno. Luckily there is also a large body of research of known causes in our sunscreen and we can avoid using them. In general the rules are: 1. Avoid oxybenzones - make sure your sunscreen is labeled "oxybenzone free" 2. Avoid parabens - this is also bad for you, in general, and should be avoided 3. Look for water resistant sunscreens - this is because it's less likely to wash off of you and into the environment. 4. Mineral sunscreens are generally viewed as safe for reefs.
5. "Reef safe" or "Coral safe" will usually be on the label. Note, however, there is no standardized test to actually verify if a product is safe for the ocean. At least not yet! There are many brands out there that are considered reef safe, these days. Thinkbaby and Thinksport are very cognizant of being ocean friendly and they are also very effective at screening out UVA/UVB rays. For now, these are our go-to brands. They also have daily face sunscreen that works well under makeup or alone when you are out on a run.