How to know if your mineral sunscreen is actually reef safe

But the question remains: what does this mean? All Is mineral sunscreen considered good for the sea? Here it is a little more complicated. Two common ingredients in mineral sunscreen are titanium oxide and zinc oxide. In fact, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found both components to be safe against UV rays; Zinc oxide, in particular, also protects against UVA rays, a major contributor to photography. (You can read all about zinc oxide here.)

And it’s true that these mineral blockers may not be as harmful to the wall directly as their chemical components, which is great. However, this does not mean that they are completely safe for marine life. Caution? The minerals used need to be non-nano (meaning they are not broken down into smaller bits). Without them, these nanoparticles, especially zinc oxide nanoparticles, could be absorbed by marine life and potentially harm a variety of species.

So there you have it — mineral sunscreen may be good for the environment, but the next time you look for marine life, the best option is to find a non-nano mineral SPF. The main bonus is if the product uses recycled plastic or generally durable packaging.

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