Save your time and save the reef by not using harmful cosmetics when you visit Australia!
Plunge into the glistening waters of the Great Barrier Reef, swimming through colourful corals and unique marine life. Spend your day in pure paradise, as you discover epic attractions and unforgettable activities. But before you dive below, consider the sunscreen you’re about to smear on your skin. It might not seem like much, but it’s an important thing to consider.
Why, do you ask?
Sunscreen may be a lifesaver for you on those scorching hot summer days, but to the reef, it’s a slow killer. This is due to the harmful chemicals within sunscreen. Ingredients like oxybenzone, nanoparticles, camphor, or methylparaben all affect the reef in different, negative ways.
One of the first things you likely do when heading into the sun is to apply sunscreen. This routine has been engraved in Australians from a young age, with our mothers, advertisements, and doctors all strongly enforcing this habit. So, when visitors trek out to the Great Barrier reef, the majority of us will remind you to slip slop slap to avoid any blistering sunburn. But what we do forget, is that no matter however long we may wait for the sunscreen to dry, the liquid will slowly melt off us and leach into the deep ocean.
This causes harmful ingredients to seep into the nearby corals, which can disrupt a coral’s reproduction and growth development, ultimately leading to coral bleaching. Although sunscreen is in no way the only cause of the Great Barrier reef’s damage, the hundreds of swimmers soaked with sunscreen definitely causes significant harm.
Reef -Safe Sunscreen
Don’t chuck out your sunscreen just yet! For there are many brands out there that actually are absolutely fine to use on the reef. By swapping out oxybenzone or octinoxate for a non-nano titanium dioxide or even a zinc oxide, sunscreen brands can create a formula that is much safer for the environment. Brands such as Thinksport, All Good, and Babo Botanicals all offer you guilt free way to keep that sunburn at bay.
What better way to protect your skin than by covering it up? Instead of walking around in that tight speedo or itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka-dot bikini, wear a t-shirt or long dress, covering your body from the harmful rays without any fuss. With swimming, try out some waterproof attire, including a rash top or wet suit so you can discover the reef without any guilt of worries.
What else is harming the reef?
It’s not just sunscreen that can harm the reef though, many of the chemicals mentioned above are found in a range of personal care items. This includes foundations, anti-ageing creams, moisturisers and some fragrances. The best way to avoid leaking these chemicals into the reef is to forego using cosmetic items when visiting the reef. Lucky for you, it’d be a bit pointless to put on a face of makeup before jumping into the ocean!
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