What is Reef Safe Sunscreen

Your Sunscreen Could be Dangering the Reefs

What is reef safe sunscreen

Ocean reefs, beautiful, aren’t they? They truly are, and they are also important for global health. What do you think of when you think of an ocean reef? Most people envision coral reefs with swaying swags of color and abundant fish moving through hidden services and the ocean floor. It is surprising, perhaps to learn that reefs can be atolls, barrier, fringing, oyster, and, of course, tropical coral.

Ocean Pollution

All ocean reefs are affected by debris, drainage, oils, run-off, toxicity, and even swimmer’s sun-screen. Imagine that, sunscreen affecting our ocean’s reefs. Certainly, this is something that most swimmer’s visiting neighboring beaches during the summer holidays think about. And, foreign travel to beach resorts, may not feature environmentally safe sunscreen practices . . . one never knows as each continent and country or nation has differing policies regarding the environment and its protection. Some have none.

What Reefs do

Reefs provide food sources, support coastline healthy, provide a location for ocean life that flourishes only in each type of listed above. Due to this, our planet cannot lose any aquatic resources relative to reef-life. The world’s economy – both oceanic and humanistic is better able to thrive with healthy in our sea’s flora.  Here is more on what reefs do.

Sunscreen and Reefs

Whenever we swim with sunscreen on, it winds up in the water and research scientists have determined that sunscreen chemicals have a severe impact on the health of reefs, especially the coral reefs. Due to this, reef safe sunscreen has been invented and it is not funny that more of us don’t know about it. Of course, you may be thinking, another thing to do differently that wasn’t an issue in the past. The list is incredulously long, isn’t it? It isn’t fun to have to remember every dot and title of new findings where we must adjust our day-to-day thinking and certainly, you may wonder, how much will reef safe sunscreen set my wallet back now?

You’ll be surprised to learn that best reef safe sunscreen isn’t costly. In fact, some reef safe sunscreen is even more cost-effective to ensure its proficiency in the marketplace and our adaptation to use it. We all love the ocean. Either to watch it or swim in it. Going forward, we need to embrace good environmental consciousness because our world population continues to grow exponentially, and we owe it to ourselves and the wildlife in our oceans and world.

So when you reach for sunscreen, make it reef safe sunscreen! The coral reef will thank you.

How Coral Reefs are Formed

How Coral Reefs are Formed

Have you ever wondered how coral reefs are made?  The formation of coral reefs is a pretty interesting phenomenon and they provide a huge and varied ecosystem that thrives under the water.  Coral reefs are often referred to as the “rainforest under the sea” and almost a quarter of all underwater species call the coral reef home.  For the most part reefs are found in the tropics near the shoreline although there are some reefs in the deep sea.  Let’s look at how they are made.

The First Stages of the Reef

A reef begins when coral larvae attach itself to the rocks and soil near the coast.  The larvae need to attach themselves in an area where there is enough sunlight filtering through the water and these larvae turn into polyps which excretes calcium carbonate that forms the exoskeleton.  The calcium carbonate provides a substrate for even more polyps to attach themselves eventually forming a coral reef.  At the same time algae also attaches to the structure and so do other plants and that makes the reef stronger.   The initial reefs are referred to as fringing reefs, over time the calcium carbonate in the reef converts to limestone because of pressure.

Barrier Reefs

Eventually the fringing reefs come together and form a border of sorts along the coast with the calcium carbonate luring in more polyps and the space eventually becomes filled in.  It can form a ring around an island and a line along the coast, the colors and formations are absolutely beautiful.  Since they are in relatively shallow water the sunlight helps the reef to grow.  The biggest reef is The Great Barrier Reef in Australia here is a closer look at it.


Coral reefs have a huge and complex ecosystem that is absolutely fascinating.  There is a huge variety of marine life including fish, algae, sponges and loads of other species that rely on the reef for food and shelter.  The bigger the reef the more species that you will find in there.  Let’s look at some of the more common species found in a reef.

  • Sponges: These act as filters for the sediment within the reef and are crucial to the function of the reef. They take large large globules and turn them into much smaller particles that can be then absorbed by the reef.
  • Fish: There are more than 5,000 different kinds of fish that live in the coral reef, fish are a vital part of the food chain and they live within the corals.
  • Invertebrates: These are the sea urchins, slugs and anemones and if you ever going diving near a reef you will see plenty of them.

Coral reefs are a complex and biodiverse ecosystem that are in danger because of pollution and man invading their natural habitats.  We need to bring awareness to the issue and make sure that we protect this delicate yet vital part of our oceans.