Dear SB Community,
There is still a lot of conversation and debate around the impact of sunscreen on coral reefs. As you may know, Hawaii State Legislature approved Bill 2571, which bans the sale of (non-prescription) sunscreens containing Oxybenzone and Octinoxate as of January 1, 2021. This legislation is a big step in moving the industry towards more “Reef Compliant” sunscreen products, so we want to share more details and information on this important topic with you.
Hawaii Act 104 Reef Compliant Sunscreens
First things first—what does it mean for a product to be “Reef Friendly” or “Reef Safe”? Well, because there is no agreed upon testing protocol, neither “Reef Friendly” nor “Reef Safe” is currently being defined or regulated by the FDA. The truth is, no one really knows what is 100% “safe” for the reefs. That’s why we choose to reference “Hawaii Act 104 Reef Compliant” for our products—to help inform our community that our sunscreens are both Oxybenzone free and Octinoxate free, since these are the two ingredients noted in the research leading to the new regulation.
What Makes Sunscreen Reef Compliant
We are very proud to say that all of our sunscreen products throughout the U.S. meet the requirements of Hawaii’s regulation. Check out our Hawaii Act 104 Reef Compliant products below.
Doing Our Research: Mineral vs Chemical Sunscreen
When we first started back in 2010, we set out to create healthy and effective sunscreen products that we actually wanted to put on ourselves and our families. Since then, there were (and still are) two choices for sunscreens to choose from: “Non-Mineral” and “Mineral” active sunscreens. As technology and aesthetics of sunscreens have improved over the years, so have our formulas for both Mineral and Non-Mineral—but what is the difference between the two?
In a nutshell, both types of sunscreens protect us— they just use a few different ingredients to do it.
Mineral sunscreens use physical active ingredients (Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide) to create a sunscreen barrier on the skin that blocks UV rays by absorbing and reflecting them away from the skin (absorbs approx~90%+ of UV rays, reflects ~5%+).
Non-mineral sunscreens (also referred to as synthetic or chemical) sunscreens use non-physical active ingredients (Homosalate, Octocrylene, Octisalate, Avobenzone) to absorb UV rays by converting them into heat and sending them right back out to where they came from (absorbs approx~95%+ of UV rays).
What about the other stuff that’s in sunscreen?
When it comes to choosing ingredients for our products, we don’t like to mess around. We have always been adamant about removing any ingredients that may be questionable for us and our planet. So, you can trust that Sun Bum products are made without:
· Retinyl Palmitate
Oxybenzone Free & Octinoxate Free Sunscreens
While there continue to be different perspectives on the research and causes of damage to coral reefs, there is simply no way we would take the chance of hurting the very living thing that shapes the waves we surf on every day—not to mention all the other sea creatures that live in and around it. We’re stoked that this debate is pushing the industry to be better. Because above all else, we’re a group of friends whose values prioritize love for our planet, the animals and each other. We promise to continue making products that reflect that.
Trust The Bum®