WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — While a sunscreen's main purpose is to protect our skin from the sun's rays, certain types have hurtful effects on marine wildlife.
Sunscreens have different filters to stop the sun from damaging skin. Chemical sunscreens have active ingredients such as Octinoxate and Octisalate, which absorb sun rays before they damage the skin.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, these kinds of sunscreens can cause coral bleaching and infertility in fish as well as other damaging effects.
Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes prior to going outside and should be reapplied every two hours, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. It then enters our waterways when we apply the sunscreen or when swimming and washing the sunscreen off.
Instead, it is recommended to use mineral active ingredients as Zinc Oxide. Instead of absorbing sun rays, mineral filters block them before they can get to the skin and protects the skin for longer periods than chemical filters. Because mineral filters are natural, they are better for sensitive skin and does not harm marine wildlife.