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Your skin isn’t the only thing that needs protecting when at the beach. As you may have heard, scientists have found that certain chemicals in sunscreen are harmful to coral reefs and other marine life. These culprits include the likes of Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, and nano-Zinc oxide, which can cause coral bleaching, decreased fertility in fish, and even tissue damage among dolphins. 

To address this, Hawaii introduced a landmark law to preserve marine ecosystems, including coral reefs. 

What is Hawaii Act 104?

Officially signed into law last 2021, Hawaii Act 104 bans the sale and distribution of sunscreens with Oxybenzone and Octinoxate in Hawaii — making them the first in the world to do so. This legislation is a major step in the industry, pushing skincare companies to make reef-safe sunscreen the norm. 

What does ‘reef-safe sunscreen’ mean? 

Before anything else, what does ‘reef-safe’ or ‘reef-friendly’ even mean? Unfortunately, there isn’t an agreed upon definition set by the FDA, as the science exploring sunscreen’s threat on the environment continues to evolve. Currently, the best basis for ‘reef-safe sunscreen’ is being ‘Hawaii Act 104 reef-compliant.’ This ensures that a product is free from Oxybenzone and Octinoxate — the two main harmful ingredients cited in its research. 

Why is reef-safe sunscreen important?

Coral reefs and marine life aren’t just pretty to look at; they’re a fundamental part of a much larger ecosystem that is critical to our planet’s health. Coral reefs, in particular, suffer the most from sunscreen-induced coral bleaching — a condition that makes corals vulnerable to illness and keeps it from getting nutrients it needs for survival. 

An estimated 25 percent of marine life depends on coral reefs for survival. As one of the most biologically diverse and valuable ecosystems on Earth, healthy coral reefs provide habitat, feeding, spawning and nursery grounds for aquatic species (including over 4,000 species of fish). 

On top of this, an estimated 1 billion people around the world also rely on coral reefs for food, coastal protection from storms and erosion, tourism, and more. You may not be living on the beach, but coral reef protection concerns all of us. 

Is Everyday Humans ‘Hawaii Act 104’ Reef-Compliant SPF?

The short answer is: yes! As a pro-planet sunscreen brand, we have never (and will never) use ingredients that may compromise our environment, including Oxybenzone and Octinoxate. We’re always keeping up to date with research findings on reef-safe sunscreen in the US, and are committed to creating products that are safe for you and the planet. If chemical sunscreen is not your thing, we also have a mineral SPF option with non-nano zinc oxide, making it just as safe for the earth. 

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