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Hawaii bans toxic sunscreen ingredients...

January 19, 2021 2 min read


Worldwide, roughly 14,000 tonnes of sunscreen enter the ocean each year.

On January 1st, 2021, Hawaii's law on banning the sale and distribution of sunscreen containing toxic ingredients of oxybenzone and octinoxate went into effect. A major win for the health of the reef, marine life, and humans!

How does chemical sunscreen damage coral reefs?

The biggest cause of coral reef destruction is bleaching, which is when corals discharge the algae that generates 90% of their energy, reducing their ability to grow and reproduce. Toxic sunscreen ingredients like oxybenzone have been found to promote bleaching, increase abnormal growth and make coral more susceptible to disease. Oxybenzone and octinoxate have been identified in various species of fish worldwide, which poses a serious problem for the food chain! These are the two ingredients are included in the sunscreen ban.

On a side note: did you know that oxybenzone will appear in the urine of 96% of those who apply it directly to their skin. Eeeeek, this shows how easily this baddie is absorbed through the skin!

Are all natural sunscreens reef safe?

It's not only chemical sunscreens that are harmful, natural sunscreens that contain nano-particles are also dangerous as they are so small they can be absorbed by marine life. Check out our blog here to find out what you need to look for when selecting a reef-safe sunscreen.

Our Natural sunscreen options:

1. Sunbutter Sunscreen.

Reef-safe, toxin-free, Aussie owned and made, and sustainably packaged in a reusable and recyclable metal tin! It provides 4 hours of broad spectrum SPF50+ protection. What's not to love?!


2. Dirty Hippie - Coconut Sunscreen

Dirty Hippie’s Coconut Sunscreen is a reef safe formula that combines broad-spectrum non-nano Zinc oxide with organic Coconut, Carrot Seed, Red Raspberry Seed, and Wheatgerm Oils to create a toxin-free SPF30+ level of protection, whilst nourishing the skin. It is available with or without natural bug repellent. Australian owned and made, toxin-free and available in a compostable cardboard tube or recyclable metal tin.

It remains unclear how the sunscreen ban will be regulated for travellers bringing in their own sunscreen. However, this law is an awesome start at spreading awareness and encouraging companies to move away from toxic ingredients. Share this story with your beach-loving bestie to help spread the word!


At go for zero we believe positive news about the environment is far more motivating than fear-based stories! We share these stories to warm your heart, spread positivity, and inspire action. There are so many game-changing individuals, companies, and non-profits out there implementing real solutions that combat climate change, pollution, and other critical issues!

If you love this story, spread the word, send it to a friend, family, or colleagues, your voice is more powerful than you think! Stay positive 💓

With love,

The GFZ team xx


  1. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
  2. sunbutteroceans.com.au/blogs/
  3. sustainabletravel.org/
  4. mauinews.com/
  5. abc.net.au/

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