How can you protect yourself from harmful UV rays and also protect our coral reefs? The NY Times recently published an article “Most Sunscreens Can Harm Coral Reefs. What Should Travelers Do?” warning of the growing concern that the increased presence of chemicals from our sunscreens (oxybenzone) may be harming the oceanic environment.
What type of Sunscreen is best to use?
Our board-certified dermatologists Dr. Rebecca Baxt and Dr. Saida Baxt have always favored minimal chemical sunscreen. Our favorite sunscreen is always zinc based. Zinc is an inert chemical that is safe for children and adults. Sometimes people don’t prefer it because it can be white and greasy but it is the safest and best for the skin and now we know also coral reefs!. It does occasionally come in a spray we like the Elta Md zinc spray.
Elta MD Zinc Foam Spray is available for retail at our office. No appointment needed!
What else can I do to protect myself from harmful UV rays and protect the environment?
Another way to minimize Coral reef damage would be to use some protective clothing in the water. At Baxt CosMedical, we have always suggested swim shirts over bathing suits. There’s nothing that substitutes for the SPF 50 fabric. It can be used over and over again. It Does not require greasy sunscreen. Sunscreen even a high number like a 50 will wear off in the water eventually. Sun protective clothing or swim shirts do not wear off unless you take them off. We recommend bringing two on vacation so one can dry and the other one get used. They’re great for children and adults.
Steps you can take in order to protect yourself from harmful UV rays and protect the environment:
- Stay safe in the sun and enjoy your vacation.
- Use Zinc based sunblock and reapply every one to two hours.
- Wear sun productive clothing (hat, sunglasses, SPF 50 Fabric bathing suits).
- Stay in the shade