Just how effective is your Hawaiian sunscreen at protecting both your skin and our environment?
We’ve been writing about staying safe under the Hawaii sun for 10 years. As always, your best protection is a shirt, hat and proper sunglasses. But beyond that, here’s how to stay covered in the islands and elsewhere.
For one thing, did you know that Hawaii’s legislature may soon ban use of oxybenzone containing sunscreens? Multiple research studies have shown oxybenzone harms both coral reefs and people.
The bill is currently in front of the State Senate (Senate Bill 1150) after which it will go to the House. There, manufacturers and store owners are planning on mounting opposition.
Senate Bill 1150 prohibits sunscreens containing oxybenzone in the ocean or on the beach. Even if the bill does not pass, at the very least expect to see a warning notice on sunscreen products containing oxybenzone here in Hawaii.
Dangers of Oxybenzone to humans
Oxybenzone may also cause hormonal disruptions and cell damage itself could be cancer causing. More on this is likely to come to the forefront based on research soon.
Regarding Oxybenzone, the Environmental Work Group says:
1. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has detected oxybenzone in more than 96 percent of the American population.”
2. “Participants who reported using sunscreen have higher oxybenzone exposures.”
3. “Oxybenzone can cause allergic skin reactions and may disrupt hormones.”
Safer and effective alternatives in Hawaiian sunscreen
Many new safer products are available compared with even a couple of years ago. Read on for some of the highest rated sunscreen products that also feature low toxicity to you and the environment. These products still provide great sunburn (and questionable skin-cancer) prevention caused by UVA and UVB exposure, while not injuring Hawaii’s coral reefs.
The following families of products are among the safest and most effective (according to EWG), and the highest rated by consumers:
Badger Sunscreens (various SPF) (Used by Beat of Hawaii editors)
What products have worked best for you?