Is Neutrogena Sunscreen Reef Safe?

Anyone who is hoping to make the most of the warm weather should ensure that they do so whilst having some form of protection from the sun. In these instances, it’s often wise to buy quality sunscreen. Those who purchase SPF from a reliable source and use it regularly through the hotter months where it’s most needed are generally far more likely to have their skin protected from the sun’s harsh rays, helping to keep their skin both healthier and more youthful. Not all sunscreens are made the same however, which is why it’s often important to take the time to find the ideal type for individual needs.

It’s crucial to make sure that these types of lotions are reef safe, because they can often be designed to be beneficial for humans without taking the environment into consideration. That’s why brands like Neutrogena are a great choice for a wide variety of people. 

Why is it important to pick reef-safe SPF?

The human race has developed so much over time; from understanding that being in the sun for too long can damage our skin, to finding ways to combat this so we can still enjoy our time outdoors without the risks. There are so many benefits to using protection, even outside of just safeguarding individuals from sunburn.

But this isn’t all that we have learned. Certain chemicals that are found in some SPF products are not only harmful to our own health, but also to coral reefs. These include octinoxate and oxybenzone, with the latter being an excellent example of a chemical that everyone should steer clear of when buying their chosen brand.

The harmful chemicals in ordinary SPF

A number of sunscreens have a host of chemicals that aren’t very safe for coral life, which is exactly why reef-safe (also commonly known as mineral) sun protection is often best.

As mentioned above, oxybenzone in particular should be avoided at all costs, due to how detrimental it can be to reef-life. It has been scientifically proven that this chemical alone can cause coral bleaching, and can make it more difficult for the reef to heal and recover from existing damage. Even a small amount could severely harm or even kill coral, simply because of how it can impact the DNA of both larval and mature species. To add to an already long list of negative reasonings, it also disrupts coral reproduction, too. 

Some of the other dangerous chemicals to look out for include:

  • 4MBC (4-methylbenzylidene camphor) – Much like oxybenzone, 4MBC has been proven to cause coral bleaching and isn’t allowed in either the US or Japan
  • Butylparaben – This preservative is another chemical that’s been shown to cause coral bleaching, and like the rest, should be avoided to help preserve reef life
  • Octinoxate – Another common sunscreen ingredient that can harm reefs, also causing coral bleaching  

Studies suggest that these chemicals are harmful at extremely low concentrations, even with as little as one drop in the amount of water it takes to fill more than 6 Olympic-sized swimming pools being detrimental. The bad news is that even one person wearing non-mineral sunscreen in water can have a noticeable impact.

Aside from being generally better to purchase SPF that doesn’t contain these chemicals for our own health and safety, it’s also important to make sure that we protect the earth regardless of what we’re doing.

Is Neutrogena a safe choice?

With all this in mind, it’s often a wise idea to go with something far safer when searching for good sunscreen – and there’s a reason why so many individuals opt to use Neutrogena. While there are some products by them that are not ideal for swimming in the sea and seeing the beautiful coral, there are also several that have been formulated to be reef safe.

An excellent example of this is Neutrogena’s SheerZinc Dry-Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30, which is one of the company’s most popular options. While some mineral sunscreens do actually contain some harmful chemicals, a look at the ingredients within this particular brand will show that there is neither oxybenzone nor octinoxate. Not only is this a great option overall, but it’s also one of the best reef-safe sunscreens available on the market, which certainly makes it more appealing to anyone who’s looking to buy a dedicated, trustworthy product that’s affordable and environmentally sound.

In some places, it’s a necessity to have reef-safe sun protection

Of course, there are some people who might not be too bothered about the damage they could be causing to the sea with unsafe lotion, but there are even more reasons than those we’ve already discussed to outline just why picking a mineral sunscreen can be the best choice.

Outside of hoping to help protect marine life or even just wanting to be able to swim and snorkel with tropical fish on a vacation, it’s important for anyone to consider the fact that some parts of the world are less than keen for people to come and cause damage to their waters during their vacations.

Hawaii was the first location to implement a ban on the sale of these harmful products, and there are more locations that have since then chosen to follow in the state’s footsteps to protect their coral reefs.

Keep yourself and the environment safe

When it comes to vacations in any part of the world, although particularly in areas where there are beautiful coral reefs to explore, it’s well worth looking for reef-friendly products. There are a number of activities that involve being underwater, from snorkeling to diving, and this is why it’s so vital that more people understand the harmful consequences that come with using most chemical sunscreens.

Neutrogena is an established, trusted brand that works tirelessly to cater to a range of consumers while keeping in mind environmental needs via product research and implementation. This means that when looking for good quality mineral sun protector, it can often be a good idea to buy from them.