This past week, our founder, Jennifer, went on a business trip to Panama where she mingled with other entrepreneurs, met the president of Panama, and learned to surf. While she was there, she realized that there was not much natural sunscreen available, which means that much of what is going into the ocean is not reef-friendly. Coral is a living organism and also home to marine life. It is a system that allows all of these entities to exist and grow. Human interference with the coral reef impacts this underwater habitat and can lead to its destruction. Included in this impact are the chemicals that come into contact with the reef and fish, chemicals that can be found in everyday sunscreens. Research has shown that chemicals found in store-bought, common sunscreens are dangerous to coral and can damage the algae the reef depends on by activating harmful viruses. In a study, the ingredients below have been found to “cause the rapid and complete bleaching of hard corals, even at extremely low concentrations” (Donner et al): ▪ Oxybenzone (benzophenone-3) ▪ Octyl methoxycinnamate (octinoxate) ▪ Propylene glycol and Butylparaben ▪ Camphor ▪ Cinnamate This same study showed that bleaching over time can affect reproduction capability, slow or stop its growth and ability to fight off disease, and even threaten the coral’s life. Combined with global warming, all coral reefs could crumble and half of all existing sea life could disappear by 2050, in a worst-case scenario (Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, University of Queensland/AP). Sunscreen has a direct correlation as ultraviolet filters can cause dormant infections within the coral. Even small amounts can be deadly to reef ecosystems. The reef maintains a delicate balance, and simply touching a coral can kill it. Thus, it is crucial to be respectful and gentle as we are only visitors in this biosphere. Approximately 4,000 and 6,000 tons of sunscreen are washed off in reefs every year. Coral reefs are a life source, acting as hatcheries and nurseries for open ocean fish, and protecting coastal storms. Safeguard them and sea life and decrease impact by using all natural sunscreen. TruKid sunscreens are all natural and Reef Friendly. Protect your skin and our oceans with TruKid’s biodegradable, safe formula that is as good for the earth as it is for your skin.