Reef safe is not enough


Brian Oh

Excuse me. What?

July 13, 2021

Sunscreen is an essential if you play to spend anytime outside in the sun to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. While your skin is being protected, some of the ingredients used can also damage the environment.

Hawaiian Tropic’s sunscreen primarily uses environmentally friendly ingredients, but include some such as octocrylene which can bioaccumulate causing damage to organisms and aminomethyl propanol which can toxic to the environment. This product is reef-safe excluding the use of harmful chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinoxate and do not utilize any form of animal testing. Overall, this sunscreen is environmentally “safe” but the brand falls short with it sustainability measures.

Hawaiian Tropic needs to work on becoming more transparent about their supply chain and production as well as taking more initiative as on of the more widespread sunscreen brands. The only two major goals they have achieved/working towards are to make all their products be reef-safe by 2021 (currently at 90%) and that their products are cruelty free. They should work on creating new projects to make their production sites more efficient and use renewable energy, but due to the lack of information its unclear how big their impact is. While their ingredients are relatively safe for the environment and for protecting your skin, the lack of sustainability goals to make their company more environmentally friendly are lacking. 

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