Why Is There a Hawaii Sunscreen Ban? – Everything You Need to Know

Are you planning a vacation to Hawaii and wondering why there is a sunscreen ban? Or are you a Hawaii local looking for eco-friendly sunscreen options? If so, this blog post is for you. In this article, we will dive deep into the specifics of Hawaii's sunscreen ban, the ingredients banned, and what reef-safe* sunscreen means to Hawaiians. We will also discuss UVA/UVB protection and how to find quality sunscreens that are safe to use.


What to Avoid in Sunscreen

Hawaii's sunscreen ban came into effect on January 1st, 2021. It's the first state to implement such a law. The reason for the ban is to protect Hawaii's delicate marine environment, particularly its reefs, which have already been damaged by climate change and pollution. The ingredients banned in Hawaii's sunscreen ban are oxybenzone and octinoxate. These chemicals are commonly found in popular sunscreens, and their impact on coral reefs is devastating. These ingredients have been found to cause coral bleaching, deformities, DNA damage, and ultimately, death in coral reefs.


For Locals, and Tourists

It's important to note that Hawaii's sunscreen ban applies to both locals and tourists. The Hawaiian government has taken this step altogether to save their marine environment. Any sunscreen that contains oxybenzone and octinoxate will be subject to confiscation if you try to bring it to Hawaii. So, before you pack your sunscreen, make sure to check the ingredients first.


What Does Reef Safe* Sunscreen Mean to Hawaiians?

 Hawaiians prefer mineral-based sunscreens because they do not contain the harmful chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate that damage coral reefs. Mineral sunscreens use ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. While these sunscreens are considered reef-safe, choosing the right mineral sunscreen can be confusing. To ensure that your sunscreen is reef-safe, you should look for products that contain non-nano zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.


UVA/UVB Aging & Sunburns

 Now let's take a look at UVA/UVB protection and how it affects consumers. UVA rays are responsible for aging our skin, and UVB rays lead to sunburn. When choosing a sunscreen, it's essential to look for one that offers broad-spectrum protection, protecting you from both UVA and UVB rays. Another important factor is the SPF rating. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, which is a measure of how long you can stay in the sun without getting burned. The higher the SPF number, the longer you can stay in the sun without getting burnt.


Takeaway: Mineral Based Brands

 Finally, let's talk about how to find a quality sunscreen that's safe to use. Look for mineral based sunscreens that have non-nano zinc oxide and non-nano titanium dioxide, and an SPF rating of 30 or higher. Some popular brands of mineral-based sunscreens that are safe to use in Hawaii are Badger, Rad Wax, Alba Botanica, Raw Elements, and Manda. These brands have excellent UVA/UVB protection and are free from harmful chemicals.

 Hawaii's sunscreen ban is a bold step taken by the state to protect its marine environment. The chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate commonly found in sunscreens have been shown to cause significant impacts on coral reefs. Choosing a mineral-based sunscreen that's free from these harmful chemicals is the best option, and it's essential to check for non-nano zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. With this information, you're now armed with the knowledge to choose a quality reef-safe sunscreen, safe for both you and the environment. Pack smart and enjoy your trip to Hawaii.