What does it mean to be a Reef Friendly SPF?

We know we’re throwing around a lot of claims over here on the blog about the benefits of MOTHER SPF and why it’s the new MVP of the sunscreen world. Partially we’re claiming bragging rights, but the other half is motivated by pure, wholesome desire to juice you up with knowledge (and antioxidants). This week we’re talking about the meaning of reef friendly SPF, and what it actually means to be reef friendly, other than just calling it your mate.

The term ‘reef safe’ essentially means that a product is formulated without ingredients like Oxybenzone and Octinoxate. These ingredients are chemical UV filters and when they slide off your slathered up bod into the ocean while you’re having a dip, have been found to contribute to the declining health of coral, resulting in coral bleaching, which essentially means it’s stressed TF out and is susceptible to disease and even death. Not such good news for our entire ecosystem.

When coral is compromised, it is less likely to fight off the effects of climate change, and when it’s diseased or dead, it is uninhabitable for a myriad of sea life to call it home, and stops protecting us from hurricanes and storms. Ocean plants and phytoplankton in coral reefs produce up to 85% of the oxygen we breathe, and provide habitats and shelter for marine organisms. In short, let’s not mess with the coral, unless we want it to mess with us right back.

Another damaging factor for coral reefs in sunscreen, is nanoparticles. These enter the water via you, and gets ingested by coral, making it even more unwell. Which is why you should not only be looking for sunscreens formulated without oxybenzone and octinoxate, but making sure they are non-nano, too.

The good news, amongst all this mildly scary info, is that products like MOTHER AUS SPF exist. MOTHER SPF is formulated sans ANY chemical UV filters, and is entirely non-nano, 100% natural, and completely organic. Protect yo’selves while protecting our earth too. They go hand-in-hand, people!

Image: @tommyiff

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