You may have missed the news last fall and we want to keep you informed! Raw Love Sunscreen was created on the island of Maui in the Hawaiian islands as a mineral sunscreen that won’t harm corals or ocean life. Last fall, Maui County issued a restriction on purchasing chemical sunscreens in an effort to preserve natural marine environments and prevent further damage to coral reefs. We fully support this restriction and want to help you understand its importance and how it affects your time visiting Maui.
When you apply sunscreen, often it doesn’t stay on your skin. When you get into the ocean to swim or play, sunscreen can easily come off and then it remains in the ocean, affecting sea life.
Chemical sunscreens are linked to impairing green algae growth and its photosynthesis. Sunscreen chemicals can also accumulate in corals and damage coral DNA, cause coral bleaching, or kill corals. They can also cause defects in young mussels. They can harm reproductive systems, deform young and harm the immune system of sea urchins. These chemicals also affect fish, decreasing fertility and reproduction rates, and can cause female fish to show male characteristics. Chemicals can accumulate in dolphin tissue and their babies can inherit issues as a result.1
The United States FDA (Food and Drug Administration) oversees the safety of sunscreen products and in 2019 it updated their sunscreen regulations listing only TWO ingredients that are currently classified as safe and effective sunscreens, based on the available research: zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. 2
To effectively protect yourself and the environment, choose mineral sunscreens that do not include any of these ingredients: Oxybenzone, nano-Zinc oxide, nano-Titanium dioxide, Octinoxate, Octocrylene, OD-PABA, 4-Methylbenzylidene camphor, Benzophenone-1, Benzophenone-8, or 3-Benzylidene camphor.
Here’s the info you need to know about the Maui sunscreen ban:
Only mineral-based sunscreens can be distributed, sold or used in Maui County. This sunscreen ban went into effect starting Saturday, October 1, 2022 when the County of Maui passed Ordinance No. 5306 that bans the sale, distribution and use of non-mineral sunscreens without a prescription across Maui, Lanai and Molokai.
Starting on October 1, 2022, only mineral sunscreens will be allowed in the County.
Hawai’i is one of the most isolated archipelagos on earth and our coral reefs are home to unique marine life found nowhere else on the planet. Here in Maui County, reefs are not only extremely important habitats, they are fundamental to the marine economy. Coral reefs also provide us with places for recreation and longstanding Hawaiian cultural practices. Reefs buffer us against waves, storms and floods which helps prevent property damage, erosion and loss of life.3
Learn more about how to get the best sun protection on your Maui vacation:
- Choose sunblocks using zinc oxide (like Raw Love Mineral Sunscreen) or titanium dioxide for the active ingredient. These mineral sunscreens are non-nano and therefore cannot be absorbed into your bloodstream. They both protect agains UVA and UVB rays. Zinc oxide protects against UVB, UVA1 and UVA2 rays. Titanium dioxide protects against UVB and UVA2 rays.4
- No sunscreen provides complete protection nor is completely waterproof, so experts recommend limiting sun exposure from 10 am to 2pm, when the sun rays are the strongest and most harmful. They also suggest wearing a hat, rash guard, and other protective layers, as well as using sun umbrellas and seeking shade. You can also wear a wetsuit in the water to limit your risk of sunburn and exposure.
- Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide both physically block the sun and begin to work immediately upon application. Apply before you arrive at the beach for best absorpstion and use a mirror or have a friend help you to ensure you get maximum coverage on all areas of your skin.
- These mineral sunscreens are resistant to water, but you’ll need to reapply fairly often. Defiantly after swimming, exercising with heavy sweat, or every two hours.
- Do not use any type of spray sunscreen! They are usually chemical sunscreens and they also leace particles on the sand or the ground around you and they wash off in the ocean, and they can be inhaled. Just avoid them.