Reef-Safe Sunscreen – Hawaii Law Now in Effect!

Aloha ‘Ohana!

Hawaii is home to beautiful beaches, oceans and coral reefs that serve as a home to thousands of species. The state of Hawaii is the first to pass a bill to officially ban the sale and distribution of sunscreen containing coral-harming chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate.

When you’re traveling to the islands, you will only see reef-safe sunscreen sold at retailers in Hawaii. If you’re bringing sunscreen from home, please try your best to pack reef-safe sunscreen! 

Hero Photo: Taylor Deas-Melesh | Photo Credit: Francesco Ungaro

Photo Credit: Jordan McQueen


  • Avoid Oxybenzone (most common), Octinoxate, Avobenzone, Octocrylene – chemicals believed to badly alter coral DNA and cause coral bleaching
  • Avoid sunscreens containing petrolatum (mineral oil), as it takes years to biodegrade and known to be harmful or fatal to aquatic life and waterfowl
  • Avoid sunscreens with high content of Titanium Dioxide. This mineral does not biodegrade and is found to react in warm seawater to form hydrogen peroxide which is harmful to all sea life.


  • Use mineral-based, non-nano zinc-based reef-safe sunscreen 
  • Check on particle size above 100 nanometers
  • Other things to look out for: eco-friendly packaging, organic/local ingredients, fragrance-free, microplastic-free, biodegradable

Remember to choose products that are not only safe for you, but the environment!