The ocean killer lurking in your sunscreen

As the temperatures drop here in the Northern Hemisphere and people start hitting up Expedia looking for warm sandy beaches…

We thought we’d talk sunscreen

More specifically, how you might want to consider changing up your sunscreen before heading down south.

You might have seen labels like “reef-safe” or “reef-friendly” on your sunscreen and wondered what it means

It means it doesn’t contain ingredients that harm the coral reefs. 

Ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate may block harmful UVA and UVB rays, but they’re also destroying the coral reefs.

These ingredients have a bleaching effect on the coral reef. They weaken–and even kill–the reefs over time.

The coral reefs are critical to our environment, they play a huge part in biodiversity, preventing natural disasters, and our food supply.

Here are a few crucial roles the coral reefs play:

  • Provide habitat, shelter, and food for sea creatures

According to the NOAA, 25% of the world’s fish depend on healthy coral reefs to survive. That’s about 4000 different species of fish. They rely on the reefs for food, shelter, reproduction, and raising their young. 

  • Protect coastlines from natural disasters

The coral reef acts like a physical barrier protecting coastal towns from natural disasters. The NOAA  says healthy coral reefs can absorb 97% of the energy from waves, storms, and floods. Without them, natural disasters would have a much harsher impact.

  • Provide jobs to people around the world

Healthy coral reefs provide employment and income, especially in the fishing sector. Fish need healthy coral reefs to survive. Without them, fish would face mass extinction and fisheries would suffer. The coral reefs are also crucial to the tourism industry, providing jobs to hotel staff, tour guides, hospitality workers, and more.

  • Make up a large percentage of the world’s global food supply

More than 10% of the global population relies on oceanic food. Without coral reefs, there would be a global food supply crisis.

The coral reefs are dying due to a number of factors, like ocean acidification as a result of climate change and chemicals entering the ocean.

Those are huge problems that require the government to step in. But in the meantime we can take action on our own to protect the reefs.

You can have a big impact when you switch to reef-safe sunscreen.


Because reef-safe sunscreen doesn’t contain coral bleaching ingredients like oxybenzone or octinoxate.

Instead, it contains zinc oxide, a mineral that blocks the sun’s ray just as well as the coral-killing chemicals.

Zinc oxide is considered reef-safe because the particles are larger than 100 nanometres–too large for coral reefs to consume.

Maybe you’ve already heard of–or even tried–zinc oxide based sunscreens before.

Many of you may have abandoned them because you looked like Bob Dylan in the Rolling Thunder Revue.”

Well, etee created a mineral sunscreen formula that doesn’t give you that ghostly white pallor...It even feels light and comfortable on your skin.

In fact it was Tatiana's review we got on Monday that prompted me to write this email.

"it’s hard to believe that this is a sunscreen. It goes on totally clear, does not feel heavy or sticky, works great under makeup - powder and cream based, DOES NOT MAKE ME BREAK OUT!!! That last one is such a win with mineral sunscreens

And the 2nd best part is that it doesn’t come in a plastic tube or bottle.

Instead, it comes in a home compostable Chrysalis Beauty Pod, made of natural waxes, hemp, and algae.

All you have to do is just squeeze the tube into your favourite jar (or we'll provide you one you can reuse) and then toss the tube into your home composter.

When you use etee mineral sunscreen, you’re not only saving the fish, but you’re also tacking single-use plastic waste.

Thanks for joining us on our mission to end plastic pollution and restore biodiversity!

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