Sun tanning? Protect your skin and the sea!

Nausikaa Luyckx
Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Sun tanning? Protect your skin and the sea!

Protection against the rays of the sun is necessary but also harmful to marine ecosystems. Fortunately, nowadays there are alternative creams that are kinder on the environment (less harmful to the sea). Is your sunscreen coral-friendly?

The smell of sunscreen automatically makes you dream of tropical destinations, sun, sea, beach and holidays. Sunscreen is of course very important, helping you burn less quickly (or not at all!) and protecting you against UV radiation.

Unfortunately, despite the fact that it protects you, sunscreen is also harmful to nature. The chemicals in the sunscreen cause the deconstruction of coral. After just 20 minutes, over 25% of your applied sunscreen has already dissolved in the water. More than five thousand tons of sunscreen ends up in the sea every year.

In some areas, coral reefs are suffering greatly, due to a large number of travellers who go swimming, snorkelling or diving in the sea. When coral is exposed to sunscreen it can deform, fade or even die. This is because of two particularly harmful chemicals found in the sunscreen.


As a solution, nowadays different types of sunscreens are available that harm neither yourself nor the nature! Different brands of these products are often available at various health food stores. Do some research into which brand suits you best and at the same time preserves our underwater world.

Of course, you can protect yourself against the sun in several ways. Drink enough water, take shade during the warmest part of the day, wear sunglasses, cover your head and use after-sun lotion. Make a conscious effort to choose a biodegradable sunscreen and nature will be very grateful!