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Be SunSmart and Protect our Oceans

Choosing Reef-Friendly Sunscreen Can Make a Difference

Dipping your toes into the crystal-clear waters of the Ningaloo Reef is a dream come true for many. The vibrant coral, teeming marine life, and mesmerizing colors make it an underwater paradise.
But, when planning a trip to Exmouth, it’s important to consider the impact that our actions can have on the environment. One of the most important things you can consider is the type of sunscreen that you use. Being home to some of the ocean’s most biologically diverse and culturally significant marine areas, we need to ensure that these critical areas are protected from harmful chemicals.
Traditional sunscreens contain chemicals that can be harmful to coral reefs and marine life. They can bleach coral, damage their DNA and inhibit the growth of new coral, making it imperative for us as environmentally conscious individuals to choose reef-friendly options.

As a responsible and Sunsmart traveler, you can do your part by choosing reef-friendly sunscreen options. These sunscreens are made with mineral ingredients, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which provide a physical barrier against the sun’s rays. They are also free of harmful chemicals, such as oxybenzone and octinoxate, which are known to have a negative impact on the coral reefs.

Options to buy are available at the Ningaloo Visitor Centre and other local businesses.

One of the best ways to ensure that you are using a reef-friendly sunscreen is to look for products that have been certified by organizations such as the Marine Stewardship Council or the Australian Reef Safe. These organizations have strict guidelines and testing criteria that ensure that the products they certify are free of harmful chemicals and are safe for use in marine environments. By choosing these certified products, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are doing your part to protect the Ningaloo Reef and the marine life that call it home.

Another way to protect the reef is by applying sunscreen at least 20 minutes before swimming or snorkeling, this way the sunscreen will have time to dry and won’t be washed away. Also, consider using other sun protection methods such as hats, long-sleeved shirts, and sun umbrellas, these can help to reduce the amount of sunscreen you need to apply.