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Dive Deeper Blog
Protecting Palau Reefs: The True Inspiration for Stream2Sea!
Stream2Sea may be located in Florida, but it was conceived in Palau.
“We were on a live-aboard, diving a spectacular reef when I noticed a sunscreen oil slick coming off a group of snorkelers,” recalls Autumn Blum, award-winning cosmetic chemist, avid diver, and our founder. “I knew then that I had to start making products that were truly safe for the oceans I love.”
The reason sunscreens are so loaded with marine toxic ingredients is that each one covers a tiny spectrum of sunlight that causes sunburn and ages skin—it takes several to cover a broad spectrum of UV rays. Mineral sunscreens, on the other hand, can provide full spectrum, natural coverage by sitting on the top of your skin instead of being absorbed into it.
“Scientists have known that ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate—which the Hawaiian government banned earlier this year—were not safe for humans since the early 1990s,” said Autumn, now chief formulator and CEO here at Stream2Sea. “Palau has taken it a step further and has banned other ingredients from the Haereticus Environmental Lab’s toxin list that researchers have proven to be dangerous to coral reefs.”
Our products are growing in popularity in Palau where they are used because we have the only mineral-based sunscreen that has been tested and proven safe for fresh and saltwater fish, as well as vulnerable coral larva.
In Florida, where the political climate is different, we have developed an “educate not legislate” program that provides watersport operators with deeply discounted reef-safe sunscreen so that their clients can use it at no charge. “The operators understand the issues and know that they need to protect the coral reefs to stay in business.”
A founding member of the Safe Sunscreen Coalition, our sunscreens are broad spectrum and 80 minute water resistant, in compliance with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations. “The problem with the current regulations is they focus on efficacy and not safety of our planet. Non-nano, mineral-based sunscreens are highly effective and safer for both people and the planet than the conventional sunscreens. We applaud Palau for taking a leadership role in the worldwide movement to reduce human’s personal care impacts on our fragile aquatic resources. I am anxious to return to this hidden paradise soon!”