Dive Deeper Blog

Key West Bans Octinoxate and Oxybenzone

February 26, 2019

The City of Key West met in January to discuss a ban on the use of sunscreens that contain the chemicals Oxybenzone and Octinoxate, two commonly used ingredients known to be lethal to coral larva. This important vote inspired me to write in support of the ban. While the measure passed 7-0 in January, the city council was required to confirm that vote…

And we are so overjoyed to know that the recent vote to ban Octinoxate and Oxybenzone in Key West HAS PASSED!

This is a great step in the right direction — and people in places as far away California and St. Petersburg are talking about taking the same step. We need to protect our oceans, reefs, and our bodies from harmful chemicals. And so much of this has to do with YOU! Thank you for educating yourself, sharing the facts, taking the Safe Sunscreen Pledge, and showing up for Key West and the reefs.

Within our community, so many people have poured their hearts and souls into supporting this sunscreen ban and their acts of support have not gone unnoticed. Countless people, including myself, wrote to the mayor and council members of Key West urging them to look toward science and facts.

Within one of those letters, Joe DiNardo writes, “Octinoxate does not protect against UVA and after 1 hour of sun exposure, allows free-radical formation/damage that can lead to skin cancer…both Octinoxate and Oxybenzone are endocrine disruptors, impacting reproduction and other organs. Both also kill coral and other reef life.”

These facts are irrefutable. Just one drop of sunscreen containing those chemicals in six Olympic-sized swimming pools will kill coral reefs — all it takes is one drop to cause permanent damage. We’ve collected countless research documents that list the dangers of using sunscreens containing Oxybenzone and Octinoxate.

Banning these two chemicals is big news and we hope this will be the catalyst for even bigger change for the future. Awareness is key right now! It’s up to the consumer to drive this change. Store shelves are lined with thousands of sunscreen products that are packed with harmful chemicals. With all the news that this sunscreen ban is getting, we hope to open the public’s eyes and make changes in the way they purchase skincare products and in the way they protect themselves as well as the environment.

The absolute best way to protect yourself from the dangers of the sun are to avoid the sun, seek shade, wear protective clothing, and use ocean-friendly, reef-safe sunscreen. We are so proud of our ocean-friendly products — they have been third party tested and proven safe for your body and the water you’re in.

We’ve been making big waves about this sunscreen ban in the news. I had the privilege to go on-air with RTAmerica and talk about the importance of this sunscreen ban and why it means so much to our planet. You can watch that video clip by clicking HERE. Our VP, Mike Malterre also made an appearance on The Key West Perspective Podcast to discuss the ban, harmful chemicals, and what our company is doing to protect what we love — the reefs! You can listen to that episode by clicking HERE.

We’re making waves and you should too.

You know the facts. Please protect yourself, your loved ones, and our reefs. Keep showing up, keep standing up, keep speaking up! Forward!

Take the Safe Sunscreen Pledge!

Take the Safe Sunscreen Pledge and we’ll send you a digital 20-page resource that dives into ingredients to know, ingredients to avoid, what “organic” and “biodegradable” really mean, and what is truly “reef-safe.”

Thank you for being part of a global movement to protect marine and other ecosystems from unsafe ingredients! What we put on our bodies DOES make a difference, and your positive choices help protect the planet!