I realized today that this post never went active, because it was incomplete. Ironically, in the last couple of weeks, I have had several people approach me and say "hey- have you heard about the coral reefs and Oxybenzone?- so glad you offer sun screen that doesn't have that in it!" Corral Reefs? Oxybenzone? What??? 

It does not matter, what topic you decide to research. Inadvertently, you will (almost) always find supporting "proof" for both sides of the argument. Unbiased research is difficult to find and variables are extremely difficult to control. One of these controversial topics is about the hazards of Oxybenzone.

Oxybenzone is a compound found in many commercial sun screen products. It is used for its efficacy in protection against both UVA and UVB rays. There has been much debate (some heated) about the safety of Oxybenzone. The EWG has posted a nice article about some of the controversial hazards at https://goo.gl/lJ4nua . While this ingredient continues to be deemed relatively "safe" by higher agencies, and hence continues to be allowed in body care products, research also suggests that we should take some care in how liberal we are with it. 

Recent articles have been published on the effects of Oxybenzone on the coral reefs. It appears, that the compound has been found in the larvae and it inhibits a certain replication process, hence interrupting the regeneration of healthy coral. Scientists equate the level of toxicity to being "1 drop in an Olympic-sized swimming pool." Think about how much water is in that size pool, and 1 drop makes it toxic for corral... hmmm.... (reference: http://goo.gl/zIXN71  and  http://goo.gl/HPgTnB).

In contrast, other studies warn of not wearing sun screen, due to the harmful UVA and UVB rays and that Oxybenzone has more benefits than risks. The fact of the matter is, however, that there are other options. Both zinc oxide and titanium oxide offer safe alternatives to more harmful ingredients, and are typically lower allergens. 

As always, use caution and common sense. Research your ingredients. Decide for yourself, which risks are worth taking, and which toxins to avoid. Isn't it great that our creator gave us brains and opinions AND decision making skills? Please use caution in the sun- don't get burned!!! 

As always, stay healthy and informed!