Mother-daughter duo, Jen Page and Mia Page-Gregory, founders of Cassine were first inspired to create their online clean beauty company after visiting Blue Hole one afternoon. “While were we down there, we noticed that the area looked dead and lifeless. There was no marine life and the smell of rancid coconut sunscreen was rampant in the air,” says Jen. “That afternoon was the jumping-off point for us; we began researching whether there was a connection between sunscreens and the marine environment and what we found was nothing short of horrifying.”
Jen and Mia weren’t the only ones researching the connection: A team of international scientists set out in 2015 to study the harmful effects of sunscreens on coral reefs. They published their findings in 2016 in the Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, where they stated conclusively that sunscreens formulated with the chemical oxybenzone were killing coral reefs, particularly in places popular with tourists, like Hawaii and the Caribbean.
The United Nations recently reported that 70 percent of the earth’s coral reefs are in danger, and 20 percent have already been destroyed with no hope of recovery. Whether you spend any time in the water or not, here is why you should care: reefs generate most of the oxygen we breathe, help regulate our climate and weather patterns, absorb carbon dioxide from our atmosphere, and reduce the impacts of climate change. They also protect coastal communities like ours from storm waves, provide sand for beaches and generate enormous recreational revenue for local businesses. Coral reefs also serve as the world’s medicine cabinet, with a myriad of organisms like sponges, corals and sea hares containing molecules that have shown to be effective in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, viruses and inflammation. In short, the collapse of coral reefs systems globally will have dire implications for us all, which is why it is imperative that we do all we can to protect them.
Earlier this year, Palau became the first country in the world to ban “reef toxic” sunscreen and any business caught selling toxic sunscreen there could be fined up to $1,000. Territories riding the same wave and outlawing toxic sunscreens include Hawaii, the US Virgin Islands, the Dutch Caribbean islands of Bonaire and Aruba, and Key West.
So, if any of the following ingredients are in your sunscreen, then it’s time to replace it with one that isn’t hurting you or the environment.
Oxybenzone-A terrible skin irritant that causes eczema-like symptoms, kills corals and has been found in breast cancer tissue.
Avobenzone– Damages DNA, may cause cancer and definitely kills coral.
Octocrylene– Damages your skin and may cause cancerous mutations. Absolutely kills corals!
Homosalate– Accumulates in our bodies faster than we can get rid of it and is a fertility and hormone disruptor.
Octinoxate– Causes premature aging, is a hormone disruptor, and kills coral
Retinyl Palmate- The cause of many allergic reactions, and is a known hormone disruption. Also kills corals.
Zinc– Toxic to marine life
After months of research for Cassine, Jen and Mia came across Green People, a clean beauty brand that creates a diverse range of products including sunscreen, make-up, men’s products, and stuff for kids. Green People crafts products that are 100% organic and free of chemicals. Over the years, Green People has won over 100 different awards for their skin, hair and beauty products. Their entire range is Fair Trade and cruelty-free.
So don’t go another summer using a product that can not only hurt you, but our fragile coral reef ecosystem; be a part of the solution and shop sea-certified sunscreens from Cassine.
And check out this tinted sunscreen from Stream2Sea, also available from Cassine.
Free next-day delivery island-wide!