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You may already be aware that certain ingredients commonly found in sunscreens are causing irreparable damage to coral reefs worldwide. Four to six thousand tons of sunscreen wash off swimmers each year, and studies have shown synthetic chemicals carried by the waves are destroying algae and other marine life within the reefs.
One casualty of this chemical onslaught is zooxanthellae, algae that give coral its vibrant color and provide reefs with essential nutrients. Without these algae hosts, the reefs lose their color, are bleached white, and quickly die.
According to National Geographic News (Jan. 29, 2008), researchers from the Polytechnic University of Marche in Italy tested several popular sunscreen brands. All had four synthetic ingredients in common — paraben, cinnamate, benzophenone, and a camphor derivative — and all were found to significantly contribute to coral bleaching.Aubrey® deemed reef safe by National Geographic
In a subsequent article in their June/July 2008 issue, National Geographic singled out Aubrey's Natural Sun sunscreens as reef safe products that deliver sun protection without causing harm to marine life:
"Sunscreen may spare your skin, but when it inevitably rinses off in the waves, it's an eco-nightmare. Up to 6,000 tons of the goop end up in oceans every year… and the chemicals are bleaching the reefs at an alarming rate. Two Mexican marine parks have banned traditional sunscreens, and more are sure to follow suit. Aubrey Organics Natural Sun is a bit pricey [compared to drug store brands] (and smells like a White Russian), but delivers where it counts: It protects your skin from rays as well as other screens—and saves reefs from a total wipeout."