Bonaire is world-famous for its diving along pristine reefs. The best thing? You can enjoy this year-round – there is no such thing as bad weather around here! Protecting yourself against the sun is vital to avoid serious health risks. At the same time, we want to protect the reef against harmful chemicals contained in sunscreens. Many sunscreens contain a particular chemical called oxybenzone. In this blog, we explain you why it’s time to stop using these sunscreens NOW!
Recently, scientists have been curious to find out the effects of oxybenzone on Bonaire’s precious coral reefs… and the conclusions are not very pretty. Sunscreens containing oxybenzone increase coral bleaching which, ultimately, can lead to coral death. Additionally, the risk of coral disease increases when oxybenzone is present in the water, and reproduction of the corals is reduced.
Choose wisely – Cut the oxybenzone*! Instead, choose a sunscreen that’s based on either zinc or titanium minerals. Take a minute to briefly check the etiquette of sunscreen products in the store to make sure that you’ll bring a great choice to our precious island.
Wear protective clothing – Divers are already pretty good at this one! Wearing a wetsuit or a rashguard allows you to reduce your use of sunscreen without increasing health risks. Another huge perk: it you won’t get cold while you are on one of our unlimited shore diving packages this summer!
Apply early – When you know you’ll be diving or snorkelling, think ahead and apply your sunscreen at least thirty minutes before entering the water. This will greatly reduce the amount of sunscreen that washes off into the ocean.
Spread the word – We are not called Dive Friends for nothing. If you dive with us on Bonaire, you’ll soon know that you are truly a part of the Dive Friends Family! We all share our fantastic dive experiences. Why not also spread the sunscreen awareness along with this unconditional love for our healthy coral reefs?
Click here for more information on this highly relevant topic. And while you guys are busy reading etiquettes in your local store, we’ll make sure we’re ready to go diving with you this summer. See you soon on Bonaire, with ongoing love for the reef!
*: Oxybenzone can also be mentioned as BP-3 or benzophenone-3