Sunblock for snorkeling

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#1
47 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
I know that I need sunblock that meets certain requirements to snorkel in certain places but I live in the middle of no-where so due to a very limited local selection I plan to order online. I will not be able to read ingredient list so can someone please offer a couple name brands of approved sunblock for snorkeling in the parks . Thanks so much
#2
Alberta,Canada
74 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
You can buy any sunscreen that says Biodegradeble on it. I was dissapointed as we had the same problem finding sunscreen and finally found some at a travel store but did not get checked for the proper sunscreen at any of the snorkelling venues. I thought they were trying to protect the reefs but I did not see them ask or look in anyones bags for sunscreen at any spot we were at and we were there for 11 days.
#4
Colorado
463 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
I did a google search on biodegradable sunscreen and got a lot of hits. Personally, I bought mine at Whole Foods. There is also a chain of stores in CA called Pharmaca that sells biodegradable sunscreen. These stores are in selected states however. But online would be a good option.

J
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#5
52 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Originally posted by bamn
I know that I need sunblock that meets certain requirements to snorkel in certain places but I live in the middle of no-where so due to a very limited local selection I plan to order online. I will not be able to read ingredient list so can someone please offer a couple name brands of approved sunblock for snorkeling in the parks . Thanks so much
I'm a redhead with freckles and never miss out on fun in the sun, but always go prepared. I have learned over the years that the very best sunscreen is a long sleeved shirt over my bathing suit. It has no negative impact on the environment and causes no skin reaction (and I'm notorious for reacting to the mildest of things). It may sound uncomfortable, but it is not at all. You can visit coolibar on the web and see lots of lightweight garments that are perfect for active water sports. Don't forget a good hat (they really do make some that stay on, even when snorkeling!)
#6
Arden, NC
15 Posts
Joined May 2007
Is Chemical Free the same as biodegradable?

We are in the process of beginning the search for appropriate sunscreen and all I can find is stuff that says Chemical Free.

Thanks in advance,

Linda
#8
Cozumel, Mexico
333 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
Originally posted by LJC1861
Is Chemical Free the same as biodegradable?

We are in the process of beginning the search for appropriate sunscreen and all I can find is stuff that says Chemical Free.

Thanks in advance,

Linda
found this in an another tread

the primary threat to marine life is the PABA ingredient in sunscreens. If you have a bottle that clearly reads "no PABAs" then you should be fine - Coppertone makes one called "Oil Free Waterproof" that is PABA-free and does well when you're in the water alot. It's $9 at Walgreens and Wal-Mart.

hope it helps
#10
Boston, MA
81 Posts
Joined May 2007
http://well.ca/products/hawaiian-tro...-spf_4779.html

My question is to anyone who has used biodegradable sunblock. Does it work as well? And does it have to be applied more often? I burn very easily and want to be careful especially since Cozumel is our first stop and I don't want to spend my whole cruise sunburned
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#11
New Mexico
910 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by Emmy11386
http://well.ca/products/hawaiian-tro...-spf_4779.html

My question is to anyone who has used biodegradable sunblock. Does it work as well? And does it have to be applied more often? I burn very easily and want to be careful especially since Cozumel is our first stop and I don't want to spend my whole cruise sunburned
I don't find it works as well. I used it in Cozumel my last cruise, and got burnt on the back. It was a long excursion, and I probably should have re-applied several times. The next snorkeling excursion we took, I wore a quick-dry T shirt over my swimsuit. It didn't interfere with swimming at all, and no burn!

this product http://www.mexitan.com/ is supposed to be effective, chemical free and biodegradable... I might try it next trip.
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#12
1,417 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Originally posted by Kletina
found this in an another tread

the primary threat to marine life is the PABA ingredient in sunscreens. If you have a bottle that clearly reads "no PABAs" then you should be fine - Coppertone makes one called "Oil Free Waterproof" that is PABA-free and does well when you're in the water alot. It's $9 at Walgreens and Wal-Mart.

hope it helps
PABA is not the primary threat - it's just one of the threats. Coppertone's sunblock is not marine-friendly.

Sunscreen that is safe for coral reefs must be biodegradable, PABA and Oil-Free, and Chemical Free. This specifically includes octinoxate, oxybenzone, 4-methylbenzylidene camphor, and the preservative butylparaben, all which have been proven to damage coral reefs, and are widely used in commercial sunscreens.

Some brands to use that are truly marine-friendly are Caribbean Sol, Smartshield, Mexitan, BATAB, UV Natural, Kiss My Face, and Cactus Juice.

Some brands that are natural and biodegradable but contain some of the chemicals listed above are Nature's Gate and SafeSea.

Some brands that are not acceptable are Banana Boat, Hawaiian Tropic (except perhaps Blue Bottle Biodegradable), Coppertone, No-AD, and Panama Jack.
#13
New York
510 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
I use a sunblock that is herbally botanically based with an SPF of 30. Key ingredients are avobenzone, chamomile, and rosemary extracts. Used it on our cruise last summer when snorkling in St. Thomas, Antigua, and St. Lucia. It is fantastic.
#14
Thornton Colorado
1,054 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
Originally posted by Emmy11386
http://well.ca/products/hawaiian-tro...-spf_4779.html

My question is to anyone who has used biodegradable sunblock. Does it work as well? And does it have to be applied more often? I burn very easily and want to be careful especially since Cozumel is our first stop and I don't want to spend my whole cruise sunburned
The biodegradeable sunblock does not protect as well as the regular. You must apply it more often. We use "body gloves" when we snorkle, along with sunblock. They sell the body gloves at Target for around $10. I burn easily and have not had a problem using the body glove and bio sunblock.
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#16
1,417 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
I think they just mean what's commonly referred to as a "dive skin", which is basically a lycra outfit much like the ones cyclists wear. It protects you against jellyfish, sunburn, scrapes against coral, etc. while still breathing and not restricting movement. Mostly you just need to cover your back, which is exposed to the sun while snorkeling, which these do perfectly. A good idea, since of course the most marine-friendly sunscreen is using none at all.

Examples: http://www.joediveramerica.com/page/JDA/CTGY/wetdvsk

I just use a shorty wetsuit I picked up at Costco for $10.00.
#17
Richmond, VA
1,520 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Originally posted by Johann & Sandra
PABA is not the primary threat - it's just one of the threats. Coppertone's sunblock is not marine-friendly.

Sunscreen that is safe for coral reefs must be biodegradable, PABA and Oil-Free, and Chemical Free. This specifically includes octinoxate, oxybenzone, 4-methylbenzylidene camphor, and the preservative butylparaben, all which have been proven to damage coral reefs, and are widely used in commercial sunscreens.

Some brands to use that are truly marine-friendly are Caribbean Sol, Smartshield, Mexitan, BATAB, UV Natural, Kiss My Face, and Cactus Juice.

Some brands that are natural and biodegradable but contain some of the chemicals listed above are Nature's Gate and SafeSea.

Some brands that are not acceptable are Banana Boat, Hawaiian Tropic (except perhaps Blue Bottle Biodegradable), Coppertone, No-AD, and Panama Jack.
Thank you for listing some specific examples.
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#18
1,417 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Revised list of good brands to use:

MexiTan
Soleo Organics
UV Natural
Kiss My Face
Caribbean Sol
Lavera Neutral

This brands are chemical free, biodegradable, paraben free, and waterproof for at least 2 hours (if yours isn't waterproof, then it washes off in the water. If it stays on you that means it doesn't get on the reefs).

Turns out, Smartshield was not as marine-friendly as they advertised.

List of Harmful Ingredients to watch out for:

PABA
Octocrylene
Octinoxate
Oxybenzone
4-methylbenzylidene
Butylparaben
Benzophenone
Butyl-Methoxydi-benzoylmethane
Hexyldecanol
Dimethyl Capramide
Cetyl Dimethicone
Methylparaben
Polyethylene
Propylparaben
Butylcarbamate
#19
North Carolina
4,122 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
I'll just add that we use Smartshield. Both their faces and body sunscreens.

It is available local for us (both in Atlanta and Charlotte).
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