There are two main types of sunscreens: physical sunscreens, which are also known as mineral sunscreens, sit on top of the skin and block UV rays, and chemical sunscreen that use chemicals that absorb damaging UV rays and convert them to non-damaging heat.
Physical sunscreens contain mainly two active ingredients that naturally block UV rays: zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Meanwhile, certain types of chemical sunscreens may contain oxybenzone that, when exposed to ultraviolet light, can lead to coral bleaching.
A study published in the Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology in 2016, found that it “poses a hazard to coral reef conservation and threatens the resiliency of coral reefs to climate change.” Since 2018, many states banned the sale of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate to protect the marine ecosystems.
Therefore, the safest choice for both yours and the environmental health is to use mineral sunscreen!