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Makin’ Waves Toward Reef Safety

A few weeks ago, Hawaii announced its ban on sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate, two harmful yet common ingredients found in commercial SPFs that have been proven to harm marine ecosystems. This is a meaningful step forward to support reef safe SPF. It’s at times like these when I know in my bones we are all Beauty Heroes, connected to one another in our shared commitment to do good. This moment also reveals how we’re connected in another literal way: our world’s oceans. Every human and animal on this planet is connected to an ocean (yes, I’m looking at you landlocked people, too). Think about it: the products we use, on our bodies, in our hair, on our skin, all eventually get washed off into the ocean; it’s a consistent cycle. With this awareness, it’s critical that we consider the products we use in our day-to-day lives, as they directly affect the health of our oceans and reefs. With 14,000 tons of sunscreen released into the ocean each year, less than half of the world’s coral reefs are considered healthy today. By 2050, nearly 90% of reefs are expected to be at risk. This information is startling, but it’s also a call to action to support reef safe SPF. 

Reef Safe SPF Our commitment to using less and loving more has seeped into every aspect of our personal and professional lives. One initiative that supports using less and loving more is our partnership with 5 Gyres. A portion of each purchase is donated to advocate action against pollution and empower improvement to the health of our oceans. Additionally, as part of our commitment to ocean health and skin health, we have chosen to only sell reef safe sunscreen, non-nano physical sunblocks since our inception; we will never sell chemical sunscreens. 

Reef Safe SPF


Now, an entire state is on board with the same mission. Hawaii’s commitment to selling only sunscreen that is healthy for its oceans is a huge milestone that deserves celebration! By the way, if you want to read more about the affects of Oxybenzone and Octinoxate on our reef system, this recent study and our blog will both shed light on this issue. Not only do these two ingredients harm our ocean’s reefs, they also harm human health, which seems obvious, but is an education piece that is missing. Let’s celebrate Hawaii’s commitment to reef safe sunscreen together as it is a win-win for us as individuals and also for our natural ecosystems. 

Reef Safe SPF


Honua (which means ‘earth’) Skincare is committed to green beauty and formulates products that are safe to our natural ecosystems and coral reefs. Hawaii native and Honua Skincare Founder, Kapua Browning, has immersed herself in the study of botanical skincare; she is passionate about protecting our environment. Honua’s newest product, Malu Moisturizing Day Cream and SPF 30, was the first product that needed to be formulated in a lab, and it took about two years to perfect. 

I recently visited Kapua at her family home in O’ahu. watch as she shares the heart behind the products, the ingredients and the process she uses in her commitment to deliver skincare that is reef safe to our natural ecosystem. We love to partner with brands who are committed to our mission to use less and love more.