How to Protect Your Skin and the Ocean at the Same Time


Protecting your skin during your sunny holiday is very important. Especially when traveling on the water, sailing, paddle boarding, snorkeling, and sunbathing all day. As well as being dangerous for your skin, sunburns can ruin your vacation, especially for some of us who might be more sensitive then others.

In many remote places you will find that sunscreen is not always easy to find, and not all sunscreens are good for our skin either. Many sunscreens contain chemicals that are dangerous for our skin in the long term.

Not only are these chemicals bad for our skin, they also hurt the reefs and the marine life.  When the sunscreen washes off of our skin, the chemicals mix into the water and kill corals!


There are ways to protect the ocean, but also ourselves!

Researching the ingredients in your sunscreen will not only help the environment, but it will also help you live a healthier life.

There are two types of sunscreen;

The Absorbers, technically referred to as SunScreens, which soak up the UV rays and prevent them from reaching the skin but are made with many different chemicals that are absorbed by the skin.

The Reflectors, referred to as SunBlocks, who reflect or bounce back the UV rays away from the skin and tend to be made mainly with minerals, which is much better. With ingredients such as Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, which won’t absorb into the skin, is safe for the ocean and is an excellent UVA and UVB protection.

Even though sunscreen is absolutely always better then not at all, when packing for an amazing tropical trip, try to stay away from any product containing chemical ingredients such as :

  • Vitamin A (aka Retinyl palmitate, Retynil acetate, Retinol, …) which is an antioxidant that could  helpful in certain anti acne or anti aging night creams, but are not good for the skin when used in the sun.
  • Oxybenzone (or Benzophenone-3, which Hawaii has banned since 2018)
  • Octinoxate

Researching the ingredients in your sunscreen will not only help the environment, but it will also help you live a healthier life. Happy Snorkeling!

“What an amazing experience! This trip took us out of our comfort zone just enough to be a great adventure. We saw beautiful sunrises and sunsets over the horizon, swam in clear blue waters and slept out on the deck under the stars. Our guide and Captain, Ted did a great job sailing the boat while sharing his knowledge of the process and the islands we visited. Highly recommend a trip like this with MountainSea for families or a group of friends!”

Randy and Jen