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Hawaii Adds New Sunscreen Ingredients to Its Ban

by kelly / March, 10 2021 01:30

Photo of Hawaiian island mountain range and coastline

Hawaii’s sunscreen ban officially took effect at the start of 2021. It’s not a ban on all sunscreens (that would be dangerous to our skin!) but it is a ban on certain chemical sunscreens. Of course mineral sunscreens (like ours) are still considered safe by Hawaii and excluded from the ban. But now Hawaii is considering adding even more chemical sunscreens to its ban list.

Hawaii Sunscreen Ban

First a little history. In 2018 Hawaii became the first state to ban the sale of sunscreen containing the ingredients oxybenzone and octinoxate. The law went into effect on January 1, 2021.

The goal of the ban was to help preserve Hawaii’s marine ecosystems. The Hawaiian government found that these two chemical sunscreen ingredients “have significant harmful impacts on Hawaii’s marine environment and residing ecosystems, including coral reefs that protect Hawaii’s shorelines.”

Thus the law makes it illegal to “sell, offer for sale, or distribute for sale … any sunscreen that contains oxybenzone or octinoxate, or both, without a prescription issued by a licensed health care provider” within Hawaii.

Mineral Sunscreens Safe in Hawaii

Of course you can still always buy mineral sunscreens, made from zinc and titanium only, in Hawaii (again like ours Smile).

If you need a reminder on the difference between mineral and chemical sunscreen check out our article: “How Sunscreens Work: Mineral vs. Chemical”.

Adding More Chemicals to the Ban

This year a new bill (HB 102, HD 1) was introduced to add two other chemical sunscreens to the ban: avobenzone and octocrylene.

If the bill passes it would ban these two ingredients starting on January 1, 2023. The bill is still making its way through Hawaii’s legislature.

We’ll of course keep you updated on the bill in our Suncare Smarts or Sunscreen and Sunblock series. So stay tuned…

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