A new law just passed in Key West, Florida banning some of the most popular sunscreen and suntan lotion brands. Now millions of south-Florida travelers are left asking, "which sunscreen can I wear in Key West, FL?".
Worried your vacation will be ruined by sunburnt shoulders, racoon eyes, and the dreaded "farmer's tan"? Don't be! Your Florida Keys getaway doesn't have to suffer. Keep reading to learn more about the Key West sunscreen ban and which brands are safe to use on your next trip to the keys!
Each year, visitors of the Florida Keys and Key West come from around the world to snorkel and dive the world’s third largest barrier reef eco-system. Unfortunately, that ecosystem is in danger and people are pointing fingers at chemical filled sunscreens. The National Park Service reported that 4,000 to 6,000 tons of sunscreen pollute reef areas each year, and studies show that chemicals contained in sunscreen are causing bleaching and death of the coral reef like the one below (Image by Matt Kieffer).
This is exactly why officials from Key West recently passed a new law that bans the sale of sunscreen containing the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate. Key West Mayor, Teri Johnston, explained, “Our coral has been under attack by a number of stressors… We just thought if there was one thing we could do, to take one of the stressors away, it was our responsibility to do so.”
The law doesn’t take effect until January 1 of 2021, but visitors are encouraged to leave sunscreens containing these chemicals at home and to opt for more environmentally friendly and biodegradable options.
So how do you keep your skin safe and protect the reef? There are a number of companies that produce sunscreens with fewer harmful chemicals, but the best way to be sure is to check the ingredient label!
If you're still wondering "which sunscreen can I wear in Key West, FL?", below are a few sunscreen brands you should check out:
Also consider the following options: