Earlier this year, the US Virgin Islands banned the importation, sale and
distribution of all sunscreens containing what is commonly referred to as the "Toxic O's"(oxybenzone, octinoxate and octocrylene). These type sunscreens can cause harmful bleaching to our coral reefs, as well as, damage the sensitive eco-systems. Local retailers in the Virgin Islands have already had to cease selling these products on island and the full ban will take effect March 30, 2020. The Virgin Islands National Park, which is a part of the U.S. National Park Service, also supported the measure and pointed out that only mineral sunscreen products with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide can be used by visitors and residents alike.
"This groundbreaking ban will offer protections to the environment and our health but equally important to laws is building awareness of the dangers of these chemicals vs. safer alternatives such as mineral sunscreens. These chemicals are more than 40 times acceptable levels in territory waters," said Island Green Living Association President Harith Wickrema. "In addition to environmental and human harm, tourism-based economies will experience financial devastation if coral and marine
life die off. The ripple effect would be huge and we need to take action now."
One of the most popular brands here in St Thomas is Bare Republic, which is what we include in your Charter Starter Package if you choose to purchase one. We also have Bare Republic sunscreens available for purchase in our office, or in your local area at Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, and Ulta.
Here's a list of other popular reef safe brands:
Kokua Sun Care
Sea & Summit
Remember, Virgin Islands Yacht Charters prohibits any spray sunscreens onboard due to discoloration to the boat over time.
Let us know if you have any questions and stay safe out there!!