Sunscreen is an important part of preventative healthcare. But, while we might not think of it when enjoying some time in the ocean, sunscreen can wash off of your skin and into the water where it can affect the marine life. Several common ingredients in sunscreens like oxybenzone and octinoxate have been shown to disrupt and bleach coral reefs.
So if you're planning on taking a dip, you might want to consider using a sunscreen that doesn't contain ingredients that are harmful to the environment. There are plenty of sunscreens available that are specially formulated to be reef safe while still protecting you from the harmful rays of the sun. Plus, these reef-safe sunscreens are HSA-eligible.
A few options available right on HSAstore.com include:
- Raw Elements Certified Natural Sunscreen Face & Body Tin
- Bare Republic Mineral SPF 30 Sunscreen Spray, Coco-Mango, 6 fl oz
- Raw Elements Tinted Sunscreen Face Stick, SPF 30, .60 fl oz
What are the benefits?
If you're someone who's been using sunscreen without much thought about ingredients, you might be wondering why you should make an effort to find and use environmentally friendly brands.
Well, the biggest benefit is that you're playing a small part in saving the delicate ecosystem that house coral reefs. While the task of saving the oceans is far too big for any one person to tackle, a lot of people making small changes can make a serious impact.
Coral reefs around the world are dying at a rapid rate - studies have shown that about half of the coral in the Great Barrier Reef died over a two-year period between 2016 to 2018. And while there are many factors contributing to this, water pollution is one of the main causes.
Even if you don't plan on swimming in the ocean, you should still consider picking out a reef safe sunscreen the next time you make a purchase. When you wash it off at the end of the day in a sink or in the shower, the residue can still make its way into the water and affect marine life there.
Going beyond sunscreen
Purchasing reef-safe sunscreen isn't the only way to help out the planet when it comes to making healthcare purchases. Many companies are making a real effort to produce environmentally friendly products that will lessen our impact on the Earth. And as we celebrate Earth Day, it's an excellent time to assess the products your purchasing to see if there might be more sustainable options.
Here are a few options to consider:
- When you're purchasing electronic devices, consider choosing rechargeable units or units that include long-lasting batteries to reduce the number of batteries you throw away like this Caring Mill Wireless Tens Therapy Kit or this Electromagnetic Massage Unit.
- Use natural products that are made specifically to reduce harmful waste. If you can buy it, there's probably an environmentally friendly version of it out there. As an example, these nursing pads are made from eco-friendly and sustainable bamboo and you can choose to use cloth tape or bandages instead of synthetic options.
And don't forget to recycle empty containers, packaging, and products whenever possible. Remember, small changes made by a lot of people can add up to make a substantial impact on the world.
Whether you're spending steadily or saving for something, Wage Up! is where we highlight the latest services available to buy with your HSA, every Monday on the HSA Learning Center. And for everything else about your health and financial wellness, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.