At the end of August 2021, the Thai government announced that sunscreen containing 4 harmful chemicals are banned from all Thai national parks.
Check your sunscreen before you go
Sunblock containing the 4 following chemicals is prohibited…
- Oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3, BP-3)
- Octinoxate (Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate)
- 4-Methylbenzylid Camphor (4MBC)
Anyone found using a sunblock product that contains these chemicals can be fined up to 100,000 Baht.
Why are sunblocks banned?
Studies have shown that these chemicals are harmful to coral reefs. They have been shown to destroy coral larvae, obstruct the coral reproductive systems and be a significant cause of coral bleaching.
Similar bans have been introduced in several other tourist hot-spots including the Pacific Islands and Hawaii.
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So, what are the options?
Luckily there are plenty of other reef friendly sunblock options available, and they are usually a similar price.
Probably the best well know brand in Khao Lak is Reef Repair. Reef Repair is marketed as being “reef safe, biodegradable, environmentally friendly, all natural, ultra-effective sun care products for you & your family”. It can be ordered online and is easily available in many shops and dive centers in Khao Lak.
Sol Source is another Phuket based brand. Although not so readily available in Khao Lak just yet, it is very popular with the Phuket surf scene, and various other water sports based communities nationwide.
ReReef is a Bangkok based manufacturer, that provides a wide range of eco-friendly holiday essentials.
Find Reef Safe Sunblock Deals
That said however, the best way to keep safe in the sun is simply to cover up. Most sun lotions simply wash off as soon as you get in the water (even the waterproof ones!), but wearing a shirt when you are swimming is a much more guaranteed to keep you same from the sun. Even if it doesn’t help your tan.
We strongly recommend that you use reef-safe sunblock whenever you enter the water. Traditional sunblock is perfect for on-land activities, but can have a devastating effect on marine life.