NEW MINERAL SUNSCREEN LAW: MAUI & BIG ISLAND, What kind of sunscreen is allowed on Maui and the Big Island?

NEW MINERAL SUNSCREEN LAW: MAUI & BIG ISLAND, What kind of sunscreen is allowed on Maui and the Big Island?

The short answer: Maui and Big Island are only allowing mineral sunscreens – those that have zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide as the only active ingredient(s). Kōkua Sun Care has you covered with non-nano zinc oxide-based sunscreens fortified with extra antioxidant rich Hawaii-grown botanicals.

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The long answer: Hawaii’s sunscreen laws have become stricter! Hooray! The first state-wide Hawaii sunscreen law that affects all the Hawaiian Islands went into effect on January 1, 2021, and it bans the sale and distribution of the toxic sunscreen chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate that damage or kill coral reefs. For us ocean-loving advocates emersed in the sunscreen law debate, we all knew that this law, although an important start, was not enough to protect
Hawaii’s coral reefs from toxic sunscreen pollution. Thankfully, Maui and Big Island did what we were all thinking! They passed new sunscreen laws banning not just oxybenzone and octinoxate, but ALL chemical sunscreens, which are not just bad for the coral reefs, but are also harmful to humans. Even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA) admits that chemical sunscreens are not considered “GRASE” – generally recognized as safe and effective. The only sunscreen active ingredients that the FDA currently considers GRASE are zinc oxide and titanium oxide. Maui and Big Island are allowing only mineral sunscreens with zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide as the active ingredient(s).

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The Maui County Council unanimously passed Bill 135 prohibiting the sale, distribution, or use of non-mineral sunscreens and recognizing that they have been demonstrated to pose a threat to the health of coral reefs and marine life. One proponent of the bill testified that the equivalent of 55-gallon barrels of chemical sunscreens were washing into Maui’s nearshore waters daily and
the law will stop this pollution. The Maui law went into effect on October 1, 2022.
The Big Island passed a similar sunscreen law, Bill 167, “to preserve the health, safety, and welfare of humans and the environment, by allowing only mineral sunscreens to be provided, sold, offered for sale, or distributed in the County.” Big Island’s non-mineral sunscreen ban takes effect on December 1, 2022 and prohibits “any sunscreen that uses an active ingredient other than titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.” Big Island’s law is slightly different than Maui’s
law in that it doesn’t ban the “use” of non-mineral sunscreens; you just can’t buy chemical sunscreens there.

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Reach for Kōkua Sun Care for your trip to Hawaii and be confident that your sunscreen is really reef safe and fully compliant with the strictest legal standards, including Maui’s and Big Island’s sunscreen laws. Kōkua provides high performance, effective sun care, using zinc oxide at high percentages rather than titanium dioxide or a combo because zinc provides superior broad spectrum protection. Our SPF 50 contains 25% non-nano zinc oxide and is the best for the beach, sports, and babies, and our SPF 30 tinted daily moisturizing sunscreen contains 18% non-nano zinc oxide, great for everyday use and an active outdoor lifestyle. We formulated both of our sunscreens to go on like a lotion that stays on and provides 80 minutes water resistance, i.e., the highest level, because zinc only works if it’s on your skin.

You can also feel good that using Kōkua Sun Care supports several local Hawaii businesses. Mahalo for reading and we hope you enjoy your trip to Hawaii!

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