Protect your Skin in Paradise: How to Choose the Right Sun Protection for Hawaii

Protect your Skin in Paradise: How to Choose the Right Sun Protection for Hawaii

January 10, 2023


Don't Forget to Pack This For Your Hawaii Vacation

If you plan on coming to Hawaii, the most important thing you need to pack for your tropical vacation is sun protection! The sun here is very brutal on those with sensitive skin & those who tend to burn easily. If you’re looking to avoid the awkward red tan lines and that stiff, painful sunburn waddling throughout your Hawaiian vacation, it’s recommended that you apply sunscreen liberally whether it’s sunny or raining. Always apply it 15 to 30 minutes prior to going outside and then proceed to reapply every 90 minutes to 2 hours for full coverage and protection during your adventures.

Learn About The Sunscreen Ban in Hawaii

There are a lot of different options when it comes to sunscreen and what seems to work best out in the market. However, it’s important to keep in mind that Hawaii implemented a ban in 2018 that prohibits the sale of any sunscreens that contain the ingredients oxybenzone and octinoxate, as these harm coral here in our beautiful ocean. While you are still able to bring your own sunscreen with you in your luggage, it’s crucial to verify that your sunscreen is reef-safe or reef-friendly.

Tips For Finding The Best Sun Protection For Sun-Filled Adventures

Here’s some tips in order to help you choose the best possible choice for you:

  1. Opt for a mineral sunscreen: Despite having a higher price tag, this a great option to guarantee your skin stays protected without the use of chemicals. The active ingredients in most mineral sunscreens on the market consist of zinc oxide and titanium. With these crucial minerals, they help to deflect sun rays from absorbing into your skin. If you’re looking to support a great locally made company, Little Hands Hawaii produces a great mineral sunscreen that works well for kids and adults! Check out more products at Little Hands Hawaii.
  2. Get the reef-safe version: A lot of your favorite brands now offer reef-friendly options of their standard formula! Even if it may not be readily accessible in stores near you, always double check the ingredients or look for the reef-safe or reef-friendly labels on any sun protection products.
  3. Keep your skin safe: To help your skin stay protected from damaging UV rays, it’s recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation to use a sunscreen with skin protection factor (SPF) minimum of at least 30. Also higher SPF sunscreens doesn’t necessarily equal more protection, but it does have a better chance of ensuring that less UV ray protons absorb into the skin as long as you continue to reapply throughout the day.
  4. Stick, Spray, or Lotion: This ultimately depends on the personal preference and specific needs of an individual. Stick sunscreens are convenient for targeted application and often preffered for sensitive areas like the face and lips. Spray sunscreens are easy to apply, especially for larger areas, but may require extra caution to ensure proper coverage. Lotion sunscreens offer versatility and can be evenly spread across the skin, making them a popular choice for overall body protection. 
  5. Consider a water-resistant option: If you plan on engaging in water activities, opt for water-resistant sunscreens. Look for products with a water-resistant label and specific instructions for how often to reapply after swimming or sweating.
  6. Sensitive Skin or Baby-Friendly options: Finding a product that adheres to both criteria of being great for sensitive skin and reef-friendly may seem like a task, but it's quite simple! Mineral-based sunscreens use zinc oxide and/ or titanium and these specific ingredients are generally gentler on sensitive skin compared to chemical filters. However, if you're interested in other options, always check that it is labeled as hypoallergenic or formulated specifically for sensitive skin. Be sure to do a patch test before full application to ensure full compatibility with your skin.

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Our oceans are so beautiful, with many animals who are lucky to call it home! Please ensure that we keep our coral reefs safe and thriving for many years to come. You can help contribute to this effort when you use the proper sunscreen that is specifically reef-safe. In addition to keeping the reef safe, prioritize keeping your skin protected as well! Regularly apply sunscreen throughout the day to prevent damaging sunburn.

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