Change one simple product in your everyday routine, help save coral reefs. It sounds too good to be true. Yet new studies are proving one simple swap can make a big impact.

Underwater you'll find towering sculptures of art that reach gracefully towards the surface. These works of living art are coral reefs, some of which take millennia to form. While beautiful and otherworldly, coral ecosystems are in fact quite fragile.

In addition to facing global threats, such as climate change, oil spills and runoff pollution:

our common sunscreen chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate have been found to increase coral bleaching - a process where reefs expel their symbiotic algae and die.

When you swim with sunscreen on, these chemical seep into the water and are absorbed by corals. The chemicals have been found to disrupt coral’s reproduction and growth cycles, resulting in bleaching.

Using chemical sunscreens nowhere near the ocean is an issue as well. When you shower, these substances was down the drain, ultimately ending up in the ocean.

An estimated 14,000 tons of sunscreen end up in our oceans each year. The net result is an enormous threat to coral reefs around the world.

This is why I turned myself into a living painting, because by simply changing your sunscreen, each of us can contribute to the health of coral reefs.



  • Don't use chemical sunscreens: Most sunscreen on the market contains ingredients such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate. These are the substances that cause coral reef bleaching and should be avoided. Hawaii has gone so far to pass a bill to ban these sunscreens that are harmful to reef ecosystems.
  • Buy mineral-based sunscreens: Mineral sunscreens that use 'physical UV blockers,' such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, are good alternatives. Ensure that the mineral ingredients are "non-nano" size however to be truly reef-friendly.
  • Use the EWG's reef-friendly sunscreen guide: Find your perfect non-chemical sunscreen over at the EWG's extensively tested list of top brands.





Art direction, video editor & model: Christine Ren, The Underwater Woman
Photography: Brett Stanley
Body painter: Lana Chromium
BTS footage: Edward Tsai
BTS photo: Breanna Dickson
Set assistant: Karly Place