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15 Sep 2020
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The island of Maui is known for its beautiful beacheslush hiking trailsadventure sportsfood and shopping, and world-class golf. But one of the island's biggest attractions are Maui's beautiful and diverse coral reefs that draw snorkelers and scuba divers from around the world. They form a complex, living ecosystem and a habitat for an array of plant and marine life. 

Hawaii's Chemical Sunscreen Ban

For visitors to our state, it's important to note that a recent bill banning chemical sunscreens in Hawaii comes into effect on January 1, 2021. The chemicals being banned are oxybenzone and octinoxate, both of which are used to filter UV rays. These chemicals have detrimental effects on coral reefs in Hawaii, hence the ban.

We're all guilty of ignoring sun safety now and again. Whether we forgot our gear, didn’t bother to reapply or even thought, “Just this once, I’ll be okay.” Then it happens, the dreaded sunburn! 

A Variety of Mineral Sunscreens recently used Poolside

Mineral Sunscreen Alternatives

We encourage all of our guests to continue to be sun-safe when visiting our islands, both to protect yourself and to protect our oceans. Physical sunscreens are a preferred alternative to chemical ones. You can opt for topical sunscreens contain mineral ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

Although they can cast a whitish haze unless rubbed thoroughly into your skin, they tend to last longer, are less irritating than chemical sunscreens, and aren't detrimental to our coral reefs! Mineral formulas are much more gentle for your skin and are often labeled for use on babies. They are now being manufactured with a tint so that when used on your face, you can avoid that dreaded white haze. 

Irresistible Ka’anapali Beach

Protective Sun Wear

Hawaii residents take sun safety seriously. Although sunburns can be uncomfortable, excessive sun exposure can also pose greater health risks. For residents, Hawaii’s skin cancer rate is 30% higher than the national average, due to our year-round sunny weather. 

Use of protective sun wear such as rash guards/sun shirts, hats, sun pants, and sunglasses has really been on the rise in recent years. It’s almost the new norm to see people completely covered up, especially those who work on boats or at the beach all day.

Family Poolside Attire

Some boat crews have even started wearing scarfs or face masks to protect their necks and faces. With a quick-dry fabric, sun shirts can keep you cool and protected. Best thing is, there’s no need to reapply and they can be more cost-effective than sunscreen in the long run! Because living in the sunshine is a way of life here, you'll find plenty of cover-up options available in shops and boutiques around the state on your next visit to Hawaii. 

Hand protection built into a Sun Shirt 

Your Sun-Safe Alternatives

No matter how you choose to explore Maui, practicing sun safety is a must. So remember, whenever you’re outside, it's important to use some form of sun protection. Your options for staying safe under the bright Hawaiian sunshine include:

a) Staying out of the sun (not going to happen, we’re on Maui!). But if there's a shady tree on the beach, opt to spend some of your time under its branches. 

b) Applying mineral sunscreen frequently.

c) Covering up! Wearing long sleeves and pants, beach cover-ups, floppy hats, and UVA/UVB protective eyewear. 

No swimming without Sunscreen and Sunwear! 

Check out some of our featured Maui Vacation Rentals below and contact our Hawaii Life Vacations team to plan your next sunny Maui getaway!