Maui News

Store installs mineral sunscreen dispensers ahead of Maui ban on chemical sunscreen

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Maui Ocean Center’s gift store has installed mineral-based sunscreen dispensers to celebrate June’s National Oceans Month, World Reef Day, and the county-wide chemical sunscreen ban that takes effect on Oct. 1, 2022.

Raw Elements mineral-based sunscreen. PC: Maui Ocean Center

The Maui Ocean Treasures gift store and science-backed reef-friendly sunscreen brand, Raw Elements have partnered to bring ocean-safe sunscreen to the public ahead of the enactment of Bill 135. The ban on all chemical sunscreen was passed unanimously by the Maui County Council and was signed into law by Mayor Michael Victorino in December 2021. 

“We’re dedicated to living Ocean Aloha and look forward to educating our guests about their sunscreen options and the positive impact they can make on our marine environments,” said Maui Ocean Center’s general manager Tapani Vuori. “For many visitors, we’re one of their first stops. Our goal with this partnership is to inspire visitors to make the safest choice for our reefs before they enter the ocean, and to show our support for Bill 135.” 

The Maui Ocean Center gift store introduced the ocean-conscious sunscreen line to its store and installed two complimentary Raw Elements dispensers in high-traffic areas of the aquarium. These dispensers educate guests about the options they have when it comes to sun protection and encourage them to make better choices for their health and the health of the ocean. 


“We are honored and grateful to partner with Maui Ocean Center,” said Chris Wagaman, co-founder of Raw Elements. “It’s perfect timing as Maui’s Bill 135 comes to fruition in October. Maui County, with all its efforts, deserves partnerships like this to help bolster and support the change. Raw Elements is excited to be working with Maui Ocean Center to educate visitors and the local community about sun safety.”

In preparation for World Reef Day on June 1, Raw Elements will be at Maui Ocean Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. throughout Memorial Day weekend, from Saturday, May 28 to Monday, May 30, to offer safe sun protection education.

Knowledgable brand ambassadors will be present to dive into the careful formulation and ingredient lists of the Raw Elements line, answer questions, and offer suggestions for individuals to make the swap to mineral-based sunscreen. In addition, guests will receive a complimentary Raw Elements lip balm and sustainable hemp bag with any Raw Elements purchase of $25 or more at Maui Ocean Treasures from May 28-30, while supplies last. 


“The Aquarium of Hawaiʻi and its gift store carefully selected Raw Elements after seeking a mission-aligned sunscreen company that adhered to the latest scientific research. Raw Elements uses only non-nano zinc oxide as the active SPF agent in their products — a highly effective form of sun protection that cannot be ingested by coral polyps — to prevent sunscreen-related bleaching and coral death. The company also abstains from the use of fragrances, which can contain a multitude of reef-damaging chemicals,” according to the announcement.

In addition to Raw Elements sunscreen products, a sustainable selection of UPF rashguards and sunhats are available for purchase at Maui Ocean Treasures as sun protection alternatives.

To further support National Oceans Month, guests can round up their purchases to donate to MOC Marine Institute, Maui Ocean Center’s on-property 501(c)(3) non-profit, which is dedicated to coral restoration and the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of sea turtles. 


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