• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Costa Rican students create environmentally friendly sunblock

December 22, 2018

It’s important to wear sunscreen at the beach, but some of the substances that help keep you safe from the sun can cause damage to underwater life.

A group of students from the University of Costa Rica (UCR) recently showcased at innovation fair FarmInnova a more environmentally friendly sunscreen that doesn’t contain oxybenzone, a chemical that can harm coral reefs.

Their sunblock is called KapiScreen and, according to a UCR press release, it uses a natural physical barrier consisting of an ingredient that facilitates the rebound of light and prevents the absorption of radiation.

KapiScreen was developed with input from beachgoers to produce a sunscreen they would feel comfortable applying regularly.

“Most people indicated that they choose not to use a blocker because of its thick texture, or because they are too white, or their smell is very strong,” said Mariana Gonzalez Campos, one of five students on the team that created KapiScreen.

“Apart from its benefit to the environment, it meets people’s desired characteristics for daily use.”

According to a study first published in the scientific journal Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, “oxybenzone poses a hazard to coral reef conservation and threatens the resiliency of coral reefs to climate change.”

“Between 6,000 and 14,000 tons of sunscreen lotion […] are estimated to be released into coral reef areas each year, putting at least 10% of the global reefs at risk of exposure and approximately 40% of coral reefs located along coastal areas at risk of exposure,” the report reads.

In addition to KapiScreen, other UCR students at FarmInnova presented on LiverOK, a nutritional supplement designed to prevent liver problems for heavy drinkers; Micro-Aoxid, an antioxidant powder designed not to degrade until it reaches the intestines; Gingi-Pop, a chewing gum that promotes oral health; and WeCare, an application that helps the Costa Rican public compile medical information from private hospitals, clinics and pharmacies.

Read more about the innovations showcased at FarmInnova here.


Thanks for reading The Tico Times. We strive to keep you up to date about everything that’s been happening in Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we need your help. The Tico Times is partly funded by you and every little bit helps. If all our readers chipped in a buck a month we’d be set for years.

Support the Tico Times

You may be interested

Costa Rica registers uptick in visitors in March
Costa Rica
3 views
Costa Rica
3 views

Costa Rica registers uptick in visitors in March

Alejandro Zúñiga - April 16, 2021

Costa Rica welcomed nearly 90,000 international arrivals in March, a significant increase compared with the first two months of 2021,…

Why Costa Rica is re-applying driving restrictions
Costa Rica
1953 views
Costa Rica
1953 views

Why Costa Rica is re-applying driving restrictions

The Tico Times - April 16, 2021

Costa Rica will restart its weekend daytime driving restrictions beginning this Saturday. Click here for all the details. The Presidency…

Costa Rica to restart weekend driving restrictions
Costa Rica
1944 views
Costa Rica
1944 views

Costa Rica to restart weekend driving restrictions

Alejandro Zúñiga - April 16, 2021

Costa Rica will restart its weekend daytime driving restrictions beginning this Saturday, April 17. On Saturdays, only vehicles with license…