Surfs up at lake for sunscreen swap

By Lisa Miller

Although Dallas is landlocked, TropicSport, a reef-friendly, mineral sunscreen and skin care line headquartered here, says that’s no reason to forego celebrating International Surfing Day.

As part of the company’s nationwide celebration of International Surfing Day, TropicSurf is urging the public to trade in its chemical sunscreen by hosting a sunscreen swap event during Dallas United Crew’s free Community Row and Paddle, June 16, from 9 am to 11:30 a.m. at White Rock Lake, 417 E Lawther Dr. in Dallas.

During the event, anyone who trades in a bottle of chemical sunscreen will receive a 1.5-ounce pack of TropicSport for $5 with a portion being donated to Dallas United PINK. “We might be landlocked here in Dallas, but we enjoy water sports just as much as those who live on the coast,” said Tony Palmer, TropicSport founder. “The sun’s rays are already harsh, and when reflected off the water, the damage to our skin is exponential. Some of the most popular sunscreen brands contain toxic chemicals that damage our environment and health in ways that we’re just now beginning to understand. If the public were more aware, they would never expose themselves or our ecosystem in that manner.”

Chemical sunscreens have been proven so harmful, that a recent bill was passed in Hawaii banning chemical sunscreens due to their harm to ocean reefs. Hawaii Governor David Igle will sign the bill into law on July 3 at Hanauma Bay. Oxybenzone, found in popular sunscreens, can cause coral bleaching and coral death, as well as reproductive diseases in fish. Its toxicity also prevents the natural restoration of a damaged reef, ultimately leaving the seascape barren and desolate. In fact, the same sunscreen chemicals that harm our oceans’ reefs — oxybenzone, octinoxate, avobenzone and octocrylene — have also been found to harm the human body.

Palmer points out that many of the common sunscreens on the market are loaded with toxic chemicals that, according to a recent study, when mixed with chlorine and exposed to ultraviolet light, can potentially result in kidney and liver dysfunction and nervous system disorders.

Mineral sunscreens like TropicSport block the sun’s harmful effects because they are made with non-nano zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. They are safe for the body because little, if any, zinc or titanium particles penetrate the skin to reach living tissues. Instead, they sit on top of the skin acting as a physical blocker that deflects and scatters the UV rays away from the skin.

The Dallas United Crew Community Row and Paddle event is open to all ages and athletic abilities and offers the opportunity to try rowing from 9 am to 10:30 am and dragon boating from 10:15 to 11:30 a.m. at no cost. To participate, visit the team’s website at

Whether you’re paddle boarding, sailing, rowing or just walking and jogging around White Rock, all lake lovers should always use sunscreen and protective eyewear. Photo courtesy of White Rock Paddle Company