Free Webinar

An IFSCC Debate
Reef Safe Sunscreens:  Science or Marketing Hype?

Debater #1:  Dr. Heleen Kibbelaar, Science Meets Cosmetics
Debater #2:  Autumn Blum, Stream2Sea
Moderator: Perry Romanowski, IFSCC Chair of Education

​​​​​​​Wednesday 9 August for most IFSCC Members
8h West Coast USA - 9h Mexico City - 10h Chicago / Bogotá - 11h East Coast USA - 12h Sao Paolo - 

16h London - 17h Central Europe / S. Africa - 18h Tel Aviv - 20h30 New Delhi - 23h Singapore / HK / China / Taipei
​​​​​​​0h Korea / Japan
Thursday 10 August
​​​​​​​1h Melbourne = 3h Wellington

About the Webinar

In this event, we'll explore the dichotomy between the need for eco-friendly products and the sway of persuasive marketing.

Our debate hinges on two perspectives. Proponents argue that reef-safe sunscreens, free from harmful chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate, are vital to protect our vulnerable coral reefs. They see this shift as an imperative response to human-induced marine degradation.

Contrarily, skeptics suggest the "reef-safe" label is more of a marketing tactic than environmental stewardship, given its lack of regulation and definitive scientific support. They question the actual impact of these sunscreens relative to other, more severe environmental threats.

The aim is to hold a fact-based discussion that helps discern the truth behind reef-safe sunscreens. May this debate guide us towards informed decisions for a sustainable future. 


​​​​​​​Dr. Heleen Kibbelaar, Science Meets Cosmetics - ​​​​​​​Heleen holds a doctorate in complex fluids from the University of Amsterdam. During her studies she extensively studied emulsions, sunscreens and polymer solutions. She is now a visiting scholar at the Chemical Engineering Department at KU Leuven. She also runs the Instagram account @sciencemeetscosmetics (90K followers) where she explains her research and the science behind cosmetics.  

Autumn Blum, Stream2Sea - A native Floridian and serial entrepreneur, Autumn Blum combines her passion as an ocean advocate with her background as a cosmetic chemist as the CEO of Stream2Sea - a company setting the new standard for sustainable, safe body care products and sunscreen. Working in support of toxic sunscreen bans around the world, Autumn has testified before the USVI Senate, presented to the National Science Academies, and submitted testimonies in Hawaii, Key West and numerous other island locations. Formulating and bringing to market products that contribute first to people and the planet and then to profit has been her goal throughout her entire career. Recently inducted to the Women Diver’s Hall of Fame, Autumn is also a technical scuba diver, shark advocate, and underwater photographer.

​​​​​​​The Moderator will be Perry Romanowski, IFSCC Chair of Education, cosmetic formulator, and founder of Chemists Corner, a website dedicated to education about cosmetic science.

  • Mary Lynn Halland

    Webinar Host

  • Dr. Heleen Kibbelaar, Science Meets Cosmetics

    Webinar Debater

  • Autumn Blum, Stream2Sea

    Webinar Debater

  • Perry Romanowski, IFSCC Chair of Education

    Debate Moderator

  • , ,