Which Sunscreens are Reef Safe?

Last Updated on July 6, 2022

This is an ultimate guide to Reef Safe Sunscreens.

Beach vacations are just around the corner, and that means it’s time to start thinking about sunscreen!

If you’re a coral reef warrior and looking for sunscreens that are reef safe, then look no further! Let’s dive with us into our extensive guide to Reef Safe sunscreens.

The Ultimate Guide to Reef Safe Sunscreens

As a rule of thumb, reef-safe sunscreen is any sunscreen that does not contain oxybenzone and octinoxate. These two chemicals have been shown to be harmful to coral reefs. Furthermore, it can cause coral bleaching, which is when the coral loses its color.

Reef-Safe Sunscreens

1. Avoid the Sunscreens with Harmful Substances

Other than the two hostile reef ingredients i.e. oxybenzone and octinoxate, avoid the sunscreens that have the following harmful active substances on their label:

  • Octocrylene
  • Homosalate
  • 4-methylbenzylidene camphor
  • PABA
  • Parabens
  • Phthalates
  • Any form of microplastic i.e. exfoliating beads
  • Synthetic Fragrances
  • Triclosan
  • Petrolatum, also known as mineral oil takes years to biodegrade and is harmful to sea life.

Moreover, researchers also recommend avoiding the sunscreens that have nano-particles of minerals as they are easier to get ingested by the coral reefs and upset the ocean’s ecosystem.

2. Look for Reef-Friendly Ingredients

When you go to buy sunscreen, always check the label for reef-friendly substances. Reef-safe ingredients are mineral-based that contain Zinc oxide and Titanium dioxide.

However, it’s crucial to go for a non-nano mineral particle size that is greater than 100 nanometers. As they are not supposed to get ingested by the corals.

Our Top 5 Reef Safe Screens

1. Kokua Sun Care Hawaiian SPF 50 Natural Zinc Sunscreen

Introducing Kokua Sun Care Hawaiian SPF 50 Natural Zinc Sunscreen, the perfect choice for those who want to enjoy the sun while protecting the corals!

The water-resistant zinc sunscreen by Kokua Sun Care provides broad-spectrum protection using the highest percentage (25%) of nonnano zinc oxide available as its only active ingredient.

It also goes on like a moisturizing lotion and rubs in clear, smooth strokes to provide you with ultimate coverage!

2. Stream2Sea Sport Sunscreen SPF 30

We’re all for being eco-friendly here! This water-resistant (up to 80 minutes) sunblock is made with non-nano titanium dioxide, green tea, and tulsi leaf.

Stream2Sea Sport Sunscreen is also paraben-free so you can feel good about dousing yourself in it before diving into the deep end of the sea without worrying that the corals and your skin will be irritated by harsh chemicals as other brands might use on their products.

It also comes with the bonus of 100% recycled and recyclable packaging that is good for our mother earth.

3. Babo Botanicals SPF 30 Clear Zinc Lotion

Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen is the perfect way to protect your skin against harsh rays and seawater. It is completely reef-safe sunscreen because it doesn’t use any harmful ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate. Instead, they are more botanical and mineral-based sunscreen using sunflower, avocado, watercress, and jojoba oils.

The fast-absorbing, non-whitening formula provides 80 minutes of protection that won’t leave any white residue on you or rub off in waves during a swim!

4. Badger SPF 40 Sport Mineral Sunscreen Cream

Badger’s Clear Zinc Sunscreen Cream is the perfect solution for people who are looking for a 100% mineral-based sunscreen made from zinc oxide which is the safest active ingredient for corals and our skin.

It has only four ingredients – zinc oxide, sunflower oil (non-comedogenic), beeswax, and vitamin E so it won’t irritate your skin even if you have sensitive areas on yours!

In short, it is made from 98% organic ingredients and certified to protect land + sea.

5. CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen with Sheer Tint SPF 30

CeraVe comes with its non-greasy, water-resistant, and 100% mineral filter sunscreen solution that leaves your skin with a natural glow. With three essential ceramides to help restore our skin’s barrier while also providing all-day hydration there are no other options like this anywhere else!

Now, that you know the top 5 reef-safe sunscreens. Let’s get to know some other ways to help protect the coral reefs and the importance of choosing reef-friendly sunscreens.

Other Ways to Help Protect the Coral Reefs

Here, you find some other ways to protect coral reefs other than avoiding sunscreens with harmful ingredients:

  • Try to lessen the use of sunscreens by:
    • Choose to wear sun-protective clothing like high-necked, long-sleeve, and full-length swimwear instead of short swimsuits.
    • Apply sunscreens on exposed areas only.
    • Go for good UV-protected shades like beach canopies, tents, solo shades, hats, and sunscreen glasses.
  • Avoid touching or standing on coral reefs.
  • You can also help by spreading the word about Reef Safe sunscreen and educating others about the importance of coral reefs!

Importance of Choosing Reef Safe Sunscreens

Coral reefs are an important part of our ecosystem. They provide a home for many different species of fish, coral, and other marine life. Reefs also protect our shorelines from waves and storms. That’s why choosing Reef Safe sunscreen is important to help protect the corals and other marine life.


Conclusion

Now that you know all about Reef Safe sunscreen, make sure to pack some for your next beach vacation! And don’t forget to help spread the word about Reef Safe sunscreens to your friends and family.

Together, we can make a difference for our coral reefs!

Leave a Comment