Summer is quickly approaching, meaning more time spent outdoors enjoying the sunshine. But did you know that certain sunscreens harm coral reefs? Luckily, reef-safe sunscreen offers an effective solution. In this post, we’ll outline the features and benefits of reef-safe sunscreen – and some of our top picks.
What Makes Sunscreen “Reef-Safe”?
Reef-safe sunscreen does not contain chemicals that are toxic to marine life, particularly coral reefs. Examples include oxybenzone and octinoxate, which cause coral bleaching and eventual reef death. Instead, reef-safe sunscreens use nontoxic, eco-friendly ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These sunblocks don’t penetrate as deeply into the skin but are equally effective at protecting the skin. Other reef-safe ingredients include aloe vera, coconut oil, and vitamin E, which soften, hydrate, and nourish the skin while shielding it from the sun‘s rays.
Why Use Reef-Safe Sunscreen?
Reef-safe sunscreen offers many advantages for coral reefs, which play a pivotal role in keeping marine environments balanced yet are under constant threat due to climate change, overfishing, and pollution. By choosing reef-friendly products when we are in or near the ocean, we can reduce some of these negative impacts.
Reef-safe sunscreens can benefit your health in other ways. Many conventional sunscreens contain chemicals that are hazardous to humans when absorbed through the skin, potentially causing allergic reactions, hormone disturbances, and even cancer. It’s best to stick to reef-safe sunscreen – even when you’re not planning on being near the ocean.
Our Picks for Reef-Safe Sunscreen:
Hawaiian Tropic Mineral Sun Milk Body Lotion SPF 50 ($12.99, shop here)
This milky, moisture-rich formula will give you sun protection, a fresh fragrance, and a lot of bang for your buck!
Suntegrity Mineral Body Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 30 ($36, shop here)
This non-greasy, water-resistant formula is perfect for a day in the sun.
Summer Fridays ShadeDrops Broad-Spectrum SPF 30 Mineral Milk Sunscreen ($36, shop here)
This mineral sunscreen is one of the best SPF products for the face. You can wear it as a makeup base or by itself for a natural glow!