If you have stopped by in search of that perfect reef-safe sunscreen, I’m assuming you already know why a generic sunscreen is not suitable for the bay or anywhere around it. We have rounded up the best reef-safe sunscreens from the lot and listed them below. Scroll down to take a look.
But before that, for those of you who are not sure of the relevance, we have a few insights, rather alarming ones.
Did you know that 12-14,000 tons of sunscreen enters the ocean? All of this contains toxic, harmful, and reef DNA-damaging ingredients amongst other things. Do you know the kind of ripple effects this causes even if you are far away from this? By the way, this number excludes other significant contributors like plastic pollution, waste management, etc. that are causing irreparable damage to every possible element of the environment.
Barring these, scientists found alarming amounts of toxins like oxybenzone and octinoxate (which are primary ingredients in most sunscreens) that damage the oceans beyond your imagination. The Hawaiian Government passed a law that takes effect from January 2021, which bans any sunscreen that is not reef-safe to enter the state and has strict regulations on what can be used. It won’t be too long before it applies everywhere else.
That brings us to the list of reef-safe sunscreens that you should consider for your health and the environment.
10 Best Reef-Safe Sunscreens
- Thinksport Sunscreen
- MANDA Organic Sun Paste
- All Good Organic Sunscreen Butter Stick
- EiR NYC – All Natural Surf Mud Pro Stick
- Badger – SPF 30 Active Mineral Sunscreen Cream
- Stream2Sea Biodegradable Reef Safe Sunscreen
- Coral Safe All Natural Biodegradable Sunscreen
- Kokua Sun Care Hawaiian Natural Zinc Sunscreen
- Babo Botanicals SPF 30 Clear Zinc Lotion
- Raw Elements Physical Eco Protection Sunscreen
1. Thinksport Sunscreen
Thinksport Sunscreen tops the list of reef-safe sunscreens. It is free of non-nano zinc and is water-resistant with an SPF of 50, which gives you good sun protection.
- Non nano-zinc formula
- UVA & UVB broad spectrum
2. MANDA Organic Sun Paste
Manda Organic Sun Paste is made for the people who love spending time outdoors. Whether it is hiking the mountains, deep sea diving, surfing, or scuba diving – it protects you and the environment better than any other product out there. It uses ‘thanaka,’ a unique ingredient that is extracted from a plant native to Myanmar that has anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and healing properties.
- Contains unique plant extracts
- Anti-inflammatory and healing properties
- A little goes a long way
- Sustainable and safe
3. All Good Organic Sunscreen Butter Stick
If you have used All Good Organic products, you must have heard of their sunscreen spray, but the butter stick is a better alternative. There are two reasons for this – one, sprays are not recommended for sunscreens, especially if you are entering the water, and two, this one spreads easily, sticks long, and gives good protection.
- 80 minutes coverage under water
- Made from essential oils and natural butters
- Easy to use and carry
You will see light creases because of the paste.
4. EiR NYC – All Natural Surf Mud Pro Stick
An all-natural and organic sunscreen for your face is here! A version specially designed for your face – because you need something that doesn’t damage your face in any way. With ingredients like zinc for UV sun protection, cocoa powder for hydration and increased blood flow to the skin, coconut oil and cocoa butter for nourishment, and antioxidants that protect you from free radicals, this product is perfect for the next beach vacation.
- Made from all natural ingredients
- Free of parabens and sulfates
- Safe for kids
5. Badger – SPF 30 Active Mineral Sunscreen Cream
Badger’s Mineral Sunscreen is a lavender-based sunscreen that both novices and pro divers approve of. Other ingredients like coconut and pina colada give this a pleasant smell with a hint of lavender. The reef-safe sun blocker gives you good sun protection and is water resistant too.
- Protects you from UVA and UVB rays
Needs reapplication every 2 or 3 hours
6. Stream2Sea Biodegradable Reef Safe Sunscreen
Stream2sea is going out of the way unlike most mainstream skin care brands – by offering a range of products that are not just environmentally safe but also good for your skin. Their reef-safe sunscreen is tried and tested to ensure that it is biodegradable and protects you from the harmful rays of the sun. It is also antioxidant-rich with ingredients like green, tulsi, wakame, and olive leaf.
Thick and hard to spread
7. Coral Safe All Natural Biodegradable Sunscreen
Coral Safe Biodegradable Sunscreen is a 100% all-natural sunblock that is perfect for dry climates or for hitting the pool or diving deep into the ocean. The formula is gentle and safe for children and non-allergenic. With green tea extracts and other simple ingredients, this is total value for money.
- Safe for kids
- No harsh chemicals and irritants
- No chemical fragrances
Leaves a thick white layer
8. Kokua Sun Care Hawaiian Natural Zinc Sunscreen
One of Hawaii’s best sunscreens with SPF 50 and 25% non-nano zinc oxide, this non-sticky formula protects your skin from the harmful sun rays and free radicals. The formula uses 23 antioxidant ingredients, out of which 7 are superfoods like KonaRed Hawaiian Coffee Fruit Extract, Hawaiian Spirulina, Kukui Nut Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, Plumeria Extract, Organic Noni Juice, and Noni Honey grow in the area.
- Chemical-free formula
- Safe for kids
9. Babo Botanicals SPF 30 Clear Zinc Lotion
Babo Botanicals SPF 30 Clear Zinc Lotion is one the best among natural sunscreens. The clear zinc lotion is non-nano and free of dairy, soy, gluten, or anything else that might trigger allergies. It spreads easily and protects you from the sun for a good 80 minutes under water.
- Suitable for sensitive skin
Consistency is an issue.
10. Raw Elements Physical Eco Protection Sunscreen
This sunscreen formula contains 97% certified organic and 100% certified natural ingredients that hydrate your skin while protecting you from the sun and sand.
- Non-GMO formula
- Free of gluten, sot, and nut
- Safe for children
Even though research scientists are debating on the ingredients in reef-safe sunscreens to understand if they are suitable for the oceans, we need to do what we can in whatever little ways possible. Let us know if we missed something that should have been on the list. Get your sea-supplement, but do it mindfully!
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