5 Reef-Friendly Sunscreens to Keep Your Skin and Our Oceans Safe

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written by:  Anna Shuster

editor's note:

Sunburn is not a good look. Here are some sunscreens to keep you safe during this hot summer that also don't harm the beautiful coral reefs.

I love summer! But one thing I don’t love– sunburn. Turning bright red and being in pain all over is sure to ruin your precious photos and memories, and not to mention, it just sucks. Even if you don’t get sunburnt, the sun accelerates skin aging and can be a contributing factor to skin cancer.

That’s why sunscreen is so important and we need to apply it thirty minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours.

However, did you know that common chemicals found in sunscreen, such as Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, and many more, when washed off into the ocean are toxic to ocean corals and contribute to coral bleaching? Below are some sunscreens with certified reef-safe ingredients.


Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40

What We Love About It:

Strong SPF Protection Without a Sheen

Reef-Safe Information:

Supergoop! Reef-Safe Practices

Our Take:

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 is a cult favorite and for good reason. Its scentless and smooth finish makes putting on sunscreen enjoyable and not a chore.
Supergoop! has over 40 options so you can find the perfect sunscreen for you. Whether its spray or lotion, you can count on these to protect you from harsh UV rays.


Alba Botanica's SPF 30 Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen

What We Love About It:

The Sensitive Formula Derived From Natural Ingredients

Reef-Safe Information:

Alba Botanica's Sustainability Practices

Our Take:

This sunscreen's formula utilizes aloe vera, green tea, and chamomile to soothe your sensitive skin and prevent it from further damage. Plus: it's super affordable!
Alba Botanica's reef friendly suncare line smells great and comes in a variety of options that cover even babies, athletes, and sensitive skin. Throw one of their travel-friendly sizes in your bag and your good to go!


COOLA Suncare Classic Body Suncare SPF 50

What We Love About It:

Strong Weightless SPF

Reef-Safe Information:

Coola's Reef-Safe Practices

Our Take:

This tube is designed to protect you from long hot days in the sun and comes in two options: unscented or guava mango (if unscented isn't your style). While strong, it's still sheer and great for everyday use.
COOLA's Farm to Face initiative sets it apart, ensuring a small and transparent supply chain. We also love how even the packaging is 80% glass, and if it's not glass, it's post-consumer recycled materials.


Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30

What We Love About It:

Gentle and Cruelty-Free

Beauty Counter's Sustainability Practices:

Screening Ingredient Guidelines

Our Take:

This mineral sunscreen lotion is formulated with non-nano zinc oxide which can prove to be less harmful than the nano-sized particles present in other sunscreens. They also feature the California Poppy for a soothing effect.
CounterSun is Beauty Counter's skincare line, dedicated to keeping the reefs safe and ingredient transparency. They list every ingredient they vow to never use and have partnered with How2Recycle on each product to ensure everything is properly disposed of.


Badger Clear Zinc Sunscreen Cream in a Tin SPF 40

What We Love About It:

Travel Friendly and Can Reuse the Tin

Badger's Reef-Safe Practices:

Badger's Sunscreen Guidelines

Our Take:

This affordable sunscreen is made from only 4 ingredients: zinc oxide, sunflower oil, beeswax, and vitamin E! You know exactly what you are absorbing into your skin. It's also great for flights because you don't have to worry about carrying too many fluid ounces because it's solid. When you're done with it, you can reuse the tin to your heart's delight!
Badger is a certified B-Corp family run company that is known for its no-fuss ingredient list. They are transparent about all their practices on their website, down to the paper and supplies used in their corporate offices. Isn't that refreshing?

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40

What We Love About It:

Strong SPF Protection Without a Sheen

Reef-Safe Information:

Supergoop! Reef-Safe Practices

Our Take:

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 is a cult favorite and for good reason. Its scentless and smooth finish makes putting on sunscreen enjoyable and not a chore.
Supergoop! has over 40 options so you can find the perfect sunscreen for you. Whether its spray or lotion, you can count on these to protect you from harsh UV rays.

Alba Botanica's SPF 30 Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen

What We Love About It:

The Sensitive Formula Derived From Natural Ingredients

Reef-Safe Information:

Alba Botanica's Sustainability Practices

Our Take:

This sunscreen's formula utilizes aloe vera, green tea, and chamomile to soothe your sensitive skin and prevent it from further damage. Plus: it's super affordable!
Alba Botanica's reef friendly suncare line smells great and comes in a variety of options that cover even babies, athletes, and sensitive skin. Throw one of their travel-friendly sizes in your bag and your good to go!

COOLA Suncare Classic Body Suncare SPF 50

What We Love About It:

Strong Weightless SPF

Reef-Safe Information:

Coola's Reef-Safe Practices

Our Take:

This tube is designed to protect you from long hot days in the sun and comes in two options: unscented or guava mango (if unscented isn't your style). While strong, it's still sheer and great for everyday use.
COOLA's Farm to Face initiative sets it apart, ensuring a small and transparent supply chain. We also love how even the packaging is 80% glass, and if it's not glass, it's post-consumer recycled materials.

Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30

What We Love About It:

Gentle and Cruelty-Free

Beauty Counter's Sustainability Practices:

Screening Ingredient Guidelines

Our Take:

This mineral sunscreen lotion is formulated with non-nano zinc oxide which can prove to be less harmful than the nano-sized particles present in other sunscreens. They also feature the California Poppy for a soothing effect.
CounterSun is Beauty Counter's skincare line, dedicated to keeping the reefs safe and ingredient transparency. They list every ingredient they vow to never use and have partnered with How2Recycle on each product to ensure everything is properly disposed of.

Badger Clear Zinc Sunscreen Cream in a Tin SPF 40

What We Love About It:

Travel Friendly and Can Reuse the Tin

Badger's Reef-Safe Practices:

Badger's Sunscreen Guidelines

Our Take:

This affordable sunscreen is made from only 4 ingredients: zinc oxide, sunflower oil, beeswax, and vitamin E! You know exactly what you are absorbing into your skin. It's also great for flights because you don't have to worry about carrying too many fluid ounces because it's solid. When you're done with it, you can reuse the tin to your heart's delight!
Badger is a certified B-Corp family run company that is known for its no-fuss ingredient list. They are transparent about all their practices on their website, down to the paper and supplies used in their corporate offices. Isn't that refreshing?



written by:  Anna Shuster

editor's note:

Sunburn is not a good look. Here are some sunscreens to keep you safe during this hot summer that also don't harm the beautiful coral reefs.

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