Easy, Eco-Friendly Finds for Everyone. Shop Brightly!

7 Reef-Safe Sunscreen Options That Protect Your Skin and Our Oceans

Reef-safe sunscreen is free from chemicals that cause coral bleaching, which affects both marine life and people. Try these safe options.

Written by
Anna Shuster

Coral reefs are dying at rapid rates, with scientists estimating that 70-90% will disappear over the next 20 years. This is due to many factors, including warming ocean temperatures, ocean acidification, pollution, and chemical-ridden sunscreens. But using reef-safe sunscreens can help.

Past research has found chemical compounds in traditional sunscreens can cause "abrupt and complete bleaching of hard corals, even at extremely low concentrations." These harmful chemicals include oxybenzone, octinoxate, avobenzone, and octocrylene, which are all part of the Hawaii sunscreen ban. Once coral bleaching occurs, the coral reefs are left vulnerable to disease and death.

Being that coral reefs both protect coastal cities from waves, storms, and floods—as well as support 25% of marine life—keeping coral reefs healthy is crucial. That's why using reef-safe sunscreens is so important. The small swap will keep you and the planet safe.

7 Reef-Safe Sunscreen Options to Try

This reef-friendly sunscreen is equally beneficial to the planet and your skin. The gentle, sweat-resistant formula is made without parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, and comes in fully recyclable packaging.

Aside from its great price, this mineral sunscreen is lightweight, non-sticky, and easily rubs into your skin. It's also gentle enough for a baby's skin and is formulated with soothing ingredients that are meant to calm and moisturize.

This reef-safe sunscreen is great for all skin types, is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, and has a nourishing formula made with coconut oil, jojoba oil, and aloe vera.

This daytime moisturizer also offers SPF 30 sun protection. It won't leave a white cast and has an invigorating jasmine scent that will surely boost your mood.

Have blemish-prone skin? This lightweight and sheer sunscreen is a great choice. It easily blends into your skin, is ultra-gentle, and contains a plant-based probiotic that supports a strong skin barrier.

This reef-safe sunscreen is more than just a sunscreen. The antioxidant-rich "Plum Superfruit Complex" protects your skin from pollution, blue light, and UV damage while also moisturizing and prepping for makeup application.

This water-resistant, reef-friendly sunscreen is incredibly lightweight and gentle. It's also good for your skin with the addition of California poppy and fruit extracts, which give you a boost of antioxidants.