Sunscreens That Don’t Destroy Coral Reefs:5 Best Reef-Safe Sunscreens

sarahskinnmoresarahskinnmore
Sep. 18, 2020
We all know we need to wear sunscreen. When we’re kids, we often only do it because a parent tells us to, but as we grow up we know it’s imperative for protecting our skin from UV rays which can cause early signs of aging, burns, and cancer. 
Today, however, we also have increased awareness about the consequences of the skincare choices we make, from products that have been tested on animals to cheap creams that wash off into the ocean and into the lungs of fish. With every purchase we make, we also have to take into account the damage that can be done, or, indeed, prevented, as a result of our purchase. 
Thankfully, we have the internet on our side, and we can research and make informed, sensible choices when it comes to the sun creams we purchase. 
Why is sunscreen bad for the ocean? 
Two of the most common ingredients found in sunscreens are oxybenzone and octinoxate. One 2015 study from the Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology found that oxybenzone poses a threat to coral reef conservation. What’s more, it is also expected to threaten the resiliency of coral reefs to future climate change.
Most products that contain SPF (primers, moisturizers, and foundations) also contain oxybenzone, which has been directly linked to coral bleaching, the biggest cause of coral death in the world. Surely that sounds like something we want to avoid being a part of?
Which sunscreens are reef-safe?
Generally, any sunscreens that do not contain oxybenzone are reef safe, but some companies go one step further and print “Reef-Safe,” “Micronized” or “Non-Nano” on their bottles. 
This indicates that the particles in the sunscreen are not small enough to be harmful to marine life, and thus are reef-safe. 
Want to do your bit for the ocean and be protected against the sun’s rays? You need reef-safe sunscreen. Here are 5 of the best sunscreens that don’t destroy coral reefs. 
5 Reef-Safe Sunscreens 
  • Coola’s Mineral Face Organic Matte Finish Sunscreen
The name is a mouthful, but it’s worth it! As far as credentials go, Coola ticks a lot of boxes for a lot of people. Their products aren’t tested on animals, almost all are vegan, their products are free of parabens and GMOs, and all are 70% certified organic. 
This high-end sunblock offers lightweight coverage, featuring Coola’s antioxidant-rich complex of natural rosehip oil and evening primrose. It helps fight free radicals, it’s great for sensitive skin, and it doubles as the perfect makeup primer!
  • Alba Botanica’s Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen
This water-resistant sun cream is more on the affordable side, costing around $8 for a 113g bottle. As you’d expect, it’s reef safe, vegan, and paraben-free. It’s also gluten-free and fragrance-free. It’s great for those of us with sensitive skin that typically reacts to sunscreens with a fragrance. 
  • Blue Lizard’s Sensitive Sunscreen Lotion
Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen 30+ , BLUE LIZARD AUSTRALIAN SUNSCREEN, cherie
BLUE LIZARD AUSTRALIAN SUNSCREENSensitive Mineral Sunscreen 30+
This popular Australian company makes paraben- and fragrance-free sunscreen, but this one is particularly interesting as the bottle turns blue when exposed to harmful UV rays. That’s certainly one way of reminding you to top up your sunscreen! Blue Lizard sunscreen is not tested on animals either, so that’s another box ticked. 
  • Badger’s Clear Zinc Sport Sunscreen
This family-run company has produced an unscented sunscreen that seems to be pretty much perfect in every way. It’s not tested on animals, non-GMO, reef-safe, and contains just five ingredients – three of which are organic. It’s hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and even the bottle is made with recycled materials. As with many sunscreen brands, the only thing preventing it from being fully vegan is the presence of organic beeswax. 
  • Supergoop’s PLAY Everyday Lotion
This striking little bottle of lotion has been enriched with rosemary, sunflower, and rice antioxidants for powerful moisture and protection. It defends the skin against UVA and UVB damage, protecting from dehydration and photoaging. It’s free of fragrances and parabens, coral reef safe and it is not tested on animals. 
While it may seem tricky to find a high-quality sunscreen that aligns with everything you want, it’s definitely possible! These days, there are so many choices for every skincare product you could imagine – all it takes is a little research to ensure your money is going to the right people. If you have the opportunity, there is no reason not to choose a great sunblock that can offer safe and reliable protection to us and our fishy friends.
Best Reviews
A Journey of Self 🌹
A Journey of Self 🌹
I figured Black History Month was as good as any opportunity to talk about my self finding. Growing up in a small yet old family, I always had questions about my roots and family history. I also struggled with self conscious doubts about my appearance. Why is my nose this big? Why is my hair this curly? Why am I taller than average? These weighed heavy on my mind growing up because honestly, sticking out sucked. So, I finally dove deep into my family’s origin and decided to do an Ancestry DNA analysis. I immersed myself with every corner of the site. I only got the chance to finish my maternal grandmas side of the family tree, but even that has plenty of gaps. Yet, when I received my DNA results I was stoked. Then I realized, I don’t know much about any of these places. So I dug even deeper. I have a little journal of things I’ve learned and want to know, but this was quite the experience. It was heartbreaking and satisfying at the same time. I highly recommend for every race and background to do this DNA Test. The best part of this was scrolling through photos of the people of the respected countries I was DNA matched to. I swear I saw a girl who looked like me, but everyone else thinks I’m tripping lol. In the end, I’m satisfied with my results and findings. Relatively speaking, this way of self discovery has been the most effective.
My Farewell To Cherie
My Farewell To Cherie
Follow me on Ig for more skincare since Cherie is leaving 😭 @naturedskinv This has been an amazing journey and I’ve made soo many amazing friends. Thank you for all the love, conversations, and just overall happiness I’ve experienced on this app. I’m definitely sad, a little upset, and a dash of confused, but thank you @cheriefor giving me such an amazing confidence boost and guidance. The way the app shaped my thoughts on skincare has been insane. I’m still willing to forget this and call it a joke if y’all are! 😭 Anyways thank you again and hopefully we can stay in touch 🙏🏾
Clear Hydrated Skin The Clean Way✨
Clear Hydrated Skin The Clean Way✨
Staying in the trend of clean beauty, I have found an amazing product to add to my everyday routine. Odacité SKINCARE - Blue Aura Cleansing Water This is a cleansing water that is marketed to use in place of your cleanser for a “quick” clean. When looking for a good cleansing water, you want one that is hydrating and gets your face clean. Keep in mind not all cleansing waters are designed to clean makeup (I highly recommend a cleansing balm and cleanser). About This Brand: ✨Vegan ✨Cruelty Free ✨Certified Organic ✨ NO: Fillers | Parabens | Nanoparticles | Petrochemicals | PEG | Synthetic perfumes | Dyes | Phenoxyethanol. This cleansing water is so hydrating and satisfying to use. It smells very fresh and a little goes a long way. What is very important to me is my dry spot aren’t tight or irritated. I have been using this day and night and have seen amazing results acne and skin barrier wise. I included this in my routine after a regular cleanser and before my serums. So essentially, I use this as a “toner”. I do this to clean up anything my cleanse left behind, or the cleanser itself. INGREDIENTS: ✨Tumeric: Amazing for hyperpigmentation and overall skin brightness ✨Holy Basil: I drink the tea and can vouch this is an amazing adaptogen that can overall benefit every aspect of your life. It combats aging and free radical damage. ✨Neem: great anti aging ingredient that helps protects your skin barrier. ✨Aloe Vera Juice: this is great for your skin barrier overall. It hydrated, protects and brightens. I highly recommend this cleansing water and it is on sale for $9 at Boxycharm Pop Up 🥰🥰
Clear skin the gentle way?
Clear skin the gentle way?
Thank you @cheriefor this amazing gift 🤩 “buh-koo-chee-all” HERBIVORE - Bakuchiol Anti-Aging Serum I’ve already become a diehard Herbivore lover. So to receive this beauty was super exciting. When I started my acne journey on Cherie I was (and still am) a Differin Acne Gel stan. This was my choice of retinol and I wanted it strong to treat acne and boost my cellular turnover. Now that my acne is currently under control and it’s getting hot again, I definitely want something smooth and gentle. Bakuchiol is a gentler alternative to the very popular ingredient retinol. So essentially you’ll get overall youthful results for your skin. I haven’t tested this on my acne theory yet, but overall my face has been smooth and irritation free. This serum does not have a smell which I love for products of this caliber. I also love that it’s light and not drying at all. I use this at night and since i have a tolerance to retinol I use it every night. I haven’t been using it long enough to see results (about 12 weeks) but I definitely can’t wait to finish this. Have you tried Bakuchiol?
Drink of water for your skin!
Drink of water for your skin!
We’re in the deep of winter and our skin get dehydrated and beaten by the harsh elements. Treat your skin to a pure drink of water that is based with pure Artic water —The ultra pure water that flows from the Arctic is known for its unique functional composition that’s buzzed about for helping to recharge dull-looking skin. By adding moisture back in helps fortify your skin and enhances skins’ luminosity. LUMENE - Nordic-C Glow Boost Essence Serum 30ml $12-$25 depends on size and retail. Based with pure artic spring water and two types o hyaluronic acids this serum is super emollient and hydrating. Love love love how gentle this formula is. LUMENE - Nordic C Valo Glow Lumenessence Brightening Beauty Lotion $14-$18 A gorgeous lightweight toning essence with pure artic water, hyaluronic acids and vitamin c rich berry complex. I love that it is gentle and not drying. 🐰 cruelty free and sustainably sourced