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10 Best Reef-safe Sunscreens

If you’re looking to create an eco-friendly skincare system, the best reef-safe sunscreens can help. Traditional sunscreens contain ingredients that can be harmful to coral reefs — usually, octinoxate and oxybenzone. Reef-safe formulas eliminate these ingredients, so you can use them while swimming, snorkeling, or diving, all without causing damage to the earth’s natural wonders. These eco-friendly sunscreens offer the same sun protection; plus, you can find variations that are designed for kids, sensitive skin, and sports use. Not sure where to start? Here are 10 excellent reef-safe sunscreen options that can take your beach routine to the next level.

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1. Badger Balm SPF 35 Sport

Badger Balm SPF 35 Sport Sunscreen Cream- 2.9 oz Best Reef-safe Sunscreen

If you’re a swimmer, or if you simply like to take a dip after a workout, this coral reef-safe sunblock from Badger Balm is a great choice. It’s an SPF 35 sport formula, which means that it stays active for up to 80 minutes, even when you’re in the water or sweating heavily. The broad-spectrum protection helps you stay safe from both UVA and UVB rays. Made with zinc oxide in a sunflower oil base, this sunscreen helps protect your skin and the environment.

2. All Good Tinted Sport

All Good Tinted Sport Sunscreen Lotion - Zinc Oxide - Coral Reef Safe - Water Resistant - UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum - SPF 30 (3 oz)(Tinted) Best reef-safe sunscreen

All Good sport sunscreen is tinted, giving you a bit of coverage while it protects. This formula is made with mineral iron oxides, and offers SPF 30 protection. It also features rose hips, green tea, and buriti oil, so it helps moisturize and repair your skin. This formula is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, so you can wear it on longer runs or bike rides. It’s lightweight and non-greasy to keep you comfortable.

3. Alba Botanica Hawaiian

Alba Botanica Aloe Vera Hawaiian SPF 30 Sunscreen, 4 oz. Best reef-safe sunscreen

This Alba Botanica Hawaiian sunscreen is made with aloe vera, so it softens your skin while it blocks UV rays. The formula features broad-spectrum protection for maximum effect. It features SPF 30, and lasts for up to 80 minutes in the water. Made without benzene, octinoxate, or synthetic fragrances, it’s safe for reefs and sensitive skin. Plus, since it’s recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation, you can apply it with confidence.

4. Bare Republic Mineral Sport

Bare Republic Mineral Sport SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion, Natural Vanilla Coconut, 5 Fluid Ounce Best Reef-safe Sunscreen

If you need extra sun protection, this SPF 50 Bare Republic sport formula is a great choice. Formulated with minerals and without parabens, this cruelty-free sunscreen is safe for your skin, animals, and coral reefs. One application lasts for 80 minutes, and the non-greasy formula feels light and clean. Plus, since this cream prevents whitening, it leaves your skin looking fresh — which means that you can take photos at the beach or during a race without a white cast.

5. Goddess Garden Kids

Goddess Garden Kids SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen Lotion for Sensitive Skin (Tube), Reef Safe, Sheer Zinc Oxide, Broad Spectrum, Water Resistant, Non-Nano, Vegan, Leaping Bunny certified Cruelty-Free, 6oz Best Reef-safe Sunscreen

This Goddess Garden product is a reef-safe sunscreen for kids. It’s made with SPF 50, and offers extra protection for your children’s delicate skin. This mineral-based sunscreen uses non-nano minerals to create broad-spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays. The formula is gentle, so it’s also a great choice for sensitive skin. Shea butter and cocoa butter provide a moisturizing effect, and the vegan ingredients give you peace of mind. Love animals? Goddess Garden is also cruelty-free.

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6. Coola Eco-Lux Spray

Coola Eco-Lux SPF 50 Sunscreen Spray-Guava Mango, 8 oz Best Reef-safe Sunscreen

When you need to apply sunscreen in a hurry, this Coola Eco-Lux formula is a convenient option. It comes in a spray bottle, so you can achieve complete coverage without assistance. Made with a “farm to face” process, this formula contains anti-aging antioxidants and certified organic cucumber and algae. It features a light guava mango scent that leaves your skin smelling fresh. Use it on sensitive skin, and enjoy SPF 50 protection for up to 80 minutes.

7. Thinksport Kid’s

Thinksport Kid's Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+, 3oz (Pack of 3 units) Best Reef-safe Sunscreen

Thinksport Kid’s sunscreen uses a mineral-based formula to provide gentle application and powerful protection. Inside the creamy sunscreen, non-nano zinc oxide creates a barrier against a broad spectrum of UV rays. The SPF 50 formula is great for kids or people with sensitive skin; it’s water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, though you should reapply after towel drying to be safe. This formula is made in the USA and designed to feel smooth and non-oily, so it’s easy to wear.

8. Burnout Face and Body

Burnout, Sunscreen Face And Body, 2.4 Ounce Best Reef-safe Sunscreen

If you have sensitive skin, Burnout Face and Body sunscreen offers a gentle formula that’s designed to prevent irritation. This nanoparticle-free sunscreen is made with zinc oxide for simple, effective sun protection. It doesn’t contain parabens or fragrances, which helps keep your skin feeling calm and comfortable. The formula is oil-free and lightweight, so it’s easy to wear alone; you can also layer it under makeup for protection during your everyday activities.

9. MDSolarSciences Mineral Moisture Defense

MDSolarSciences Mineral Moisture Defense SPF 50 Sunscreen, 4 Oz Best Reef-safe Sunscreen

This MDSolarSciences is formulated to help your skin maintain its natural moisture barrier. The secret is in the ceramides and humectants, which work with your body’s built-in protections. The formula is non-comedogenic, which means that it won’t clog your pores and cause breakouts. Apply the sunscreen to your entire body; it offers broad-spectrum SPF 50 protection for up to 80 minutes. Plus, since it’s free of parabens and gluten and made with cruelty-free practices, you can feel great about your purchase.

10. Waxhead Zinc Oxide Organic

Waxhead Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Organic (2 pack) EWG Rated 1, Non-toxic, Mineral, Broad spectrum, Reef-safe, with Vitamin E and D, SPF 35, Travel size, 1 ounce each, Sensitive Skin, Hypoallergenic, Best Reef-safe Sunscreen

This eco-friendly sunscreen from Waxhead is made with just six ingredients, so you know exactly what’s going on your skin. It’s completely free of toxins and petrochemicals, and it’s made with cruelty-free, eco-friendly methods. Inside the sunscreen, vitamin E and vitamin D help nourish and moisturize your skin. The gentle formula doesn’t sting your eyes, so you can use it on yourself or your kids without irritation.

If you love to spend time outside, sunscreen is a must. By choosing reef-safe formulas, you can help keep harmful chemicals out of the oceans, so the planet’s spectacular coral reefs stay intact. By choosing the most reputable, best reef-safe sunscreens on the market, you can stay comfortable and safe from UV rays.

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By BCR Staff

April 2019

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