6 Ocean-Safe Sunscreens To Check Out

These six sunscreens protect your skin without harming the ocean and vulnerable coral reefs. 


May 31 2019, Updated 12:16 p.m. ET

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Source: pexels

Whether you're spending time at the beach, the bay, or anywhere in the sun, it's important to wear sunscreen. If you're concerned about the way your sunscreen impacts the environment around you, you might be curious about eco-friendly options. When it comes to being in the ocean, this is especially important. Unfortunately, many sunscreens are bad for coral reefs, meaning that we're damaging the ocean while wearing it in for a swim. 

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As the New York Times reports, roughly 14,000 tons actually ends up in the oceans every year, with the majority of it hitting reefs in Hawaii and the Caribbean. 

What do you need to avoid in a sunscreen? First check out the active ingredients, which are, sadly, also the most worrisome. Preservatives, like parabens, can cause problems for the environment, too. The most common compound found in sunscreens, oxybenzone, is a major one to avoid. Octinoxate is the other big one you want to skip.

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Thankfully, there are a number of ocean-friendly sunscreens on the market. The following six sunscreens are safe for the ocean and reefs, meaning you can protect your skin without harming your environment. 

1. Babo Botanicals

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This sunscreen has a zinc formula, allowing it to both protect your skin from sunburn and be safe for the ocean. Notably, t's also free of sulfate, parabens, phthalates, fragrances, and dyes. 

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2. All Good

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This sunscreen contains organic green tea, rose hips, and buriti oil, all of which may help repair damaged skin. It's water-resistant, and has a non-nano zinc oxide base. 

3. Raw Elements

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Raw Elements offers a reef-safe, non-biodegradable sunscreen that is also non-nano zinc oxide based. It's also waterproof for 80 minutes!

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4. Kokua Sun Care

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With a combination of Hawaiian spirulina, honey, kukui nut oil, and plumeria extract, this zinc-based sunscreen nourishes your skin without harming the sea. 

5. Raw Love

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This Maui-based company is a non-toxic, reef-safe option. Ingredients include: beeswax, sesame oil, jojoba oil, raw shea better, and cold pressed unrefined coconut oil.

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6. Blue Lizard

This sunscreen is great for people with sensitive skin, as it's free from parabens, chemicals, and fragrances. 

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