These days, it’s more important than ever to select a good sunscreen for your vacation.
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Research has shown that regular sunscreens can cause harm not only to your skin but also to the environment. Ingredients such as oxybenzone, octocrylene, and octinoxate are chief offenders that have been associated with coral bleaching and should be avoided at all costs. Certain destinations in the world, such as Hawaii, have already put a ban on sunscreens that harm coral reefs.
Biodegradable sunscreen isn’t just important when you vacation takes you to a coral reef. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, the sunscreen can leave your body through sweat or the air end up in groundwater that eventually empties into the oceans.
We strongly believe that reef safe biodegradable sunscreen is essential for every outdoor activity in the sun.
Benefits of Reef Safe Biodegradable Sunscreen
Biodegradable sunscreens offer a number of benefits aside from reef safety. Most reef safe sunscreens are made from all-natural ingredients and contain lots of plant-based oils and pastes. Despite this, they’re usually still waterproof and long lasting and offer the same sun protection as regular sunscreens laden with toxic chemicals.
If you are looking to replace your regular sunscreen with biodegradable reef safe sunscreen, here are our recommendations for the best brands and products on the market.
Best Reef Safe, Biodegradable Sunscreen Options
Raw Elements Face and Body Certified Natural Sunscreen is our favourite brand of biodegradable sunscreen. Not only is it reef safe, but it is also a great zero waste option since some of Raw Elements products come in reusable metal tins.
Founded by an ocean lifeguard, the Raw Elements company aims to provide active people with the perfect solution for sun protection while also caring for the sea. The sunscreen is cruelty-free, non-GMO, and protects from both UVA and UVB rays. It is 30 SPF.
There are also a number of Raw Elements Lip Care products that offer sun protection for your lips and a Tinted Facial Moisturizer that works great as an every day light sunscreen for the face. These products are cruelty-free, organic, and good for the environment.
Bee You Organics
Bee You Organics is a small brand operating out of xx that offers a selection of hand made organic make up. Their reef safe biodegradable sunscreen is made from zinc oxide that’s blended with all natural oils including coconut oil, sweet almond oil, and sunflower oil into a non-nano, uncoated and non-micro formulation. This chemical free sunscreen is mixed at the max ratio of zinc oxide, giving you the maximum sun protection possible.
We recently had an opoprtunity to try this sunscreen and found it to be an excellent reef safe option. Thanks to the oils in the formula, the sunscreen glides onto skin and is absorbed much easier than many other sunscreens we have tried in the past. We love that this sunscreen comes in zero waste packaging. You can choose from a re-usable tin or paperboard push-up tube.
TotLogic Natural Mineral Sunscreen is marketed as a kid’s biodegradable sunscreen, but it works just as well on adults. It’s made from all-natural ingredients, it’s water-resistant, and it’s hypoallergenic. It is a vegan product and is rated as 30 SPF.
The TotLogic brand was founded by a mom who was inspired to create an all-natural solution when her child contracted headlice. There are all kinds of other organic products in the line, such as shampoos, conditioners, body washes, and bubble baths.
If you’re especially active and always on the go, All Good Sport Sunscreen Spray may be the perfect choice for you. It’s SPF 30 UVA/UVB and offers broad spectrum protection with an 80 minute water resistant promise.
All Good sunscreen is biodegradeable and coral reef friendly thanks to a oxbenzone free, gluten-free, vegan, non-nano formula. The formulation includes natural ingredients like buriti oil, rose hips, and organic green tea. All Good sunscreen comes in a tube, pump, or spray bottle.
Stream2Sea Reef Safe Sport Sunscreen is another popular outdoors brand that now makes its own version of biodegradable sunscreen. The sunscreen is full of great ingredients such as aloe leaf juice, green tea, and seaweed.
This biodegradable sunscreen has been rigorously tested and proven to be safe for both saltwater and freshwater ecosystems. The packaging is made of sugarcane resin and recycled milk bottles.
Best of all, Stream2Sea is a member of 1 Percent for the Planet, which means that they donate 1% of their sales back to the environment.
If you’re looking for a higher SPF, Sun Bum Mineral Sunscreen Lotion is a great choice, with a 50 SPF rating and a furmula full of organic ingredients, like shea butter, coconut oil, cocoa seed butter, and other wholesome ingredients. This product is hypoallergenic, paraben-free, gluten-free, and vegan.
And while this sunscreen does contain some synthetic ingredients, you won’t find any oxybenzone, octocrylene, or octinoxate in its formulation, which makes this sunscreen reef safe.
Reef Repair All Natural Reef Safe Sunscreen is one of the most affordable biodegradable sunscreen options on this list. Free of harsh chemicals and reef harming ingredients, it’s safe for the oceans and your skin. It’s deeply moisturizing, safe for kids, and is not oily or greasy.
Although reef safe biodegradable sunscreen is certainly an investment compared to regular sunscreens, it is definitely worth it. With small, smart choices like buying good sunscreen, you’ll not only be doing a favour to your skin, but to the planet and oceans as well. That’s worth a few extra dollars.