6 Of The Best Reef Safe Sunscreens

Esme Price 

It is all very well slathering on the sunscreen, intermittently, for summer outdoor activities to protect you from sun damage and reduce skin cancer, but did you know this could be the product that slows down the ageing process by 24%. However, whilst using sunscreens that may be protecting you, they may be slowly affecting the Coral Reefs and harming wildlife.

Choosing the right protection in sunscreens 

When choosing the right sunscreen to protect you and your loved ones from the sun, you need to consider ones that protect you from both UVB and UVA rays. Sunscreens that only offer UVB protection will keep you from burning, but will not protect you against skin cancer. You may think this sunscreen is preventing you from burning, you are more likely to stay in the sun for longer. However, this exposes you to UVA rays, which are ageing rays. The longer you are exposed to these, the more damaging it is to your deeper skin, thus enhancing ageing. 

Why choose reef-safe sunscreens? 

Coral reefs are diverse ecosystems that are not only linked to the survival of the planet and us, but are also home to hundreds of different species. Reefs help prevent coastal erosion, storm surge damage and help minimise climate change by regulating carbon dioxide levels in the sea. However, the reefs are in great danger of decreasing and are slowly dying – sunscreens being one of the factors why. Even spray sunscreens have a negative effect on the ocean as a large proportion of it lands on the sand, contaminating both animals and sea creatures. 

Harmful ingredients to look out for:

  • Oxybenzone
  • Octinoxate
  • Octocrylene
  • Any nanoparticles or “nano-sized” zinc or titanium 
  • Any form of microplastics, such as “exfoliating beads”

Green People Scent Free Facial Cream SPF30 50ml

Award-winning UK natural sunscreens, Green People, offer a cruelty free and organic sunscreen. The brand prides itself to be partners with the Marine Conservation Society to help highlight the impact that sunscreens have on marine life, and help customers make an informed choice when choosing natural sunscreens. It is free from harsh chemicals, made from 60% aloe vera and contains a blend of antioxidant-rich green tea; it will leave your pores unclogged and greaseless. 

REN Clean Skincare Clean Screen Mineral SPF30 50ml

This minimal and mattifying everyday sunscreen is good for under makeup but also offers clean protection for you and the planet. By having protection of those UVA/UVB rays and blue light, this product is proven to slow down ageing with its 22% Zinc Oxide. The British brand pledges to be recyclable, meaning the whole product can be recycled.

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Protective Sun Lotion SPF50

Infused with scents form Hawaii, this sunscreen will transport you beyond the seas. This sunscreen comes in lots of different formulas such as oils, sprays, creams and foam, to suit any skin types, leaving you hydrated and protected. The wide range of products this brand offers all pledge to be sustainable and eco-friendly protecting humans, the ocean and its inhabitants.  

Lean Screen Mineral Mattifying SPF50+

“Future proof your face” with the new leading mattifying sunscreen with Ultra Violette. It combines your needs for skincare and makeup. With their range of tinted screens, you can have both protection and complexion. This product is Reef safe due it not containing the chemical UV filter Oxybenzone, which does not affect the reef.

Caudalie Vinosun High Protection Spray SPF50

If a lightweight spray is more suited to you for summer, maybe this is your next go to. With the formular being suitable for the shores, this spray is perfect to leave your face and body nourished. Not only is this brand vegan, ocean friendly and suitable for sensitive skin, but it has an environmental commitment to creating !00% plastic collect. This means Caudalie will collect and recycle as much waste form the ocean it makes form the brand.

Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen SPF40

This versatile product comes in lots of different finishes under makeup or without. The formula has been perfected so that it doesn’t leave any steaky lines, making it suitable for all skin tones. With the product being vegan, cruelty free, biodegradable and reef safe!

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