Sunscreen may be the best thing to ever happen to your skin, but we can't say the same for the coral reefs. Four years ago, a study published in the Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology concluded that sunscreens formulated with oxybenzone, a popular UV-filtering ingredient, were killing coral reefs and causing coral bleaching, especially in tourist-heavy areas like Hawaii and the Caribbean. That's really bad news for the thousands of organisms that rely on the marine ecosystem for survival.
The news of the study wasn't exactly warm and fuzzy, but it did trigger a call to action: significantly reduce the use and wear of chemical sunscreens that contain harmful and toxic ingredients like oxybenzone, which has already been banned in Hawaii. So, how can you help? Read
ingredient lists, become familiar with other toxic ingredients damaging marine life (like octinoxate and benzophenone-2), and opt for mineral formulas when you can.
Of course, finding a
sunscreen that fits your lifestyle and routine is hard enough without considering how it's affecting our planet — so we've done all the guesswork and rounded up 10 reef-safe sunscreens you'll love, ahead. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission. Juice Beauty SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen
It's officially time to replace your go-to beach sunscreen with this water-resistant SPF 30 formula that replaces chemical ingredients with organic alternatives like aloe, coconut oil, jojoba oil, and white grape juice.
SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen, $16, available at
Juice Beauty More Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30
Just because a sunscreen is good for the environment doesn't necessarily make it good for you, which is exactly why Beautycounter offers this
non-nano zinc oxide formula that's both. (What exactly is a non-nano sunscreen? Most sunscreens contain nanoparticles, which have the ability to penetrate the skin and reach cells — a does not. Although the current consensus is that nanoparticles are safe, some mineral sunscreen users prefer to go without, just in case.) non -nano formula Beautycounter
Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30, $39, available at
Beautycounter More Supergoop! PLAY 100% Mineral Broad Spectrum Lotion
Yes, Supergoop makes mineral sunscreen — and, yes, it's also non-nano. Consider it an added bonus that this formula uses nourishing ingredients like green microalgae and pomegranate oil to hydrate and protect the skin from environmental stressors.
PLAY 100% Mineral Broad Spectrum Lotion SPF 50, $36, available at
Sephora More Ava Isa Pure Untinted Ultra Matte Sunscreen
Found: the perfect sunscreen to wear underneath makeup. It's reef-safe, lightweight, offers a matte finish, and goes on dry-touch — so you don't have to worry about that greasy residue most face sunscreens are notorious for.
Pure Untinted Ultra Matte SPF 45 Sunscreen, $40, available at
Credo More EiR Surf Mud Pro SPF 50
You know you can trust a sunscreen to be effective and environmentally conscious if it's made by a surfer. To sweeten the deal, it's formulated with only seven ingredients
and housed inside sustainable packaging. EiR
Surf Mud Pro SPF 50, $30, available at
goop More MyChelle Sun Shield Liquid Non-Tinted
Does your skin tend to freak out every time you use sunscreen? Try this oil- and fragrance-free formula that absorbs into skin instantly without leaving behind an awkward white cast.
Sun Shield Liquid Non-Tinted SPF 50 Non-Tinted, $24, available at
DermStore More Crunchi Sunlight Facial Sunscreen
Looking for a next-level glow
and sun protection? Try this non-nano, cruelty-free sunscreen that looks good on everyone. Crunchi
Sunlight Facial Sunscreen, $48, available at
Crunchi More Art of Sport Skin Armor Sunscreen
When you're constantly on the move, you don't have time to fuss over sunscreen texture and efficacy. You just need something that
works — which is probably why so many pro athletes are fans of this fast-absorbing sunscreen. Art of Sport
Skin Armor Sunscreen SPF 50, $13.95, available at
Art of Sport More C'est Moi Gentle Mineral Sunscreen Lotion
An affordable sunscreen that doesn't destroy the planet? We're sold.
Gentle Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30, $14.99, available at
Target More Love Sun Body 100% Natural Origin Mineral Sunscreen
Few sunscreen brands go as above and beyond as Love Sun Body. Not only is this formula good for you and the coral reefs, but also EcoCert-certified to the Cosmos standard. In other words, it's undergone rigorous testing and evaluations, and is free of all the nasty stuff you
don't need on your skin. Love Sun Body
100% Natural Origin Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Fragrance-, $32, available at
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