Reef safe sunscreen list – Best brands to look for snorkeling

Due to the reef safe sunscreen hype around the world, it became part of the brands’ marketing strategy to advertise sun care products as ocean-friendly but in fact, not all of them safe for corals. After the intense media communication, many of us know that we should look for products that are oxybenzone-free, but it is still difficult to find one that is really good for the environment and provide high-level protection against UV rays. This reef safe sunscreen list includes the best really ocean-friendly sun lotions we recommend using while snorkeling and at the beach!

10 best reef safe sunscreen brands

Find here the best oxybenzone-free sunscreen brands that contain non-nano Zinc Oxide and/or Titanium Dioxide as well as considered safe-to-use by EWG non-profit Environmental Working Group.

Best Reef Safe Sunscreen Buying guide

Tip: should you want to learn more about how to choose safe sun care products, read our ingredients in sunscreen guide that explains what to look for and what to avoid!

ThinkBaby Safe sunscreen SPF50+

Mineral based reef safe sunscreen that is free of oxybenzone, avobenzone, and chemical UV blocks. Rated as one of the most recommended non-toxic sun lotion by EWG.

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ThinkBaby Safe sunscreen SPF50+

  • no harmful chemicals mineral based EWG Top rated reef-safe sunscreen
  • water resistant up to 80 minutes
  • SPF 50+ high protection

ThinkBaby  and ThinkSport sun care products don’t contain parabens nor phthalates and use non-nano Zinc oxide, perfect for sensitive skin too. Customers find it easy to apply with minimal whitening effect. Like the content, also ThinkBaby packaging is environmentally safe.

Kokua Hawaiian Natural Zinc reef safe sunscreen SPF50

Kokua is an original Hawaiian non-nano Zinc oxide reef safe sunscreen brand with a product that is ideal face and body, safe for kids and babies too thanks to hypoallergenic features. Oxybenzone free non-sticky formula that absorbs well while moisturizing the skin.

Kokua Hawaiian reef safe sunscreen

  • premium natural zinc SPF50 sunscreen
  • with antioxidant, high quality ingredients from Hawaii
  • absolutely non-toxic, eco-friendly and marine safe

Kokua Hawaii sunscreen  contains 23 antioxidant natural ingredients like spirulina, Kukui Nut and macadamia oil, Konared Coffee fruit extract, noni juice etc… A light vanilla-coconut scent will provide you the feeling being in Hawaii every time you apply this natural sunscreen. Kokua enjoys EWG rating best reef safe sunscreen for snorkeling or any water activities.

Miami Gorgeous natural sunscreen stick

This easy-to-apply non-nano zinc sunscreen stick is a must-have in your bag not only when going to the beach but all day! 100% natural formula that contains only high-quality ingredients.

Miami Gorgeous Sunscreen Stick SFP30

  • chemical, gluten, paraben and cruelty free practical sunblock stick
  • highest quality non-greasy formula with coconut oil and Vitamin E, perfect for sensitive skin
  • SPF30 broad spectrum protection

The added avocado oil, beeswax, coconut oil and calendula extract moisturize and nourish the face, lips or ears sensitive skin. This certified organic product is safe for the ocean and for the body as well.

Manda organic sun creme

Made with high-quality food-grade organic ingredients such as coconut oil and shea butter, non-nano zinc oxide and thanaka which is a high antioxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-aging natural cosmetic used by Burmese.

MANDA Organic Sun Creme

  • special high protection formula that is perfect to use for water sports
  • natural food-grade ingredients with non-nano Zinc Oxide
  • sugar cane bio plastic tube

This Manda sun creme SPF50 offers effective sun protection not only at the beach but while hiking, running or cycling too.

All Good organic sunscreen butter

Back to nature and skip all the unnecessary! All Good organic sun protection contains only 6 ingredients like organic coconut oil, beeswax, jojoba oil infused with calendula and Vitamin E plus non-nano Zinc Oxide and miss toxic preservatives!

All Good Organic Sunscreen Butter

  • very water resistant SPF50+ formula, perfect to use on face
  • EWG top rated environment and Ocean friendly
  • only natural ingredients like coconut oil, jojoba oil and Zinc Oxide

All Good reef safe sunscreen butter comes in a pocket size metal container, water resistant up to 80 minutes and offers UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum Protection. If this wouldn’t be enough, All Good is mentioned among the Top Reef Safe Sunscreens Brands by EWG!

Raw Elements Certified natural sunscreen SPF30

Top rated natural sunscreen for snorkeling, surfing, kayaking or just for a worry-free beach day. Raw Elements sunscreen contains 97% organic ingredients and natural oils that moisturize the skin.

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Raw Elements Certified natural sunscreen SPF30

  • certified organic reef-friendly SPF30+
  • in practical, reusable packaging
  • safe to use for kids too

Enriched with vitamins and minerals, this product offers extra protection against salt and wind and make the product safe for kids and sensitive skin adults too.

Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc sun lotion SPF30

Prevent sunburn with this fragrance-free clear Zinc Babo sunscreen. Thanks to the organic oil content it helps to keep the skin hydrated and minimizing zinc drying properties.

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Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc sunscreen SPF30

  • hypoallergenic, non-greasy and no fragrance mineral sun lotion
  • soy, gluten and dairy free formula
  • can be applied to sensitive skin, safe for kids too

Moreover, shea butter, calendula, and green tea extract help to treat acne spots. An effective yet hypoallergenic sunblock that is suitable for sensitive baby skin and for adults as well.

Tip: wearing a long-sleeve UPF50+ rash guard provides the best sun protection at the beach. Like this, you can minimize the amount of sunscreen you use since you only need to apply it to the areas that are not covered by clothing.

Goddess Garden Mineral sun creme SPF50

Coral reef safe sunscreen that offers powerful sun protection with organic ingredients like coconut oil and shea butter. Chemical-free, GMO-free, non-nano Pure Zinc sun lotion that is gentle and effective.

Goddess Garden Organics SPF50

  • made with organic ingredients
  • SPF 50 broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection
  • with gentle ingredients such as coconut oil to moisturize the skin and safe for corals

The formula is not only reef safe, but vegan and cruelty free too. Goddess Garden is committed for sustainability and for creating low carbon footprint while providing highest quality reef safe sunscreen products.

Tropical Sands All Natural cream SPF30

100% eco-friendly broad spectrum reef safe sunscreen made with antioxidant green tea and 100-200 nm Zinc oxide and Titanium dioxide. Can be used in areas where national park service accepts only biodegradable sunscreen.

Tropical Sands sunscreen

  • all natural hypoallergenic product
  • with non-nano Zinc oxide and Titanium Dioxide
  • SPF 30 rated, waterproof up to 80 mins

This Tropical Sands sun lotion contains natural ingredients that are recommended by National Geographic and PADI based on the original Mexican formula. Chemical fragrance-free, paraben-free, non-allergenic product.

Stream2sea biodegradable sunscreen

Strem2Sea offers proven reef-safe eco-friendly and biodegradable sun care and body care products with antioxidant green tea and olive leaf formula. This sun lotions are safe for fresh and saltwater species, offer both UVA and UVB protection and come in plastic-free tubes. Fast-absorbing non-greasy formula with non-nano titanium dioxide.

Stream2Sea SPF30 sun lotion

  • biodegradable broad spectrum tinted sunscreen with powerful antioxidants
  • fast absorbing safe formula, made in USA
  • very water and sweat resistant

Is Sun Bum sunscreen reef-safe? Being Sun Bum is a widely used sun protection brand, we thought we have to provide information about it. There is mixed information available on Sun Bum sunscreen products on the internet and it seems customers are still confused if Sun Bum is reef safe or not.

Although Sun Bum sunscreens are labeled as reef-friendly, after reviewing the ingredients we can’t confirm 100% that Sun Bum is reef safe. It is true that Sun Bum original sun care products are Oxybenzone-free, but contain Avobenzone and Octocrylene that are both listed as dangerous ingredients. Sun Bum mineral sunscreens have Nano Zinc Oxide and/or Titanium Dioxide which as mentioned can be harmful to corals.

Safe sunscreen for babies

A shocking fact is that childhood sunburn can double skin cancer risk so sun protection for babies is a must at all time! Infants younger than 6 months are not protected by melanin. Therefore keeping them away from direct sunlight and covering their body with UV protective clothing is crucial.

Best to give them a hat and sunglasses too and apply sunscreen to the non-covered areas! Knowing that how misleading can be the information on eco-friendly sun care products, it is even a bigger challenge to find safe sunscreen for kids’ delicate skin.

These are 4 of the best safe sunscreen for kids and babies, all enjoy EWG recommendation:

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reef safe sunscreen list for snorkeling

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Anett Szaszi

Anett is a certified scuba diver, freediver and an expert in snorkeling with more than 10 years experience. She fell in love with the ocean when she put her head underwater in the Red Sea in 2008. Since then , she is traveling all over the world to discover our waters. Wherever she goes, she takes her mask, fins and underwater camera with her. Visiting mega-cities is not her style but getting lost in tiny coastal villages, capturing the beauty of the sea while snorkeling. She is interested in sustainable traveling and marine conservation. She is hoping to inspire people to protect our oceans by sharing her underwater stories. Find her photos on @anett.szaszi Instagram too!