The weather is finally starting to warm up and summer is right around the corner! Most of us can agree, nothing feels better in the summer heat like swimming in the ocean. When the sun's beating down, having the right sunscreen is crucial to achieving a healthy glow while still protecting your skin. But did you know if you’re not careful, protecting your skin is actually hurting our marine life?
For those of us who live near the ocean, we know all about 'Reef-Safe' sunscreen. But for those who don't, here's a small breakdown of what it is exactly. Regular suncreams and aerosols contain some really harmful chemicals, and when you get in the water covered in that sunscreen, those chemical particles pollute/contaminate our ocean. The two main chemical culprits are called 'oxybenzone' and 'octinoxate' (keep an eye out for octocrylene too), which bleach and kill our coral reefs.
Click here to view the whole list of potentially reef harming chemicals.
The good news is, there are safer alternatives for sun protection. Below I've listed 5 of my favorite non-nano Mineral Sunscreens! ♡
Thinksport Everyday Face Sunscreen SPF +30 - $12.99
Affordable and eco friendly, this stuff is amazing! It does has a slight “natural” tint and can totally be used as an alternative for light coverage foundation in the summer! If you hate greasy sunscreen (like most of us), Thinksport will be great for you. It’s lightweight non-oily feel is perfect for those hot summer days! This product doesn’t state that it’s non-comedogenic, but reviewers say that it doesn’t clog their pores (and it doesn't clog mine either)! Also, It's water resistant for 40-80 mins. if you’re looking for a nice everyday sunscreen, this is a great option!
Stream2Sea Mineral Sunblock SPF +30 - $16.95
For those of you who lead more active beach lifestyles: surfing, swimming, snorkeling, diving, etc. This reef safe sunscreen is perfect for you! It’s a little thick when first applying, but a little goes a long way. Some users say it can give off a “White-cast” if it isn’t rubbed in all the way, but if you’re busy in the water, who cares! It’s ultra protectant from the suns rays, and will definitely keep you burn free if you properly apply it! It stays on longer than most sunscreens so you don’t have to worry about burning when you’re having fun! Plus, it's super affordable and safe for the sea!
Kokua Sun Care Hawaiian Natural Zinc Sunscreen SPF 50 - $29.95
One of Hawaii’s favorite sunscreens! Reef safe and effective, this is a must have for everyday sun protection. Made with honey, Macadamia Nut Oil & Kukui Nut Oil, this sunscreen is not only protecting your skin, but also nourishing it. Like most Zinc sunscreens, this goes on thick, but unlike other Zinc sunscreens, this actually rubs in clear! The price is a little steep compared to other brands, but so worth it. It stays on all day, so a tube of this stuff lasts longer than you’d think!
Mama Kuleana Reef Safe Sunscreen SPF +30 - $20.00
Another local favorite is Mama Kuleana's All Natural Sun Screen. Free of toxins and full of natural ingredients such as, organic shea butter, beeswax, vitamin E oil, and much more! This eco friendly sunscreen will keep you protected from harsh rays when you’re enjoying your day off at the beach! Along with great natural ingredients for your skin, this sunscreen is also great for the environment. One of my favorite parts of this sunscreen is that the entire container is biodegradable. I love supporting local companies, and especially companies that care about our ecosystem! Born in Hawai’i and made for the ocean, this product is truly a local gem!
Green Screen daily environmental protector broad spectrum SPF +30 - $36.00
*my personal fave* If you’ve been searching for a lightweight non-irritating every day sunscreen, congratulations, the search is over! Green screen is a gentle 30 SPF mineral sunscreen that is completely reef safe. This lightweight formula feels like it’s barely there, but it's protection from UV rays is still very powerful. This sunscreen claims to even facial complexion and add a healthy glow to your skin! Best of all, unlike most mineral sunscreens, this cream leaves skin matte (without a white cast too, woo hoo!). This product might be a little pricey, but it’s definitely worth the extra dough when it comes to daily sun protection!
If you haven't made the switch to reef-safe sunscreen yet, now's the time! Without our coral reefs, the whole ocean ecosystem would fail. And nobody wants that!
If you have any more suggestions on reef safe sunscreen, please leave a comment below, I'm always down to try some new products!
Until next time, MAHALO!