What characterizes a reef-safe sunscreen?

With summer back in swing, we see a lot of information on sunscreens - paraben-free, mineral sunscreen, SPF 27, or SPF 100 - it can be difficult to make the right choice.

What characterizes a reef-safe sunscreen?

We’ve answered several questions about this summer essential in a recent blog post, but a question often comes up: what characterizes a sunscreen that is safe for reefs?

The two chemical ingredients to avoid (at all cost!)

Sunscreens are usually identified as being safe for reefs when they do not include Oxybenzone and Octinoxate in their list of ingredients. These are frequently used in sunscreens to block UV rays but they carry serious repercussions. According to some studies, these ingredients are responsible for bleaching corals, which leads to a decrease in certain coral species. When corals are attacked by these two chemical ingredients they are under intense stress which can cause illness and even death.


Hawaii was the first U.S. state to ban the presence of these ingredients in sunscreens in 2018, followed by the city of Key West, Florida in 2019. This is a step in the right direction, but these two ingredients should be treated much more seriously when it is known that they can cause severe allergic reactions. Studies have shown that Oxybenzone can have an impact on the endocrine system, and has also been detected in the blood of almost all Americans.

Which sunscreen should you choose?

In order to protect yourself properly from UVA and UVB rays, without endangering reefs and exposing our bodies to chemicals, the solution is to opt for a natural mineral sunscreen. Discover our range of sunscreens that will protect the whole family and allow you to fully enjoy summer!

Successfully added to cart