Top Reef Safe Sunscreen in 2024

Reef Safe Sunscreen

reef safe sunscreen

When you hear a Reef Safe Sunscreen, think of it as a mineral or physical sunscreen. This means they are simply sunscreens that do not contain Oxybenzone and Octinoxate and its family.

While there has been animal research saying that Oxybenzone and Octinoxate are linked to reproductive and hormonal disorders, these chemicals are still not known to cause harm when used as sunscreen. Still, the intake of tablets containing oxybenzone can cause damage to your body. This explains why the US Food and Drug Administration approved using oxybenzone in sunscreens and considers it safe but not as a drug.

So you see it is important to read and make decisions with your doctor but If I were to advise you I would say you do the things considered safe as you know there are still downsides to using the most recommended healthier sunscreens. Please read here if you do not know much about sunscreens.

Identifying a Reef Safe  Sunscreen

Now you know about the basics of sunscreen and understand why reef safe sunscreen is better for you let’s dive into the best reef safe sunscreen out there. This should be easy because all you need to do before you make a purchase is look out for sunscreens with ingredients like “Titanium Dioxide” and “Zinc Oxide” as key ingredients and avoid the ones with “Oxybenzone” and “Octinoxate” as major ingredients.

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Top 10 Reef Safe Sunscreen

1. Cerave Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 Face Lotion

best sunscreen

CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen Face Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 50 is a 100%-mineral, oil-free sunscreen with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide that forms a protective barrier on your skin’s surface to help reflect the sun’s UVA and UVB rays without irritating sensitive skin. This makes it fall into the category of physical sunscreens.


Titanium Dioxide (9%) Zinc Oxide (7%) Ceramides, Niacinamide

Packaging and Design

The Cerave sunscreen comes in a squeeze tube packaging which allows precise dispensing, minimizing product waste.

Texture and Scent

The lotion has a non-greasy texture, making it easy to apply to the skin.


Cerave’s Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen delivers on its promises. Beyond sun protection, users can expect their skin to feel supple and moisturized throughout the day.

2. Sun Bum Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion


Sun Bum Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion as a reef safe sunscreen is a lightweight, non-greasy formula that provides Broad Spectrum SPF 50 protection which helps protect skin from UVA/UVB rays.


Zinc Oxide 20.0%, water, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, butyloctyl salicylate, diheptyl succinate, methyl

Packaging and Design

The Sun Bum Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion comes in a recyclable, recycled plastic tube.

Texture and Scent

The lotion has a non-greasy texture, making it easy to apply to the skin.


Sun Bum Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion delivers on its promises.

3. Thrive Bodyshield SPF 50

thrive bodyshield spf 50This natural mineral SPF 50 level sun protection is a reef safe sunscreen. With broad spectrum SPF 50 protection and no greasiness or white residue, there’s no downside to this popular sunscreen. It’s even water-resistant for active outdoor sun exposure.

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Zinc Oxide 23.5%, Water, Caprylyl Caprylate/Caprate1, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride1, Coco-Caprylate1, Polyglyceryl-2

Packaging and Design

The Thrive Bodyshield SPF 50 comes in a recyclable, recycled plastic tube.

Texture and Scent

The lotion has a non-greasy texture, making it easy to apply to the skin.


Thrive Bodyshield SPF 50 Sunscreen delivers on its promises.

4. Eucerin Sensitive Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen

reef safe sunscreen

Eucerin Sun Sensitive Mineral provides Broad Spectrum SPF 50 UVA/UVB sun protection with 100% zinc oxide protection for a gentle, non-irritating formula that is water and sweat-resistant. Zinc Oxide protection helps to protect by reflecting and scattering UVA/UVB rays from the skin.


Zinc Oxide 24%, Water, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Ethylhexyl Pelargonate, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone

Packaging and Design

The Eucerin Sun Sensitive Mineral sunscreen comes in a minimalist plastic tube.

Texture and Scent

Lightweight feel on skin with no heavy residue


Eucerin Sun Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen is gentle, mild, and  safe on sensitive skin

5. Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen

reef safe sunscreenThe Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen delivers superior broad spectrum protection against burning UVB and aging UVA rays.


Zinc Oxide (21.6%), Water, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer

Packaging and Design

The Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen comes in a minimalist plastic tube.

Texture and Scent

It feels lightweight feel on the skin with no heavy residue.


Neutrogena’s Dry-Touch technology helps the sunscreen dry with a non-greasy, lightweight finish.

Frequently Asked Questions on Reef Safe Sunscreen

1. What is reef safe sunscreen?

Reef safe sunscreen refers to sunscreens that are formulated without certain chemicals known to harm coral reefs and marine life.

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2. Why is it important to use reef safe sunscreen?

Traditional sunscreens containing harmful chemicals have been linked to coral bleaching, DNA damage in marine life, and disruption of ecosystems.

3. What ingredients should I avoid in sunscreen to make it reef safe?

Avoid sunscreens containing oxybenzone, octinoxate, octocrylene, homosalate, and avobenzone.

4. What are the alternative, reef safe sunscreen ingredients?

Look for sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as their active ingredients.

5. Does reef safe sunscreen offer the same level of sun protection?

Yes, reef-safe sunscreens can provide effective protection against harmful UV rays.

6. Are reef safe sunscreens biodegradable?

While reef-safe sunscreens focus on eliminating harmful chemicals, their biodegradability can vary. Some formulations may be more biodegradable than others, so it’s essential to check product labels or manufacturers’ information.

7. Can I find reef safe sunscreens in different forms (spray, lotion, etc.)?

Yes, reef-safe sunscreens are available in various forms, including lotions, sprays, sticks, and creams. Choose the format that suits your preferences and needs, but be mindful of proper application to ensure effective coverage.

8. Are all sunscreens labeled as “reef safe” truly safe for the environment?

Not all sunscreens labeled as “reef-safe” undergo standardized testing or certification. It’s crucial to read the ingredient list and look for recognized certifications like the “Reef Safe” label or other environmentally friendly certifications.

9. Can reef safe sunscreens be used for water activities?

Yes, reef-safe sunscreens are suitable for water activities. However.

10. Where can I find reef safe sunscreen?

Reef-safe sunscreens are becoming more widely available. Check with local health and beauty stores, outdoor retailers, or online platforms.


In all apply caution in whatever thing you do in life because life itself is a risk.

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