Is Your Sunscreen Actually Reef Safe?

Is Your Sunscreen Actually Reef Safe?

Is your sunscreen actually reef-safe? Or is the company greenwashing you?

Many companies label their sunscreen as "reef-safe," because they've eliminated one active ingredient called oxybenzone. But if you read under the active ingredients carefully, there may be a dozen other chemical ingredients that are equally as harmful to our reefs. So don't believe it till you read it!


Why is chemical sunscreen harmful to our reefs?

- It can impair growth and photosynthesis in green algae

- Causes coral bleaching, and prevents new coral from growing

- Decreases infertility and reproduction in fish

- Chemicals can accumulate in tissues of dolphins, and transfers to the young

(Information received from


Why is chemical sunscreen harmful to our own bodies?

- Can cause long-term health effects such as cancer, birth defects, and infertility

- Can create skin allergies, acne, irritation

- Studies have found sunscreen ingredients in breast milk and urine samples

(Information received from


So what sunscreens are *actually* reef-safe?

Under the list of active ingredients, you should only see "zinc oxide," "iron oxide," and/or "titanium dioxide." These are mineral-based, so instead of having the chemicals soak into your skin and blood stream like chemical sunscreen, it sits on top of your skin, blocking the sun's UV rays.


Here's my favorite reef safe sunscreen!

My new favorite, Da Mask Sunscreen.

- It's made in Hawaii with all natural and organic ingredients

- Active ingredient list only consists of zinc and iron oxide

- It's not thick like most mineral sunscreens, which is one of my main concerns when buying reef-safe sunscreen!

- Light, creamy, and tinted like foundation. Also has skin moisturizing properties.

- It's free of sunflower seed oil, so for those who are allergic, you have no excuse now! 

- And best of all, its water resistant, SPF 40 and REEF SAFE.


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