Summer Series Pt 2: Cruelty-Free and Nontoxic Reef-Safe Sunscreen

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Zulu and Zephyr Hydrandea Shirt Dress | Ray-ban Erik Sunglasses | Aerie Bikini Top | Aerie Bikini Bottom

Side note - these photos are from our trip to Belize! I had them in cue for a rainy day and they ended up being perfect for this series! To see more about our Belize trip, click here!

I had already planned on doing a sunscreen series for y'all and then I KNEW I had to do one, once I found out that Hawaii was banning sunscreen. Well, banning sunscreen that kills coral reefs and marine life, whichhhh is pretty much every sunscreen out there. If you're new to this series, be sure to go back and read my Summer Series Pt. 1: Cruelty-Free and Nontoxic Facial Sunscreen.

So yeah, about a month ago, Hawaii banned sunscreen. We had friends who went in the past couple of weeks and on their excursions, they were given "organic sunscreen that didn't work" and got FRIED. So, I suggest that you

1) start caring about these beautiful places

2) go ahead and find a reef-safe sunscreen, so you're good to go, whether you're visiting Hawaii or not

Now, the issue of sunscreen being bad for the ocean is news to me - I had no idea, so I'm sure this is news to some of y'all too! I mean it was in the last year that I found out that most sunscreen is toxic, so yeah. Don't feel bad if you didn't know. Knowledge is power. 

For a quick check to see if your sunscreen is killing coral reefs, look for oxybenzone and octinoxate on the ingredient list. The good news is that if you're buying nontoxic sunscreen, these ingredients shouldn't be listed! These "bad ingredients" do absorb UV rays, which is obviously good, BUT, they are an endocrine disruptor, may lead to cancer, cause developmental issues, and you guessed it...deformation and coral bleaching. Not only does this affect the waters, but the creatures who call it home as well. It's getting into our food, people. OUR FOOD. If you are a seafood lover (and of course, even if you're not), this matters. You and/or your loved ones could be dining on sunscreen flavored fish. ICK. Not to mention, it's bad for marine life.

Without further adieu, here are 4 cruelty-free and nontoxic sunscreens that won't harm the coral reefs or marine life!


Babo Botanicals SPF 30 Clear Zinc Lotion

EWG Rating: 1

SPF: Broad Spectrum 30

Price: $20

Size: 3 fl oz

Thoughts: GF, Vegan, and Hypoallergenic, plus it's also water resistant for up to 80 minutes. Babo was created by Kate Solomon when she became pregnant and she made sure it's safe for people of all ages -even babies!


Badger SPF 30 Unscented Sunscreen Cream

EWG Rating: 1

SPF:  Broad Spectrum 30

Price: $13.59

Size: 2.9 fl oz

Thoughts: Hypoallergenic and water resistant for 40 minutes.




Kokua Sun Care Hawaiian SPF 50 Natural Zinc Sunscreen

EWG Rating: 1

SPF: Broad Spectrum 50

Price: $29.99

Size: 3 fl oz

Thoughts: I love that this one is SPF 50, because that's usually what I need. It's made in Hawaii, so you know it's legit. It's also water resistant for up to 80 minutes.


Suntegrity Natural Mineral Sunscreen

EWG Rating: 1

SPF: Broad Spectrum 30

Price: $36

Size: 5 fl oz

Thoughts: Vegan. I referenced this brand on my cruelty-free and nontoxic facial sunscreen post. It's a well respected brand and I have only heard good things about it!


Anddd while we are at it, why not throw in some after sun care?! I know I need it!


Babo Botanicals After Sun Soothing Hydrating Aloe Gel

EWG Rating: not rated

Price: $14.95

Size: 8 oz

Thoughts: I included this brand on my sunscreen review, above! It is your more traditional aloe gel, which is always good in my book.


Herbivore Botanicals After Sun Soothing Aloe Mist

EWG Rating: not rated

Price: $20

Size: 8 fl oz (2 fl oz available too)

Thoughts: This is one of my favorite brands! I use their lapis oil, blue tansy face mask, and brighten face mask. The spritz sounds AMAZING on a fresh burn.




Honestly, the smell of Hawaiian Tropic, still gets me, but it makes me sad to know how much damage most sunscreens are causing. I had the same thoughts when I changed laundry detergent...It's hard because it's a nostalgic scent, but at least I can sleep easy at night knowing that I'm doing my part and making my dollar count. Do you have any favorite cruelty-free and nontoxic sunscreens? Do share! I'll be testing Kokua Sun Care Hawaiian SPF 50 Natural Zinc Sunscreen out come next weekend!


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