Best Ocean Safe Mineral Sunscreens

Image: Soliel Toujours

When considering your next sunscreen purchase, its important to consider it’s effect on the environment. Specifically the Ocean and coral reefs. We explain reef safe sunscreens and recommend the best ocean safe mineral sunscreens for your next beach trip.

Here at The Vendeur, we care about what you find in skincare formulations. This awareness makes you more independent when you’re choosing products that – especially in the beauty industry – need to reach certain standards. You can have both an impeccably efficient product, but also one that is doing no harm to the environment. As we find ourselves in Summer, with it comes the choice of which sunscreen you will choose to protect your skin from UVA and UVB. Sun damage is no joke, but some sunscreen formulations are incredibly heavy on the skin! At the same time, what you put on your skin ends up in the seawater, with tangible consequences.

Ren Clean Beauty Best Ocean Safe Mineral Sunscreens

What Is Coral Bleaching

It is estimated that 14,000 tons of sunscreen end up in the oceans each year. The sunscreen that you rinse down the drain when you shower can also find its way into the ocean. We now know that this has a devastating impact on ocean flora and fauna, particularly coral. Many reefs around the world have been victims of terrible bleaching events. Bleaching occurs when the sea temperature reaches 31 celsius or more causing it to dispel the algae that lives in it’s tissue. Bleaching leaves coral vulnerable to disease and affects reproduction, having a detrimental impact to the reefs.

How To Be Reef Safe

Oxybenzone, one of the main ingredients of chemical sunscreens, causes corals to bleach at around 25 celcius, well below normal non-bleaching temperature. It’s also advisable to avoid sunscreens made with nano Zinc oxide as it can potentially be harmful to aquatic species. So look out for non nano ingredients to be sure they are specifically reef safe.  Unfortunately brands aren’t required to list the size of the nano particles they use so this is the only way to be sure. You can look at Heareticus for a complete list of ingredients you should avoid if you care about using an environmentally friendly sunscreen. To help, we have listed our favourite mineral sunscreens here, the majority of them are deemed ‘Reef safe’. However, even using a reef safe sunscreen poses a threat to aquatic life so the less you can use the better. It’s important to protect yourself from the sun so cover up well and stay in the shade when the sun is highest. Rash vests are great for swimming as they provide protection from the sun in the water.

Reef & Ocean Safe Mineral Sunscreens

Disclaimer: The content of this article is for general advice only and should not be used as a substitute for professional healthcare or beauty advice. We make every effort to ensure we only recommend safe products however you should always do a patch test when trying new products. This post may contain affiliate links.