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Eco-Friendly Sunscreens

This blog was written by our Spring Marketing & Communications Intern, Kaylee Blaylock.

Summer is the season that is all about kicking back and having fun in the sun. While we’re all for having fun, the sun can have everlasting effects on your skin. This is why sunscreen is an important essential during the summer, but have you ever thought about the effect sunscreen has on the environment?

It is estimated that 14,000 tons of sunscreen are washed off by swimmers every year into the oceans, so how can we protect our skin while preserving the oceans? By using natural sunscreens! In this blog, we’ll cover what ‘reef-safe’ sunscreen is, what SPF means, our favorite eco-friendly sunscreens, and so much more! Let’s dive in!


Chemical vs Mineral-based Sunscreens

Traditional or chemical sunscreens work like a sponge by absorbing the UV rays and preventing them from entering your skin through a chemical reaction. They contain active ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate which have been shown to cause extensive damage to coral reefs.

On the other hand, mineral sunscreens don’t absorb into your skin but instead act as a barrier on the skinโ€™s surface and reflect the sun’s UV rays. Typical ingredients found in mineral sunscreens are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

What Is “Reef-Safe” Sunscreen?

A reef-safe sunscreen is a term used to refer to sunscreens that don’t contain chemicals like oxybenzone that have been shown to cause coral bleaching. These reef-friendly sunscreens contain active ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide that act as a shield against UV rays and are able to biodegrade. A non-toxic and biodegradable sunscreen is truly what it means to be a ‘reef-safe’ sunscreen. Check out our blog to learn more about reef-safe sunscreen!

What Does SPF Mean?

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You must be curious about what SPF stands for on your typical sunscreen. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor which means the amount of protection the sunscreen will provide for your skin against UV (ultraviolet) rays. There are two types of rays that you need to watch out for when out in the sun, UVA, and UVB. UVA penetrates deep into the skin at the dermis layer which causes long-term skin damage. UVB rays reach the top layer of the skin, the epidermis layer, which is responsible for causing sunburns and skin cancer.


Our Favorite Sunscreens

Tierra & Lava | Turmeric & Vanilla Sunscreen

EarthHero -Turmeric & Vanilla Sunscreen SPF15 -1

Made from organic and natural ingredients locally and sustainably sourced in Guatemala, this sunscreen is reef-safe, water and sweat-resistant. Not only are you saving your skin from the rays, but you’re helping the planet as well by using this sunscreen. The zero-waste tin can is reusable and recyclable, and the ingredients don’t harm marine life! This mineral sunscreen has zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that has a broad spectrum of SPF15 coverage! To apply, rub your fingers in the balm and spread it liberally on your face and body. Don’t forget to reapply every 2 hours or sooner if you’re swimming!

Meow Meow Tweet | Everyday Natural Sunscreen

EarthHero - Everyday Natural Sunscreen - SPF 25 - 1

Everyday Natural Sunscreen by Meow Meow Tweet is the ultimate suncare and skincare product you need this summer! This sunscreen contains sun-blocking zinc and moisturizing plant oils that are perfect for the face and body. The active ingredient is 20% uncoated zinc oxide with an SPF of 25. Always made with vegan ingredients and with zero-waste packaging, Meow Meow Tweet has done it again with this stellar, planet-friendly sunscreen.

Little Seed Farm | Organic Coenzyme Q10 Antioxidant Serum

This serum combines the power of nourishing essential fatty acids and phytonutrients to shield your skin from the negative effects of ultraviolet rays from the sun and computers screens. Q10 is a natural antioxidant that your body produces to support cellular growth and help your skin flourish! Use this serum daily to give your skin the TLC it needs!

Goddess Garden | Natural Sunscreen

Goddess Garden has created a sunscreen with a biodegradable formula derived from plant and mineral-based ingredients that are water-resistant, reef safe, and provide an SPF 30 coverage while nourishing your skin! Active ingredients include titanium dioxide 6.4%, and zinc oxide 6.0% which sustains lasting UVA/UVB coverage.


Sunscreen should be an important part of your sun care routine this summer! With that being said, check out more of our sun care and sunscreen essentials!

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