Reef Safe Sunscreen Products

An estimated 6, 000 tonnes of sunscreen enter the ocean every year, with the chemicals contaminating water and contributing to the declining health of coral. In bid to try and save oceans and marine life, manufacturers are switching to 'reef-safe' formulas. You've probably seen the term cropping up on your sun and tan products, but what does 'reef-safe' actually mean?

See our reef safe guide to answer your questions like what does reef-safe mean and what are the benefits of using reef-safe sunscreen.

Brands With Reef Safe Products

  • St Tropez
  • TAN-LUXE
  • Supergoop!
  • Bondi Sands
  • Ultrasun
  • Jane Iredale
  • Milk Makeup
  • Coola

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64 products found
Ultrasun Extreme Very High sunscreen For Sensitive Skin SPF 50+
Ultrasun Extreme Very High Sunscreen For Sensitive Skin SPF 50+
$25.50
Bondi Sands Body Moisturizer
Bondi Sands Body Moisturizer
$14.99
-16%
Ultrasun SPF 50+ Anti-Aging & Anti-Pigmentation Facial Sun Cream
Ultrasun SPF 50+ Anti-aging & Anti-Pigmentation Facial Sun Cream
$37.25 $44.20
Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam
Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam
$23.99
-17%
Ultrasun Face Anti-Aging Sun Protection High SPF 30
Ultrasun Face Anti-aging Sun Protection High SPF 30
$25.50 $30.40
Bondi Sands Pure Gradual Tanning Lotion
Bondi Sands Pure Gradual Tanning Lotion
$21.99
Ultrasun SPF 50+ Extreme Sun Lotion
Ultrasun SPF 50+ Extreme Sun Lotion
$28.35
-30%
St Tropez Purity Vitamins Mist
St Tropez Purity Vitamins Mist
$29.70 $42.00
Ultrasun Tan Activator For Face SPF 30
Ultrasun Tan Activator For Face SPF 30
$32.50
Bondi Sands Self Tanning Mist
Bondi Sands Self Tanning Mist
$23.99
Ultrasun SPF 50+ Anti-Pollution Face Fluid
Ultrasun SPF 50+ Anti-Pollution Face Fluid
$32.50
Milk Makeup Sunshine Skin Tint SPF 30 Sunscreen
Milk Makeup Sunshine Skin Tint SPF 30 Sunscreen
$42.00
Ultrasun Lip Protection SPF 30
Ultrasun Lip Protection SPF 30
$9.25
Bondi Sands Liquid Gold Self Tanning Oil
Bondi Sands Liquid Gold Self Tanning Oil
$23.99
Ultrasun Transparent sunscreen Sports Gel SPF 30
Ultrasun Transparent Sunscreen Sports Gel SPF 30
$15.10
Bondi Sands Everyday Gradual Tanning Foam
Bondi Sands Everyday Gradual Tanning Foam
$19.00
Ultrasun Tinted Face Anti-Aging Formula SPF 30
Ultrasun Tinted Face Anti-aging Formula SPF 30
$30.25
Bondi Sands Coconut & Sea Salt Body Scrub
Bondi Sands Coconut & Sea Salt Body Scrub
$15.99
Ultrasun Mineral Body SPF 30 Lotion
Ultrasun Mineral Body SPF 30 Lotion
$22.75
Bondi Sands Body Wash
Bondi Sands Body Wash
$12.99
Coola Sun Silk Drops SPF 30
Coola Sun Silk Drops SPF 30
$46.00
Bondi Sands Self Tan Eraser
Bondi Sands Self Tan Eraser
$16.00
Bondi Sands Back Applicator
Bondi Sands Back Applicator
$12.00
Bondi Sands Dual Action Exfoliating Mitt
Bondi Sands Dual Action Exfoliating Mitt
$9.00
Bondi Sands SPF 50+ Coconut Body Sunscreen Lotion
Bondi Sands SPF 50+ Coconut Body Sunscreen Lotion
$13.00
Supergoop! Glow Stick SPF 50
Supergoop! Glow Stick SPF 50
$25.00
Bondi Sands Self Tanning Lotion
Bondi Sands Self Tanning Lotion
$24.00
St Tropez Purity Vitamins Serum
St Tropez Purity Vitamins Serum
$30.00
Bondi Sands Aero Aerated Self Tanning Foam
Bondi Sands Aero Aerated Self Tanning Foam
$28.99
-17%
Ultrasun Glimmer Max SPF 30
Ultrasun Glimmer Max SPF 30
$32.50 $38.70
-16%
TAN-LUXE Super Glow Body Hyaluronic Self Tan Serum
TAN-LUXE Super Glow Body Hyaluronic Self Tan Serum
$41.25 $49.00
St Tropez Self Tan Express Kit
St Tropez Self Tan Express Kit
$20.00
Ultrasun Sports SPF 20 Clear Gel
Ultrasun Sports SPF 20 Clear Gel
$21.15
Ultrasun Tinted Face Fluid SPF 50+
Ultrasun Tinted Face Fluid SPF 50+
$32.50
Ultrasun Mineral Face SPF 50 Lotion
Ultrasun Mineral Face SPF 50 Lotion
$30.25
Ultrasun Very High SPF 50 Sports Spray Formula
Ultrasun Very High SPF 50 Sports Spray Formula
$19.50
Ultrasun Clear Spray SPF 30 Sports Formula
Ultrasun Clear Spray SPF 30 Sports Formula
$32.50
Ultrasun Mineral Body SPF 50 Lotion
Ultrasun Mineral Body SPF 50 Lotion
$32.50
Ultrasun Glimmer Lotion SPF 30
Ultrasun Glimmer Lotion SPF 30
$32.50
Bondi Sands Pure Self Tanning Face Mist
Bondi Sands Pure Self Tanning Face Mist
$24.99
Bondi Sands Pure Self Tan Foaming Water
Bondi Sands Pure Self Tan Foaming Water
$26.99
Dr Dennis Gross Skincare All-Physical Lightweight Wrinkle Defense SPF 30
Dr Dennis Gross Skincare All-Physical Lightweight Wrinkle Defense SPF 30
$42.00
PCA SKIN Weightless Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 45
PCA SKIN Weightless Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 45
$44.00
-29%
Ultrasun Face Anti-Aging Lotion SPF 50+
Ultrasun Face Anti-aging Lotion SPF 50+
$23.80 $33.20
-17%
Jane Iredale LipDrink SPF 15 Lip Balm
Jane Iredale LipDrink SPF 15 Lip Balm
$14.27 $17.00
-45%
Jane Iredale Amazing Base Loose Mineral Powder SPF 20
Jane Iredale Amazing Base Loose Mineral Powder SPF 20
$25.50 $46.00
-41%
TAN-LUXE Super Glow SPF 30
TAN-LUXE Super Glow SPF 30
$32.20 $53.90
Ultrasun Tinted Anti-Pigmentation SPF 50+ Face Lotion
Ultrasun Tinted Anti-Pigmentation SPF 50+ Face Lotion
$35.70
Jane Iredale Powder Me Dry Sunscreen SPF 30
Jane Iredale Powder Me Dry Sunscreen SPF 30
$40.89
Ultrasun Aftersun Gel
Ultrasun Aftersun Gel
$18.70
-25%
Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Sport Stick SPF 50
Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Sport Stick SPF 50
$21.80 $29.00
-11%
Ultrasun UV Face & Scalp Mist SPF 50
Ultrasun UV Face & Scalp Mist SPF 50
$17.85 $19.90
Ultrasun Aftersun Tan Booster
Ultrasun Aftersun Tan Booster
$23.80
Ultrasun Kids SPF 50+
Ultrasun Kids SPF 50+
$35.50
Green People Facial Sunscreen SPF 30
Green People Facial Sunscreen SPF 30
$23.70
Sol de Janeiro Bum Bum Sol Oil Sunscreen SPF 30
Sol de Janeiro Bum Bum Sol Oil Sunscreen SPF 30
$38.00
Ultrasun Mineral Face SPF 30 Lotion
Ultrasun Mineral Face SPF 30 Lotion
$21.15
Ultrasun Glimmer Lotion SPF 20
Ultrasun Glimmer Lotion SPF 20
$19.60
IMAGE Skincare Prevention+ Daily Defense Lip Enhancer SPF 15
IMAGE Skincare Prevention+ Daily Defense Lip Enhancer SPF 15
$26.00
Reef Safe

Frequently Asked Questions about Reef Safe products

What does reef-safe mean?

'Reef-safe' or 'reef-friendly' are terms typically used to describe a sunscreen that uses non-nano mineral or physical active ingredients, such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. It also means that the formula does not contain common UV blocking chemicals, such as oxybenzone and octinoxate, which have been shown to cause damage to marine life and coral bleaching.

What are the benefits of using reef-safe sunscreen?

Of course, the main benefit of using a reef-safe sunscreen is knowing that you are not contaminating the ocean when going for a dip in the water. Algae, urchins, fish, shellfish and even marine mammals are affected by sunscreen, so switching to a reef-safe formula helps protect and preserve ocean life.

Reef-safe sunscreens are not only kinder to the ocean, but they're also a lot kinder to skin. As reef-safe formulas ban harsh chemicals and utilize mineral-based ingredients, skin health is visibly improved. They also offer more efficient broad-spectrum protection, so much so that they are suitable for sensitive skin types, children and pregnant women.

Is reef-safe the same as biodegradable?

Pretty much, yes. Both terms are used to refer to sunscreens that degrade naturally and do not use ingredients that could be harmful to the environment, specifically coral reefs. Reef-safe or biodegradable formulas do not contain chemicals and are safer for marine life.

How do I know if my sunscreen is reef-safe?

Unfortunately, reef-safe is not an approved label and isn't regulated by an organisation, so it takes a little research to know exactly how to identify a reef-friendly formula. Many brands will put a reef-safe label on the front of their products, but you should always double check the ingredients for chemicals. Don't be fooled by 'organic' and 'natural' either, as this does not mean that formulas are non-toxic to marine life.

We also recommend sticking with sunscreen lotions and creams, rather than spray or misting formulas, as these often contain titanium dioxide, which can be harmful to both marine life and your health.

What ingredients aren’t reef-safe?

The two most commonly used ingredients that aren't reef-safe are oxybenzone and octinoxate. The UV filters are packed with chemicals that deform coral reefs. In fact, one drop of oxybenzone in an amount equal to six-and-a-half Olympic-size swimming pools of water is sufficient to damage coral.

Other ingredients that aren't reef-safe include any nanoparticles or nano-sized zinc and titanium, any form of microplastics, octocrylene, homosalate, PABA, parabens, triclosan and 4-methylbenzylidene camphor.

Who should use reef-safe sunscreen?

Reef-safe sunscreen can be used by all ages, skin types and tones. As the formulas are free from harmful toxins, chemicals and ingredients, they're a safe and effective option for all the family – the only difference is the cosmetic feel on the skin!

Those who want to be a little more eco-conscious and preserve marine life should also look to switching to a reef-safe sunscreen.

Are reef-safe sunscreens more expensive?

Much like your regular sunscreens, reef-safe formulas can vary in price. Reef-safe sunscreens may be more expensive as they use mineral ingredients rather than chemicals.

Carly Cochrane

Written by Carly Cochrane, Beauty Editor

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