Non-Toxic & Reef Safe Sunscreen

Jess Ann Kirby enjoys the tropics in a bright Roxy long sleeve swimsuit

I’m sure many of you have seen the news this week about sunscreen, and the findings from a small study that the active ingredients of commonly-used sunscreens end up in the bloodstream at much higher levels than current U.S. guidelines from health regulators. The results of the study have triggered a government safety investigation. But this isn’t really news, for years, organizations and independent groups have been arguing that common ingredients in sunscreen may cause cell damage and mutation and endocrine disruption. In Hawaii and Key West the sale of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate have been banned because of their damaging impact on aquatic life.

It doesn’t mean we should ditch sunscreen altogether, protecting your skin from the sun is important, and luckily there are plenty of options to come on the market without the toxic chemicals mentioned above. With summer (finally) approaching, I’ve pulled some of my favorite sunscreens for face and body at a variety of price points. Not only are these safer to use but they are less damaging to our oceans as well. If you have any other favorite brands you like please let me know in the comments.

Face/Moisturizer with Sunscreen

Supergoop GLOW Screen SPF 40 (*this is not reef safe)
Badger Face Sunscreen SPF 25
Raw Elements Organic Face and Body SPF 30 and also for baby and kids
Erbaviva Baby Sunscreen SPF 30 (great for kids and baby!** Sunscreen is not recommended for babies under 6 months)
For Lips – Coola Liplux

Body Sunscreen

SuperGoop Play SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen
Babo Botanicals Continuous Spray Sunscreen SPF 30
BeautyCounter Mineral Sunscreen Mist SPF 30

Non-toxic Self Tanner

Suntegrity Self-Tanner
Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops

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8 Comments

  1. Michelle S wrote:

    I’d be really interested to see reviews on which of the above rub on skin clear. As someone with naturally tan, yellow-toned skin, a lot of mineral-based sunscreens leave me looking purple (yes really!) after application, even if they claim to rub-on clear, and as an added con they also tend to wash off really easily, which is why so many people use the chemical-based suncreens vs the topical-based mineral formulas. As an added incentive for me to swap to a good reliable mineral sunscreen, I also get allergic reactions to most (but not all, go figure) chemical sunscreens. At this point I’ve only found ONE brand/formula that works for me, no allergic reaction + no purple-tinted skin, so do share if you find you have good experiences with the above recommendations!

    5.8.19 | Reply
  2. Allison L Miller wrote:

    You forgot Alba botanicals! They are much more affordable option and have vowed to not use chemicals that harm coral reefs!

    5.8.19 | Reply
  3. Maranda Miller wrote:

    You left out the best one, Stream2Sea. Stream2Sea is recommended by Coral reef scientists because of its extensive testing. I like that past the ingredients, it’s tested and proven safe unlike all of the ones you named here.

    5.9.19 | Reply
  4. C.L. wrote:

    I just started using Supergoop Smooth & Poreless 100% Mineral Matte Sunscreen, and I really like it. It’s a great primer for foundation, but I’ve also worn it alone with loose powder swept on top. It’s tinted, so it may not work for every single skin tone, but it’s definitely worth a try.

    5.9.19 | Reply
  5. Kathy wrote:

    I really love MD Solar Sciences. It’s spf 50 and all mineral. When I went to Cancun many years ago the marine water parks banned sunscreen. I’m really pale and burn so I have to wear it. I showed them my MD solar sciences sunscreen and they said it was perfect because it was an all natural mineral product. My dermatologist recommended it to me years ago, and I wear it all the time.

    5.10.19 | Reply
  6. Ericka wrote:

    Thank you sooo much for posting this news about sunscreen! Having a 5 year old makes me extra crazy about sunscreen; I usually use beach bum and babyganics but now I need to check ingredients of all of them.

    5.10.19 | Reply
  7. Michelle wrote:

    Love this! Also a big fan of Raw Elements for body sunscreen (can’t use it on my face because it’s comedogenic). They dispense it at Narragansett Town Beach which is neat too. Would love to see that happen around the whole state.

    6.24.19 | Reply
  8. Hi Jess, I’m new to Providence, RI. RI is a wonderful place! I was searching fun things to do with my two college daughters who will be visiting next week. They are coming from CA where they attend school and live life!! Love that your originally from Newport. You have the same focus and vibe of clean, natural and environmentally friendly as my daughters and I. Love it!! I haven’t read all your Newport recommendations yet but I see you are into clean beauty but I don’t see that you’ve tried Beautycounter. It’s an incredible woman created business that has pushed the clean beauty movement forwarded by advocating, educating and creating beauty and personal care products you can try. Raising two daughters, I care deeply about their health and promoting the health of others!! The part that sends me to the moon about Beautycounter is that it’s a B Corp! People and planet are equally as important as profit and all faucets of our business are rooted from making a positive social impact! I know there is a consultant in Newport but have you had the opportunity to try our products? We have products for the whole family. May I send you some samples to try? I would love your feedback. If you are interested in learning more about Beautycounter, I would so honored to share more. Thank you for the RI recommendations. I can’t wait to explore with the girls. Have a beautiful day!

    6.12.20 | Reply