Stock up on these coral reef safe sunscreens before your next beach vacation.

By Katie Holdefehr
Updated June 18, 2018
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When we head to the beach, we all know that slathering on a generous amount of sunscreen is the best way to protect our skin from the sun's damaging rays—but the lotions that save our skin could be harming coral reefs. Research has shown that two common ingredients in sunscreen, oxybenzone and octinoxate, have been linked to the death of coral reefs, and in May, legislators in Hawaii banned sunscreens containing these two harmful ingredients.

If you want to be sure that your sun safety routine is also ocean-friendly, check the ingredients list for oxybenzone and octinoxate. And if you're stocking up for the season, shop the coral reef safe sunscreens below, which don't contain either ingredient, but still promise top-notch sun protection.

Beauty Counter

1
Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Stick SPF 30

Skip the oxybenzone and octinoxate, and opt for a zinc oxide formula instead. If zinc oxide makes you think of the chalky white cream lifeguards used to use on their noses, think again. Beautycounter's formula is mixed with cocoa butter so it's moisturizing, lightweight, and won't leave any telltale marks. 

To buy: $20, beautycounter.com

Target

2
Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Face Lotion

If you want a coral reef safe sunscreen, but also want one that's non-sticky and won't make your face shiny, opt for Neutrogena's dry-touch formula. It's hypoallergenic, oil-free, and feels great. 

To buy: $6, target.com

Amazon

3
Goddess Garden Organics Everyday SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen

Formulated for sensitive skin, this sunscreen is also infused with calming lavender essential oil. Created without synthetic chemicals, it contains coconut and sunflower oils to nourish the skin. 

To buy: $15, amazon.com

Beauty Counter

4
Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Mist SPF 30

If a mist sunscreen is your favorite way to protect from the sun, opt for this innovative formula from Beautycounter. It doesn't contain reef-harming octinoxate or oxybenzone, and the can is air-powered rather than aerosol, so you won't harm the coral reefs or the ozone. 

To buy: $36, beautycounter.com

Amazon

5
Badger SPF 30 Unscented Sunscreen Cream

A cult-favorite, Badger's unscented sunscreen protects from UVA and UVB rays, thanks to the mineral zinc oxide. Plus, it's sweat- and water-resistant for at least 40 minutes, so you don't have to skip that much-needed dip in the ocean. 

To buy: $14, amazon.com