Reef-Safe Sunscreens Are Trending (and Here's Why It's a Good Thing)

Ask any derm worth their salt for their number-one beauty tip and they’ll likely say, “Wear sunscreen.” Not sure which kind to get? You may want to consider whether or not the formula is reef-safe. 

What "reef-safe" means: Earlier this year, our friends in Hawaii passed a bill banning the sale of sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate (two ingredients found in many conventional formulas that are believed to damage coral reefs). A reef-safe formula uses physical blockers like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to protect your skin from absorbing UV rays instead of chemical ones. 

Why this is important: Apart from bleaching and killing coral reefs, oxybenzone has also been linked to endocrine disruption. Luckily, there are a ton of effective and safe formulas that are easily accessible (and don’t feel too heavy or sticky on your skin).

Here are some of our favorites: Australian Gold ($14); ThinkSport ($19); Vive Sana ($55)

Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...