Running to the pool and realize you’re out of sun protection? Here are 8 clean reef-safe sunscreens from the drugstore to grab on your way!
Admittedly, I keep a pretty well-stocked bag of sunscreen when we head out to the beach; especially now that we live in Florida. But there have been those moments when I run out of my beloved Beautycounter sun protection and realize I need to grab something fast.
Running by the drugstore for safer suncare can be a pretty confusing task when you’re instantly met with an entire aisle of products, often green-washed and misrepresented in terms of safety. So I decided to dig in and see which products are TRULY safer – both for our bodies and the reefs!
**Keep in mind that the following products are very specific to their rankings; meaning, slight variations in SPF, fragrance, or application type can change the rating sometimes drastically. Therefore, I’ve linked to the specific products for your assurance.
From highest (worst) ranking to lowest (best) as according to their score on EWG Skin Deep Database.
Banana Boat, one of the most well-known sun care brands is not best known for cleaner ingredients or safety. However, this particular one, Banana Boat Ultra Sport Clear Sunscreen Spray , SPF 30, ranks a 4 and is reef-friendly. The biggest “no-no” ingredient is added fragrance, which is why it’s not ranked better. A benefit is that you can likely find this in most drugstores.
Next up is the COOLA Classic Body Organic Sunscreen Spray. It’s got 70% certified organic ingredients, is broad spectrum, lightweight, non-aerosol, has a naturally-derived fragrance, and is vegan, gluten free, cruelty free, and reef friendly. With that list of pros comes a higher price tag, but it is available at some mainstream stores, making it accessible when on the go and ranks well at a 3.
The next product is the Bare Republic Mineral Sport Sunscreen Stick with an SPF of 50. It’s broad spectrum, water resistant, offers non-nano mineral protection, naturally-fragranced, reef-friendly and vegan. For kids who fight the sprays and creams, the sunstick is a great portable choice and also ranks in at a 3.
You’ve likely seen this next brand at your local drugstore, which is great considering they are just now starting to carry safer brands. The Goddess Garden Sport Mineral Sunscreen Spray also ranks a 3 and offers continuous spray, organic ingredients like aloe vera, water resistance, and is reef-safe, non-GMO, biodegradable; Leaping Bunny certified to be cruelty free; alcohol free; and is free phthalates, parabens and synthetic fragrance.
The next product is actually missing a ranking on EWG but based on all the ingredients and its wide availability, I wanted to make sure I included Alba Botanica Very Emollient Mineral Sunscreen Sport SPF45. It’s gluten free, biodegradable, reef-safe, and water resistant. It’s also a traditional cream, which some people prefer. Based on the ingredient list, it should rank between a 2 and 3, making it a great option for local purchasing.
Another safe-ranking product from Banana Boat is their Simply Protect Baby Mineral SPF 50 Sunstick. Not only is it made with 25% fewer ingredients (making sure to exclude oxybenzone, parabens, and added oils + fragrances), it’s also reef-friendly and tear free, making it a great choice for little bodies.
This Baby Bum Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, Fragrance Free, SPF 50 also comes in at a 2. Worth mentioning, however, is that many of the Sun Bum (parent company) products are not nearly this clean. Make sure you look up specific individual products if you are looking closely at ratings. Fortunately, this cream is mineral based, making it reef-safe, fragrance-free, and SPF 50.
The last product, also ranking a 2, is the Babyganics Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50+. It has no PABA, phthalates, parabens, fragrances, or nano-particles, is water resistant, never tested on animals, and is also reef-safe.
Thanks to Beautycounter for helping pave the way. They’ve said from the start that the mission is to get safer products into the hands of everyone, and because of the work they’ve done, better-for-us products are becoming more accessible everyday.