Your flights are booked and you cannot wait for your Belizean adventure. And as you begin to pack, there is one thing you will definitely need for your Caribbean escape – sunscreen! But which should you buy? The seemingly harmless, often white and milky liquid that you apply on your face for sun protection isn’t actually all that good for the environment—especially the ocean. Sunscreens containing the ingredients oxybenzone, octinoxate and octocrylene are believed by marine scientists to contribute to coral bleaching, a phenomenon that causes coral polyps to expel algae that live inside their tissues.
The Belize Barrier Reef, the second largest in the world, is considered ‘The Jewel of Belize’. So, we want to make sure we safeguard it while allowing visitors to enjoy the beauty of it. Our reef is home to an abundant marine life and provides a livelihood for much of our population. This includes jobs in tourism and fishing. It also protects our coastline. With the essential role it plays, you can see how important it is that we do everything we can to protect it.
Switching to a reef safe sunscreen and telling others why is an easy step to help safeguard our marine ecosystems.
– Hamanasi founder Dana Krauskopf
How to choose reef-safe sunscreens
So how can you do your part? The answer is easy—choose your sunscreen wisely. When choosing your lather, check for natural ingredients and choose non-nano mineral sunscreens. As a form of good practice, opt for sunscreen products with a short list of ingredients; come in a lotion or cream formula (avoid aerosol versions as they tend to stick to the sand and get washed into the ocean); and wear sun-protective clothing as much as possible to reduce reliance on sunscreen. So swap out your sunscreens with some of our favourite non-toxic options below. Corals all over the world will thank you.
We’re sharing a round-up of the best reef-safe sunscreens to buy before your visit to Belize, courtesy of our friends at Hamanasi – an award winning eco-resort on the Southern coast of Belize. And best of all, they are all available on Amazon.
10 Reef Safe Sunscreens
- Manda Organic SPF 50 Sun Paste
- Raw Elements SPF 30 Certified Natural Sunscreen
- Raw Love SPF 35 All-natural Mineral Sunscreen
- Reef Safe Oxybenzone Free Biodegradable SPF 50 Sunscreen
- Stream2Sea SPF 30 Mineral Sunblock
- Suntegrity Natural Mineral Sunscreen
- Thinksport SPF 50 Sunscreen
- Babo Botanicals SPF 30 Clear Zinc Lotion
- Badger SPF 30 Unscented Sunscreen Cream
- Kokua Sun Care Hawaiian SPF 50 Natural Zinc Sunscreen