top of page

Sustainable Surf | SUNSCREEN

Coral reefs in Mbonege beach, Honiara, Solomon Islands. Photo by Sharon Suri, 2013

SUNSCREEN! Whether you’re out at the beach every day or landlocked, it’s a crucial part of protecting your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun. However, many sunscreen brands today are not taking into account the chemicals that are in their ingredients, which can be bad for both our health and that of the ocean. Luckily there are more and more companies today that are becoming more eco-conscious.

Enter a new tide of sustainable sunscreen. These brands are taking an approach to sunscreen that protects people from the sun, while also protecting our oceans from dangerous chemicals and plastics. There are two main aspects of sustainability and eco-consciousness that apply to sunscreen: reef-safe sunscreen and plastic-free packaging. This means that the chemicals in the sunscreen are safe for both you and the ocean and that the packaging of sunscreen isn’t going to add more pollution to the world.

Some brands that have been doing a killer job at applying these sustainable ideas include

Avasol sunscreen, a woman-owned company dedicated to both its ingredients being safe for people and its packaging being biodegradable. Some other women-owned brands include SurfDurt, which makes a reef-safe sunscreen and gives back to different non-profits with every purchase, and All Good, another amazing reef-safe and plastic-free option. Other companies producing eco-conscious sunscreen include Raw Elements and Suntribe. These are just a few of the many companies out there dedicated to keeping you and the oceans healthy.

Another way to be certain of what ingredients are in your sunscreen is to make it yourself! There are many recipes online for making your own sunscreen from all-natural ingredients including this DIY Waterproof sunscreen recipe. One important thing to note with homemade sunscreen is that it is much harder to know the level of UV protection you will get from it, which is why it is also incredibly important to wear other sun protection outside, just like a hat and sunglasses!

GIF By Joan Ramone, 2017 (repurposed from

There are many options when it comes to sunscreen selection and choosing a reef-safe, plastic-free sunscreen is a simple way to start making a positive change in your daily routine. By choosing any of these sunscreen options you’re not only taking care of your own health but also the oceans and Earth that we love!


Other Article on Sunscreens

Harvard Medical School: The Science of Sunscreen (2019)

ALLURE: The History of Sunscreen by Rosemary Donahue (2018) :

Coral Reef Alliance: Sunscreen & Coral Reefs:

Healthy Reefs: see the eco-edit link

Chemicals versus Mineral Sunscreen Video

Other Notable Brands:

Vegan Sunscreens

Cruelty-Free Sunscreen from Italy Aquazurra

GIF Illustration by Joan Ramone Instagram and website

Thumbnail GIF Illustration Seal with Sunscreen by Michelle Porucznik

© 2020-2021 withitgirl. All rights reserved. We appreciate your feedback!


bottom of page