7 Reef-Friendly Sun Protection Favorites
If you’re going to go clean and nontoxic at all, your SPF is the place to do it. Not only are mineral (i.e. physical) sunscreens soothing to your skin (by contrast, chemical sunscreens contain some of the most irritating chemicals in the beauty industry), they exclude the common chemical sunscreen ingredients that have been found to kill coral reefs.
In May, Hawaii passed a bill to ban oxybenzone and octinoxate to protect their reefs against bleaching. (Govenor David Ige is expected to sign it this week.) The reefs around Hawaii and in the Caribbean Sea seem to suffer particular damage, which is believed to be linked to the estimated 14,000 tons of sunscreen deposited every year into the world’s oceans.
All the sun protection in the goop shop is free of oxybenzone and octinoxate—and any other chemical sunscreen ingredient. Beyond the absence of specific chemical sunscreen ingredients, non-nano-sized ingredients are thought to be safer for coral reefs. There are no FDA regulations surrounding particle size, so the public, including goop, has to trust each company’s claim surrounding nanoparticles.
These five work for just about every summer situation, from the beach to the farmers’ market:
ALL-OVER BEACH-LEVEL PROTECTION
This is the (delightfully luxe) heavy artillery for serious sun exposure.
Organic Pharmacy Cellular Protection Cream SPF 50goop, $69
This hydrating light SPF 50 cream smooths right into skin, and it’s brilliant for face or body. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide block both UVA and UVB, while shea butter, aloe, rosehip, and calendula nourish skin.
A new classic for the beach, the pool, a run in the sun.
Beautycounter, Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30goop, $39
A hydrating, lightweight zinc oxide formula that works for everyone, from babies and sensitive-skin-sufferers to outdoor-sports enthusiasts. The broad-spectrum water-resistant formula protects against UVA, UVB, and blue light, and it’s packed with antioxidants and aloe vera. It sinks beautifully into skin and smells faintly of tangerine and lemon.
Under makeup or on its own, this leaves a dewy, ethereal radiance.
Kypris, Pot of Shade Heliotropic SPF 30goop, $68
This broad-spectrum, beautifully translucent formula is perfect for everyday protection. Boosted with moisturizing botanicals (and no essential oils so it’s ideal for reactive and sensitive skin) and non-nano, non-whitening zinc oxide, it’s brilliant as primer, leaving skin radiant, plumped, and smooth. It feels incredible going on, blends like a dream, soothes any skin type, and makes serious, long-lasting protection a luxurious daily ritual.
Brilliantly hydrating and protecting, under makeup or on its own.
Vive Sana, Daily Protezione SPF 30goop, $55
This isn’t just a clean SPF 30. Zinc oxide combines with deeply hydrating argan oil, antioxidant raspberry seed and green tea, along with soothing licorice root to protect and nourish skin, all in one light cream. It sinks in beautifully, blurring imperfections and leaving the healthiest-looking glow.
For the unexpected lunch on the terrace, or any other suddenly-more-sun emergency, keep this in your bag.
Naturopathica, Lavender Protective Moisturizer SPF 17goop, $58
This light hydrator is so easy to apply (we wondered whether it was true physical sunscreen, given its silky feel and the way it sinks effortlessly into skin—it is) that it turns the daily chore of trying to blend in your stubborn sun protection into a genuine pleasure. Skin-soothing lavender plus turmeric root combine with micronized (not nano) zinc oxide in this nourishing, mattifying, and ultra-protective SPF moisturizer. It smells and feels fantastic; used daily, SPF is the most powerful youth-boost on earth.
If you’re going to be in an office (or a forest) for most of the day, this is our everyday solution.
Ursa Major, Force Field Daily Defense Lotion with SPF 18goop, $54
This lightweight, ultrahydrating, all-mineral SPF 18 blends in so beautifully it’s truly unbelievable. Unscented and packed with skin-supporting vitamins, it treats your skin while leaving it looking smooth. It provides year-round, broad-spectrum protection. Sinks into skin in seconds, feels incredible—this lotion is the ultimate (easy) daily anti-ager.
EVERY DAY FOR ACTIVE KIDS
This glides on like a mini-massage in the morning.
All Good, Kid’s Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30goop, $16
Organic coconut oil makes this easier to apply than most nontoxic formulas—only one of the reasons we’re obsessed with this broad-spectrum, hypo-allergenic, gluten- and GMO-free, vegan, biodegradable formula. Serious, totally safe sun protection for kids that feels amazing going on—a total breakthrough.