Tips for Swimming and Traveling with Reef-Safe Sunscreen

Reef-Safe Sunscreen

We recently traveled to Mexico, and while researching what we needed for our trip, we learned that a lot of resorts and beaches ask that you use reef-safe sunscreen, as regular sunscreen is not allowed many places.  Regardless of visiting places that have banned regular sunscreen, we want to use products that are more environmentally friendly.

Yal Ku Lagoon Akumal Mexico

We shopped mostly online, comparing reviews and a variety of reef-safe sunscreens.  We have two young children as well, so not only are we happy to use sunscreens that are reef safe, but they are also better for putting on your skin.

If you are traveling somewhere warm and planning on going swimming or snorkeling, I recommend both reef-safe sunscreen and rash guards.  With rash guards, you can simply limit the amount of sunscreen you use at all.

Xcaret Snorkeling

There are so many great advantages to wearing rash guards:

~ They is quick and easy to put on
~ You know all your skin is covered (ever been out in the sun only to find spots you’ve missed?)
~ No worries about reapplying sunscreen and keeping track of time
~ No need to put anything on your skin (many, if not most, sunscreens have chemicals – and even those that don’t can irritate skin)

Yal Ku Lagoon Akumal Mexico

There are a lot of great reef-safe sunscreens to choose from.  From our experience, a lot of these require rubbing in the sunscreen, because it is a lotion or because it sprays a white film that needs to be rubbed in.

As far as traveling, we pack basics in our carry-on in case our luggage gets lost, and that includes a swimsuit and travel-size sunscreen.  Just remember to be aware of what size liquids you are allowed to bring on the plane.

When we traveled to Mexico, there were plenty of places where you could buy reef-safe sunscreen.  They are often vigilant about what kind of sunscreen you use, and one of the places where we went snorkeling, as we stood at our car applying sunscreen, an employee ran over in a panic to warn us about putting on sunscreen.  He thought we were using regular sunscreen, and was relieved when we showed him the label and were able to reassure him that it was reef-safe.

Reef Safe Sunscreen

Reef sunscreen is also becoming more popular, so it is nice to have a variety of choices.  At the rate that the oceans are being exposed to so many sources of pollution, it is nice to have a way to do our part to keep the oceans and reefs healthy.

By | 2018-06-27T01:59:23+00:00 June 27th, 2018|Eco-friendly, Travel|20 Comments

About the Author:

Busy blogger and mom of two girls! We love traveling and the great outdoors, and are always looking for our next adventure!


  1. Candy June 28, 2018 at 6:50 pm - Reply

    Good review of this sun screen. Nice when someone else does all work for me. Like how it covers completely.

  2. Stacie June 28, 2018 at 8:05 pm - Reply

    Oh wow. I’ve never thought about how sunscreen might affect the environment. It never occurred to me that what I put on myself and my family could impact the life in the water.

  3. Karissa @WithOurBest June 28, 2018 at 10:52 pm - Reply

    I’ve heard how bad sunscreen is for the reef and the ocean. It is disheartening when I think of all the things we do to our environment!

  4. Gisele June 29, 2018 at 3:46 am - Reply

    This is something I would have never thought about. I’m glad that reef safe sunscreen is available now. Snorkeling is on my bucket list so hopefully I will be able to do this someday. Looks like a lot of fun.

  5. Nancy at Whispered Inspirations June 29, 2018 at 5:18 am - Reply

    I love snorkeling, we try to do it everywhere we go! This is awesome that the sunscreen is safe for the reef.

  6. Rose Ann Sales June 29, 2018 at 6:39 am - Reply

    Wow! That is such a great stuff and I am glad that Reef Sunscreen is now available. Also good to know that this product not only protect your skin but also protecting the ocean.

  7. brianne June 29, 2018 at 11:39 am - Reply

    Wow i need to check out this sunscreen! Waterproof sunscreen is always something i look into for my kiddies.

  8. Chubskulit Rose June 29, 2018 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    I will have to check this out and buy one. We need it for our upcoming trip next week.

  9. Dina Demarest June 29, 2018 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    Oh no! I had no idea my sunscreen might be hurting the reefs. I will have to try one of these instead.

  10. Kathy June 29, 2018 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    Sounds like a great sunscreen. I always make sure my girls have it on. I hate to see anyone with a sunburn. I’ll have to check this brand out because I’ve never heard of it til now.

  11. Rachel June 29, 2018 at 6:57 pm - Reply

    I haven’t had to consider what sunscreen to wear but it is good information to have. It totally makes sense that it would affect sea life.

  12. Jocelyn @ Hip Mama's Place July 1, 2018 at 4:02 am - Reply

    Wow, I have never heard of reef-safe sunscreen. Thanks! I learned something new today! It’s a great way of showing you care for the safety of our environment too!

  13. Shannon Gurnee July 1, 2018 at 5:06 am - Reply

    We always have sunscreen on hand whenever we head outdoors as a family. When the kids go swimming, they wear rash guards for addition sun coverage.

  14. Cindy January 7, 2019 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    I have never heard of reef-safe sunscreen, but it’s really interesting! I agree that a rash guard suit is so beneficial to wear in the summer, especially for kids!

  15. Carmela January 7, 2019 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    I like that this brand of sunscreen is safe for the environment! I know how precious corals are growing up in the tropical islands of the Philippines. Yay!

  16. Nadia K January 7, 2019 at 10:00 pm - Reply

    Honestly until this day i never even knew about sunscreen effecting the reef. It makes total sense. Thank you for this eyeopening moment

  17. Jasmine Hewitt January 8, 2019 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    i have never heard of this type of sunscreen. but i def need to start using it

  18. Taylor Foley January 8, 2019 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    Always on the hunt for the safest sunscreen out there! Great information!

  19. Angie January 9, 2019 at 12:49 am - Reply

    I know how harmful sunscreen can be. Glad to hear there’s this safer option!

  20. Marissa January 9, 2019 at 1:08 am - Reply

    I didn’t know that some places ban regular sunscreen. I am far from the beaches and I rarely travel. Hoping to change that this year and so glad I read this!

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