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What Does Reef Safe Sunscreen Mean? 10 Reef Safe Sunscreens that Actually Work.

When planing your next adventure you might see some beaches that say reef safe sunscreen only. What does reef safe sunscreen mean? What sunscreens should you buy that are reef…

When planing your next adventure you might see some beaches that say reef safe sunscreen only. What does reef safe sunscreen mean? What sunscreens should you buy that are reef safe?

Here are the top 10 highly rated reef safe sunscreens that will protect your skin and are safe for the reefs. You will also find everything you need to know about what reef safe sunscreen and why certain sunscreens are banned in some locations.

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you purchase through my links. I only recommend things that I truly love. This helps me to keep my blog updated and free for all my readers. Thank you all so much!

Top 10 Reef Safe Sunscreens to Buy on Amazon

These are the top 10 reef safe sunscreens based on the best amazon reviews and ratings.

#1 Alba Botanica Sunscreen Spray with Coconut Oil, SPF 50

Alba Botanical Sunscreen is the top rated reef proof sunscreen on Amazon. It is a spray on sunscreen. It’s also very affordable and is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars.

#2 Thinksport SPF 50 Sunscreen

This Thinksport Sunscreen one of my very top recommendations. It comes in at the top of almost every list of reef safe sunscreen reviews. It’s also rated 4.5 out of 5 stars and is priced under $10.

#3 Sun Bum Original Sunscreen Spray

Another spray on choice. Sun Bum Sunscreen is not only reef safe but it is also vegan and has added moisturizers and vitamin E for healthy skin. Another great option that is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars.

#4 Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+ 

Thinkbaby safe sunscreen is another top rated option with 4.5 out of 5 stars. Plus it’s certified cruelty free, gluten free & vegan. The Thinkbaby brand also has a ton of different reef safe options for babies as well as kids.

#5 Blue Lizard Sensitive Sunscreen SPF 30, 5oz Bottle

Coming in at 4.4 stars out of 5 stars Blue Lizard is a great reef safe sunscreen. It is also a mineral sunscreen and does not contain chemical active ingredients.

#6 Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Ultra Radiance Sunscreen – SPF 30

At 4.1 stars out of 5 Hawaiian Tropic is a great option if you are looking for something that smells great and is reef safe. It contains Contains vitamins C and E and mango fruit extract and a shea butter complex to keep your skin healthy and smelling tropical.

#7 Sun Bum Original SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion

This sunscreen is hypoallergenic and oxybenzone, octinoxate, gluten, cruelty and paraben Free. Sun Bum Sunscreen is rated 4.6 out of 5 on Amazon and is a popular reef safe option.

#8 Babo Botanicals SPF 30 Clear Zinc Lotion – Mineral Sunscreen – Non-Nano

This reef safe option is a zinc-based, mineral formula that is great for sensitive skin. It’s environmentally friendly and contains no harsh ingredients. Babo botanicals sunscreen comes in at 3.7 out of 5 stars.

#9 Sun Bum Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion

Another mineral based option that is vegan and reef friendly. Sun Bum Mineral Sunscreen is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars and is chemical free.

#10 Aveeno Positively Mineral Sensitive Skin Sunscreen SPF 50

Aveeno Positively Mineral Sunscreen is reef safe and is rated 4 out of 5 stars. The link below is a TSA travel friendly size under 3 fl oz. It is made with naturally-sourced 100% zinc oxide active ingredient and nourishing oat. Perfect for sensitive skin.

What is Reef Safe Sunscreen?

Hawaii is the first state in the US to ban the sale of certain type of sunscreen that hurt the coral reefs. The new law is effective January 2021 but I didn’t even realize that our sunscreen is hurting the reefs. There is no need to wait until then to start doing our part. 

Planing a trip to Hawaii? Check out these hawaii Instagram caption ideas for all your photos.

Other popular tourists destinations have also created a ban including: Key West, FL; The Caribbean Island of Bonaire, Palau, and may other place are jumping on board to keep our reefs safe.

You will probably want to bring your own reef safe sunscreen with you because it will be overpriced if you with to purchase at your resort or destination.

what is reef safe sunscreen

Why is our Sunscreen Bad for The Coral Reefs?

Oxybenzone and octinoxate are the ingredients found in most sunscreens that are getting into our oceans and causing bleaching of the coral reefs. When the corals get bleached they it becomes very easy for them to get diseased and die.

You may think that your sunscreen is safe but some major brands such Tropicana, Bannana Boat and Coppertone can contain theses ingredients. The National Park Service States:

“We may not realize that the products covering our skin wash off when we enter the water, and it adds up! Research tells us that 4,000 to 6,000 TONS of sunscreen enters reef areas annually. This does not spread out rapidly or evenly over the entire ocean, but concentrates on popular tourist sites. It is estimated that 90% of snorkeling/diving tourists are concentrated on 10% of the world’s reefs. “

I had no idea that so much sunscreen was harming the reefs! So what can we do to help save the reefs? What sunscreens are safe for our oceans?

best reef safe sunscreens

Reef Safe Sunscreen Ingredients to Avoid

When you are shopping for sunscreen you will want to look for the following things:

#1 Make sure that they don’t have oxybenzone and octinoxate in the ingredients. 

#2 Look for the term “non-nano” which means that particles in the sunscreen are above 100 nanometers in size so that they can’t enter into the corals. 

#3 Mineral based sunscreen with the ingredients zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Mineral based sunscreen will still help you from getting burnt but these ingredients don’t harm the reefs. 

#4 Reef-safe labels. Now that people are aware of the harmful effects more sunscreen manufactures are making specific reef safe sunscreen. 

I hope that this guide helps you to learn more about reef safe sunscreen and how pick out the perfect sunscreen for your next adventure.

I know that I am going to be getting some of the sunscreens above for my next tropical adventure. I want to be prepared for the sunscreen ban, amazing days on the beach and do my part to keep our reefs safe.

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Bonfire Beaches in Los Angeles: Top 5 LA Beaches With Fire Pits

Want to do something different than the regular LA stuff? Sometimes it fun to just have a quiet warm evening chatting with your friends and family. One of the best…

Want to do something different than the regular LA stuff? Sometimes it fun to just have a quiet warm evening chatting with your friends and family. One of the best way to get out and make some memories together is to have a bonfire on the beach.

There are certain beaches in Los Angeles that allow bonfires and even have fire pits set up for you to enjoy.

la beach bonfire

Planing Your Bonfire Tips

Arrive Early

There are only so many fire pits available on the beaches. You should get there as early as possible so that you can save your fire pit. Many people even get there in the morning, spend the entire day at the beach, and then they already have their spot saved for their bonfire.

Stay Warm

At night it is cold and windy on the beach. Even though you will be by a hot fire you will want to bring a jacket, or blankets.

Do Something Special

To make your bonfire even more fun plan something special. Maybe bring stuff for roasting smores, food, or some games.

Packing for the Bonfire

The best way to have the perfect fire is to make sure that you will have everything that you need. Also some of the beach parking rules don’t let you leave and come back. So you will want to make you you don’t forget anything. Here is a  list of exactly what you should bring.

  • Fire Wood
  • Starter Wood
  • Matches
  • Newspaper
  • Blankets (some to sit on and some to wrap up in)
  • Flashlight
  • Stuff for Smores
  • Chairs (camp table)
  • Cooler full of Drinks and Snacks
  • Napkins or wet wipes
  • Cash or Credit Card for Parking Fees

Beach Bonfire Rules

  • Pick up your trash
  • Don’t use sand to put out the fire (use water to put out fires)
  • Bring your own fire wood (you can’t take wood from the beach)
  • Any grills or barbecues must fit inside the fire pit (2″ wide)

Bonfire Beaches Los Angeles:

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Leo Carrillo State Park – Malibu, CA

Beach: Leo Carrilo State Park

Address: 35000 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265

More info: This is one of the only beaches that is dog friendly but requires a leash. Beach offers swimming, surfing, windsurfing, surf fishing and beachcombing. Also has tidepools, coastal caves and reefs for exploring, and hiking trails.

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Dockweiler Beach – Playa de Rey, CA

Beach: Dockweiler State Beach

Address: 12001 Vista del Mar Playa del Rey, CA 90293

Fire Pits: 40 fire pits – first come first serve

More info: Dockweiler has volleyball courts, hangliding, and surf fishing. No dogs are allowed. It is located underneath the path of LAX take off so the planes overhead can get noisy.

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Huntington State Beach – Huntington Beach, CA

huntington beach la

Beach: Huntington State Beach

Address: 21601 Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach, CA 92646

More info: No alcohol, glass, dogs, smoking. Over 200 fire rings (first come – first serve basis) There are volleyball courts, basketball courts, and a multi-use trail. A popular spot for swimming, surfing, fishing and birdwatching.

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Point Mugu State Beach – Malibu, CA

Point Mugu State Beach Malibu

Beach: Point Mugu State Beach

Address: 9000 W. Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265

More info: There are more than 70 miles of hiking trails. The beach also features swimming, body surfing and surf fishing. Located in the Santa Monica mountains, features five miles of ocean shoreline, with rocky bluffs, sandy beaches, sand dunes, rugged hills and uplands.

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Cabrillo Beach – San Pedro, CA

Beach: Cabrillo Beach

Address: 3720 Stephen M White Drive San Pedro, CA 90731

More info: The Mile-long Cabrillo Beach is popular for swimming, surfing, scuba diving and volleyball. The beach also has Picnic tables, a snack bar and a playground. Dogs on a leash are allowed.

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Bonfire Beaches In Los Angeles

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The Ultimate Snowboard Trip Packing List: Ski and Snowboarding Essentials

Your first time snowboarding or skiing can be exciting but a little scary at the same time. Since you don’t know what to expect then you have no idea what…

Your first time snowboarding or skiing can be exciting but a little scary at the same time. Since you don’t know what to expect then you have no idea what you should pack.

Making sure that you have everything that you need will make your trip even more exciting. Here is a complete snowboard trip packing list to make sure that you will be prepared.

ski and snowboard trip packing must haves


Since you are going to be in the cold snow you must make sure that you stay warm and dry. You should try to find a waterproof and insulated ski jacket.

Waterproof Ski Pants

You will also need some waterproof snow pants. Invest in some good comfortable ones that will last you awhile.


If it is your first time snowboarding you might not be ready to invest in a snowboard. Fortunately, most ski lodges offer rental equipment so that you don’t have to purchase your boots, ski, and snowboard.

If you do decide to purchase a snowboard for the trip don’t forget to get a snowboard bag and lock.


You will want to make sure that your hands stay warm in the icy cold mountain air. Make sure you invest in some quality waterproof snow gloves or mittens. Either will work, just make sure that they say waterproof before you purchase.

Sweaters & Jackets

When you are hanging out at the lodge after your done skiing you will want to have sweatshirts or jackets to stay warm in. Since most ski coats are bulky and it might be dirty or wet from wearing it all day you will want to have backup options for keeping warm.

Warm Hat

Find a warm snow hat. There are a ton of different styles and colors just find something that is comfortable and covers your ears and forehead to keep you warm.

Base Layer

When you are spending the day skiing down the slopes you can get cold and wet fast. That is why you should alway have a thermal base layer. You can wear this base layer under your regular clothes and put your ski clothes over, or just the base layer and your ski clothes.

Snow Boots

Since ski and snowboard boots are very uncomfortable to walk around in, you will need some snow boots. Find a pair that is comfortable so your feet will stay dry even when you are off the mountain.

Water Proof Socks

Most ski shops carry ski/snowboard socks. They are a bit different from traditional socks since they are very insulated and made of a water proof material. They are also taller. Most ski socks cover your feet and your calf’s.


When the sun comes out you will want to make sure that you have sunglasses. Not only are they good for protecting your eyes against the sunlight. The sunglasses also help to keep your eyes dry from moisture in the air and keep them warm so that you don’t have cold windy air blowing right in your eyes when you are skiing down the hill.


This is another must have for a day on the slopes. This is also something that many people tend to think that they don’t need. It’s actually easier to get a sunburn in the snow since the sunlight reflects off the white snow and bounces right on your face.

You will want to apply it before you start snowboarding even if the suns not out yet. Just because you can’t see the sun doesn’t mean you aren’t going to get burned.


Nothing makes your lips dryer than cold air and wind. You should bring some good quality chapstick and keep it in your ski jacket pocket so that you can reapply it all day.

Planing your snowboard trip? Check out our snowboard captions to get ideas to captions your all your instagram photos from your day on the slopes.

Snowboard Trip Packing List

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What to Pack for the Beach | The Ultimate Beach Vacation List

Stressed about what to pack for the beach? Here is a list to make sure that you have all the essentials covered. Follow this beach packing list and you will…

Stressed about what to pack for the beach? Here is a list to make sure that you have all the essentials covered.

Follow this beach packing list and you will have everything you need for a day (or longer) full of fun!

What to Pack for the Beach?

What to Pack for the Beach

The Essentials: (things you must bring)


You want to soak up that amazing sunshine but its never work risking your skin. Skin cancer is for real and it is never fun to have a sunburn. To make sure that you protect yourself from harmful uv rays you will want to bring a waterproof sunscreen. You should also make sure that your sunscreen is reef safe if you are going to be swimming in the water. What does reef safe sunscreen mean?

Beach Towel

Another must have for the beach is a beach towel. You will be happy you have your beach towel when you need to dry off after a swim. Also, it is great to spread out on the sand so that you can lay down and relax.

Swim Suit

If you are going to the beach to swim or just to get some sun you won’t want to forget your swim suit or swim trunks for men. I suggest finding a comfortable suit that fits well so that you can enjoy your beach time and feel great at the same time.

Shorts + Tank Top

I love to bring my favorite jean shorts and a tank top. Tank tops are great because you wont get a tan line, and you will want to have a pair to shorts to throw on if you need them. Easy to wear to the beach and to put over your suit when leaving.

Beach Cover Up

Don’t forget a beach cover up. They are great to put over you suits and wear around while exploring the beach. Since they are light you will feel comfortable, cool and relaxed.


This is a must for men and women. A hat will keep your hair back and out of your face (you will be glad if its windy) all while keeping the sun out of your eyes. I love hats because they look so beachy and stylish too.


The beach is sunny! That is why you will want to bring your sunglasses. You want don’t want to have to be blocking the sun and trying squinting all day.

Beach Blanket

You should bring at least one or more beach blankets. You will need this to lay out on the sand so that you have somewhere to sit all your stuff and hang out all day without getting sand everywhere. Its also great to have an extra blanket, depending on the beach and time you will be going, it can get very color and windy. You will be happy you have a blanket to snuggle up in.

Flip Flops

Don’t forget your flip flops. The next best thing to walking barefoot on the beach. Quick to get on and off. Plus you can get them sandy and wet and they will stay clean and dry quick. You don’t want to be trying to squeeze into sandy wet socks and shoes at the end of the day.

Water Bottle

Since you can’t drink the salty beach water you will want to bring some fresh clean water. Bring some water bottles and fill them with water and ice to keep them cool all day. I personally love the stainless steel ones because they keep your water cold so much longer.

Beach Bag

You will need something to carry everything when finding your perfect spot on the beach. A beach bag is great because they are normally big so you can fit everything that you need all in one. Also, they are normally water proof or easily washable so you don’t have to worry about getting it dirty in the sand.

The Essentials for Families:

Beach Toys:

Kids love playing in the sand. Most off all they love building sand castles. Bringing a sand castle building set of some beach toys will give the kids something fun and creative to do.

Beach Tent or Shade:

A quick pop up tent or shade is suggested for kids because they can enjoy the beach and have a shaded spot to get out of the sun and wind if needed. Also, its great to have if they take a nap you wont have to worry about the sun shining down on them and they can have a comfortable and quite place to relax.

Small Ice Chest or Cooler Bag:

If you are going to be at the beach all day, you should bring some lunch and snacks. A small portable cooler is my favorite because they are light and easy to carry and still keep everything cool.

Life Jacket

If your kids are not great swimmers you should bring some life jackets. Depending on where you are going beach wave can be very strong and you want to make sure the kids are safe.


Foldable beach chairs will be perfect for your family to relax in when not swimming or laying out on the sand. I love the low back ones for the beach since you still feel like you are right on the sand.

Body Boards:

If you have never been body boarding its so fun. It is the perfect kid friendly beach activity. They can use the body boards to float on in the water and catch some small waves. You might love it too!

The Extras (you don’t need but you might want):

Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker:

If you love listening to music as much as I do then I suggest bringing to waterproof bluetooth speaker. This way your entire group can enjoy your playlist from your phone. Its nice to relax on the beach and listen to your favorite songs.

Camera (waterproof):

It is so easy to get distracted and drop your phone or camera in the water or sand. When going to the beach you might want to get a waterproof camera or get a water proof cover for your phone. You will want to have awesome picture of your day but you don’t want to a ruined camera.

Check out our good captions for beach pictures on Instagram to get caption ideas for all your beach photos.

Bug Spray:

Depending on the beach that you are visiting there can sometimes be lots of bugs. I love to get the bug repellent towelettes since they are super small and easy to throw in the beach bag. You might not need them but just in case. You don’t want to end your day covered in bites.

Lip Balm:

Every time I go to the beach my lips get super dry and chapped. It must be the sun and salt air, but I always make sure that I bring chap stick so that my lips aren’t in pain all day.

Surf, Kyak, or Paddle Boards:

If you looking for a beach adventure you might want to check into renting some watersports beach equipment. Most popular beach spots will have beach rental equipment shops nearby and even lessons that you can sign up for. If you have always wanted to try a beach sport now is the time. I have tried surfing. It wasn’t easy but it was amazing getting to see the beach from a different perspective.

Wet Suit:

If its not the middle of summer or you are going to a cooler beach, then you might want to buy or rent a wetsuit. Sometimes ocean water can be ice cold and you don’t want to sit out on the fun.

Extra Bags:

When you leave the beach you are going to have wet and sandy towels clothes and blankets. You don’t want to put everything back into your dry beach bag or you will have a sandy mess. I bring waterproof bags to put all my stuff that is sandy or damp into. This make it really easy to wash too since all the dirty stuff is already separated out.

What to pack the beach list:

Here is a free printable list to help you get ready for the beach. Beach Packing List

Have fun!!

I hope that this list helps you to know exactly what to pack for the beach and takes the stress out of preparing so that you can focus on having a great time.

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