Before you hit the high seas, you may be wondering what type of sunscreen to buy to protect your skin from the sun’s powerful rays. Did you know that some SPF products are harmful not only for you, but also the environment? Some sunscreens contain chemical additives, such as oxybenzone, that can be toxic when they wash off in the ocean and have been reported to contribute to coral bleaching, damage coral larvae and disrupt the development of fish.
Sunscreens can protect you by a physical or chemical barrier. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are nanoparticles that form a physical barrier that scatters damaging UV rays away from your skin. Chemical sunscreens including ones that contain oxybenzone, absorb UV rays, preventing them from penetrating the skin.
Check the ingredients in your sunscreen. You want to avoid products that contain oxybenzone, and look for ones that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
The sunscreens on our list are eco-friendly, protect against UVA and UVB rays, and are all under $25. Our top 5 choices are.