Best safe sunscreens, Aerial view of the beach in Rimini, Spain

The 15 Best Reef-Safe Sunscreens to Stock Up on This Summer

The latest sunscreens are lightweight, eco-friendly, and nothing like the greasy, pore-clogging formulas from your childhood. Here are 15 we're stockpiling in our beach bags this summer.

(And PS—none of them contain the coral reef-harming oxybenzone or octinoxate chemicals that many beaches are banning.)

Style + Travel Editor | Instagram @jackiehoman |

See recent posts by Jackie Homan & Gretchen Dorosz

Fuss-Free Spray Sunscreens

These zinc oxide mineral sunscreens give you the ease of a traditional spray without the damaging chemicals. We love the nourishing essential oils found in Living Libations (jojoba plant, virgin coconut crème, and red raspberry seed, among others), while the Babo Botanicals and Honest Co. continuous sprays appeal to us for their fragrance-free, sensitive-skin benefits.

Classic Lotion Sunscreens

If you want to slather up in a sun-blocking lotion, choose one of these three mineral options. Countersun is formulated with non-nano zinc and antioxidant-rich California Poppy, La Roche-Posay uses its unique Cell-Ox Shield Technology as well as an antioxidant complex to protect skin from free radical damage, and JASON includes chamomile and marigold extracts to help calm and soothe sensitive skin.

Innovative Serum Sunscreens

Why go for a serum? Because it can be combined with the face cream you already use and layered under makeup to keep you protected from the sun without that greasy look. The lightweight Dr. Barbara Sturm Sun Drops give you an SPF 50 shield, plus a dose of cassia extract, vitamin E, and beta-glucan, which have healing, anti-aging benefits. Murad‘s SPF 30 primer contains mushroom peptides and the brand’s Soft-Focus Complex to smooth skin before makeup application. And Coola‘s SPF 30 Sun Silk Drops use plant stem cells and its patented LightWaves Defense technology to stop damage from the sun, environmental toxins, and digital overexposure. Note: these serum sunscreens are meant for the face, so you should still pick up some other spray or lotion to use on your whole body.

Mattifying Powder Sunscreens

Another way to combat the greasy sunscreen feel: SPF powder. These makeup products are designed to mattify skin while also keeping you safe from harmful rays. We like the shade range of Supergoop! and the transparent option from Peter Thomas Roth, while ILIA earns some major points for its antioxidizing hibiscus flower extract and luminous finish.

Light Coverage Tinted Sunscreens

Swap out your normal foundation for a tinted sunscreen product instead. Go with Suntegrity‘s 5-in-1 if you want antioxidant benefits (thanks to green tea, red algae, and pomegranate extracts), Marie Veronique‘s for the lightest texture, and MyChelle‘s for the highest level of SPF.


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