7 Ocean-Safe, Non-Nano Sunscreens

posted in skincare, travel

Last Updated on August 2, 2022

We want our sunscreen to protect our skin—but what about our oceans? These suncare products end up in our waterways one way or another, whether we’re going for a swim at the beach or washing it off in the shower. Therefore, the sunscreens we use should be good for the environment just as much as it is good for our bodies.

Many conventional sunscreens use chemicals that are potentially harmful to marine life and cause coral bleaching. Others use ingredients that absorb into your skin and make its way through your bloodstream, which can lead to skin irritation, hormonal disruption, and even skin cancer. The trick is to find a product that creates a layer over your skin to protect you from the sun, wash off your body easily, and enter our water without hurting the environment.

It’s best to look for sunscreens that use non-nano or uncoated zinc oxide, which contains particles that are not small enough to penetrate the skin. You should also avoid sunscreens that include any of the following eight ingredients, according to various studies.

  • Avobenzone
  • Enzacamene
  • Homosalate
  • PABA (Aminobenzoic Acid)
  • Octinoxate
  • Octisalate
  • Octocrylene
  • Oxybenzone

If a brand claims it is cruelty-free, vegan-friendly, or naturally derived, this does not mean that it does not contain these chemicals. That’s why it’s so important to actually look at the ingredients in your sunscreen! 

Here are a few options that do not contain the ingredients listed above and utilize non-nano zinc oxide in their formula. 

Raw Love Reef Safe Sunscreen SPF 35
Image credit Raw Love

Raw Love

Raw Love is Hawaiʻi’s first FDA compliant sunscreen company, according to their website. It uses 100% all natural plant-based ingredients (including unrefined coconut oil, raw shea butter, beeswax, and carrot seed oil) while also using organic farming methods.

The sunscreen comes in a 4-ounce or 2-ounce tin making it plastic-free packaging as well!

Price: 4 oz. SPF 35 Reef Safe Sunscreen, $24.99

AllGood SPF 30 Sport Mineral Sunscreen Spray
Image credit AllGood


AllGood uses non-nano zinc oxide as it’s only active ingredient in both the spray and lotion sunscreens. They’ve packed some many antioxidants such as rosehip oil and green tea into the mineral sunscreens to help repair and support your skin.

The company offers other products such as lip protection, deodorants, and lotions which are also free of nasty chemicals. 

Price: 6 oz. SPF 30 Sport Mineral Sunscreen Spray, $19.99

Versed SPF 35 Daily Mineral Sunscreen
Image credit Versed


The “Guards Up” daily mineral sunscreen is an SPF 35, oil-free formula with a creamy texture that won’t leave a white cast on the skin. The sunscreen container is made mostly of post-consumer recycled plastic and is recyclable—a double win!

Versed also offers other products that you can filter on their website based on your specific skincare concerns. 

Price: 1.7 oz. SPF 35 Daily Mineral Sunscreen, $21.99

Thinksport SPF 50+ Safe Sunscreen
Image credit ThinkSport


Here’s a safe, SPF 50 for any athletes or outdoor lovers. The ThinkSport sunscreen formula is dermatologist tested and is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.

Thinksport also has a line of sunscreens specifically for kids and babies that has been rated one of the best sunscreens for children in 2020 by the EWG.

Price: 3 oz. SPF 50+ Thinksport Safe Sunscreen, $12.99

Raw Elements SPF 30 Face + Body Tube
Image credit Raw Elements

Raw Elements

Raw Elements really lives up to its name because this is the cleanest formula I’ve ever seen.

It’s Face + Body Tube SPF 30 has just one active ingredient (non-nano zinc oxide) and added nutrients such as sunflower oil, coffee bean, green tea, and cocoa butter. The formula is USDA certified organic and is sure to moisturize the skin.

Price: 3 oz. SPF 30 Face + Body Tube, $18.99

Badger SPF 40 Protect Land & Sea Sunscreen Cream Tube
Image credit Badger


Badger has so many different options for sunscreen depending on your specific needs. There are products specifically for athletes, clear formulas for those who want to avoid white residue, and a formula specifically for babies and kids. You are bound to find an option that works best for you!

They are so transparent about their manufacturing processes, they even have a video on their website to show how they make their sunscreen.

Price: 2.9 oz. SPF 40 Protect Land & Sea Sunscreen Cream Tube, $17.99


Indie Lee

Our Editor recently tested out clean beauty darling, Indie Lee’s new sunscreen and found it to spread and perform well on hot summer days. We especially love that there isn’t a strong sunscreen smell with this one! This is the most expensive sunscreen on our list but being from a beauty brand it also has some extra skin-nourishing ingredients.

Indie Lee’s suncreen includes 20% zinc oxide and beneficial ingredients such as squalane, seed oils, shea butter and aloe.

Price: 3.3 oz. SPF 30 Mineral Suncreen, $42.00

There are plenty of options to soak up the sun that are both safe for your body and the environment! ☀️

Last updated August 2, 2022

Follow Gabriella Robles:
Gabby currently works as the Managing Editor at Adorama overseeing the editorial content across all company blogs. Her experience includes editing trade books, textbooks, b2b magazines, and online articles. She has a Bachelor's degree from Saint Peter's University and is a graduate of the Columbia Publishing Course. When she isn't working, Gabby can often be found hiking a mountain, drinking craft beer, or thrift shopping. She lives in Jersey City, NJ with her boyfriend and way too many books.

2 Responses

  1. Ray
    | Reply

    It’s a very useful list! Thank you. My question is which ones are fragrance-free? Fragrances are cocktails of so many harmful chemicals even if they claim to be “all natural” or “organic” or whatever as there is no valid regulation for ads and labeling. What I’m looking for is “nano-free”, “harmful chemical free”, “titanium oxide free”, and “fragrance-free” sunscreen.

    • Verena Erin
      | Reply

      These should all be fragrance free as well! Always good to double check the ingredients though 🙂

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