Sunscreen: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Here at Dolphin Journeys, throughout the years, we have become very sunscreen savvy. Improper sun exposure cannot only leave a nasty burn and hinder your experience in paradise, but can also risk the heath of you, loved ones, and the environment in which it is used. There is frightening evidence that the very sunscreen you are trusting to protect you and your family is actually working against you. Lots of these name brand, chemical sunscreens can in fact be harmful to us. Contrary to popular belief, many sunscreen products may actually increase the speed at which malignant cells develop and spread skin cancer due to hazardous ingredients. They are also harming the very coral reefs that so many people on this island have come to enjoy. A main fact we have discovered after witnessing people applying sunscreen on the boat, the sides of our boat’s gel coat has discolored and unable to repair. The chemical reaction does not buff out. Just think about what it is doing to you and the environment.


Many name brand sunscreens contain harmful oils and chemicals that damage coral reefs and marine plants and animals.  Every year between 8 million and 12 million pounds of sunscreen washes off of swimmers and goes into our water, causing coral bleaching, clouding up the water, and is ingested by our local fish and marine life.

Most marine animals are mass spawners. Their eggs are positively buoyant and float to the surface. When the eggs hit a layer of sunscreen they’re pretty much toast. Your choices can help to conserve this fragile ecosystem for years to come.

Our Suggestions for Reef Safe Sunscreens:

  • Alba Botanica Sunscreen Sport Mineral SPF 45
  • Little Hands Hawaii Mineral Sunblock
  • Badger: SPF30 Sunscreen or SPF 35 Sport Sunscreen Face Stick
  • LureLux
  • Joshua Natural Sunscreen Broad-spectrum


We also let the clothes do a lot of the work. Stay covered! Big hats (with chin straps), sunglasses, long sleeves, rash guards, leggings, swim shirts, and swim suit cover ups just to name a few.

Avoid Sunscreens with Any of the Following Ingredients:

  • Oxybenzone
  • Butylparaben
  • Octinoxate
  • 4-Methylbenzylidine Camphor
  • Avobenzone
  • Octisalate
  • Octocrylene
  • Homosalate


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