Reef Safe Sunscreen Hawaii Law & The Best Brands

January 7, 2021

Hero Photo by Samantha Sophia


It’s a new year, which means new changes! If you have plans to visit Hawaii, you will now only see reef safe sunscreen available for purchase on the island.

Effective January 1, 2021, Hawaii is the first state to pass a bill to officially ban the sale and distribution of sunscreen containing the coral-harming chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate

Over the years, scientists have found that sunscreens containing the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate have harmful effects on coral reefs, such as bleaching coral when washed off in the ocean. “An estimated 14,000 tons of sunscreen is believed to be deposited in oceans annually with the greatest damage found in popular reef areas in Hawaii and the Caribbean,” according to the New York Times article. At Hanauma Bay State Park, a popular snorkeling spot here in Oahu, researchers have measured approximately 412 pounds of sunscreen deposited daily on the reefs from visitors. 

So let’s do our part and save our reefs, use eco-friendly products whenever possible and take the steps to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Here are some of our favorite reef-safe sunscreen brands and a quick breakdown of what to look for! 

Kōkua Sun Care
MANDA Organic Skincare
Raw Elements
Raw Love

  • Contains no oxybenzone, octinoxate or octocrylene chemicals
  • Check on particle size above 100 nanometers
  • Use a mineral-based cream or lotion (instead of a mist or spray)

Remember to choose products that are safe not only for you, but the environment! 

Shoreline Hotel Waikiki