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Sunscreen and the reefs

South Carolina
Level Contributor
26 posts
1 review
Sunscreen and the reefs

I understand many of the excursion companies prefer/require (?) you to use a sunscreen that does not harm the reefs. Is this true and if so suggestions on what brands are permitted.

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11 replies to this topic
Knoxville
Level Contributor
3,596 posts
15 reviews
1. Re: Sunscreen and the reefs

This is not going to help you purchase your own sunscreen, but I will say that every company we’ve ever gone out with has had sunscreen on hand for snorkelers to use. They encourage you to use what you need at the start of the tour.

Pjk
New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Key West
Level Contributor
38,457 posts
120 reviews
2. Re: Sunscreen and the reefs

There's a bunch of information in here ---> https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g343…

There are a UV treated and rash guard swim shirts you can buy.

Pjk

Michigan
Level Contributor
2,457 posts
58 reviews
3. Re: Sunscreen and the reefs

I use this brand and it really works. It’s very thick so it takes a minute to apply but it does blend in after a couple minutes sitting on the skin. I recently went snorkeling in Cozumel and none of us wearing this sunscreen burned.

https:/…

South Carolina
Level Contributor
26 posts
1 review
4. Re: Sunscreen and the reefs

Thanks PJK....you seem to have a wealth of Key West knowledge. Appreciate your advice!

U.S. expats
Destination Expert
for Windsor, London, Dry Tortugas National Park
Level Contributor
20,824 posts
235 reviews
5. Re: Sunscreen and the reefs

I too recommend getting a rash guard/swim shirt. No matter how good the sunscreen is, if you are going to spend hours in the water, this is the best protection. (and bonus, it doesn't harm the reefs)

Many boats will not allow you to use spray sunscreen as spraying it on board can cause the deck to become very slippery.

Charlotte, North...
Destination Expert
for North Carolina
Level Contributor
3,076 posts
31 reviews
6. Re: Sunscreen and the reefs

I agree about rash guard shirts...and you now can buy rash guard shorts/leggings too! Additionally, my daughter and her husband have thin, long sleeve, long legged rash guard suits that they love, but I think they purchased those on a trip to Asia. Our experience, rash guards of all types aren't hot, and they protect great...you don't have to worry about reapplying either! A few years ago when we were visiting the Eco-Discovery Center in KW, we bought "Reef Safe" biodegradible sunscreen lotion in their gift shop. It stays on as well as any, and works. We've since found it on Amazon and use that if we need a bit of sunscreen on/in the ocean.

Pjk
New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Key West
Level Contributor
38,457 posts
120 reviews
7. Re: Sunscreen and the reefs

Almost every shop in Key West sells these and they make a nice, useful, souvenir.

Pjk

San Diego...
Level Contributor
6 posts
6 reviews
8. Re: Sunscreen and the reefs

The main sunscreen ingredient that you want to avoid because of potential harm to the reefs (and yourself) is oxybenzone. As mentioned earlier a rash guard is your best protection. They can be purchased full body or just a shirt and/or leggings.

St. Pete Beach...
Level Contributor
2,050 posts
50 reviews
9. Re: Sunscreen and the reefs

My daughter, a marine biologist uses Stream3Sea.

Los Angeles
Level Contributor
5,002 posts
59 reviews
10. Re: Sunscreen and the reefs

Be sure to never buy anything without reading the ingredients, looking for the above-mentioned oxybenzone.

If you can't see the ingredients, like with the Hang Ten mentioned... pass on it.

I've used the Stream2Sea and Raw Elements. Both have an ingredient list of things you can actually pronounce and wouldn't mind eating. They give you a bit of mime white face, but I believe Stream2Sea has come out with one that has tint to it.

If you shop on Amazon be sure to set it up through Amazon Smile and list your preferred charity as REEF. They do a lot of good in the Keys.

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