The Best Sunscreens for the Beach – Reef Safe and Made in Costa Rica

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As a surfer I use sunscreen daily to protect my skin and now there are scientific studies that show how some chemicals can actually damage my skin rather than protect it. Even worse is that these chemicals can kill off coral reefs – especially if a sunscreen contains Oxybenzone. So I did some research and found that a few companies are making ‘reef safe’ sunscreen in Costa Rica. Here is the list:

Capuchino Eco Friendly Reef Safe Sunscreen

Capuchino Surf Screen
Made in Santa Teresa

Vegetarian, biodegradable, palm-oil free, and locally handmade in small batches from their creative laboratory in the jungle. Their formula is made from Cacao Butter, Coconut Oil, Bees Wax, Vitamin E, Castor Oil, Cacao Powder, Cinnamon Powder, and Non-Nano Zinc Oxide (Active Ingredient)

50 grams (1.75 oz) for $25

Pura Vida Eco Friendly Reef Safe Sunscreen

Pura Vida Sunblock
Made in Jaco

Pura Vida Organic Sunblock is ideal for daily use or when practicing sports, waterproof and sweat proof, ecofriendly and reef safe. It’s made with zinc with extra virgin coconut oil, real beeswax, cocoa, propolis.  They support good environmental practices, outdoor recreational activities and natural medicine, while promoting greater use of organic products for the well-being of all types of people. SPF 30

2 oz. tin for 10,000 colones

Jungle Mama Eco Friendly Reef Safe Sunscreen

Jungle Mama Naturals

Jungle Mamas Lynda and Ingrid lived in the tropics of Costa Rica, where sun protection became a necessity. But the local sunscreen products were ineffective, full of hormone-disrupting chemicals, and migrated into the eyes (ouch!). Lynda and Ingrid grew obsessed with finding a sunscreen that was long-lasting… and had zero nasty chemicals. When they couldn’t find it, they made it. And Jungle Mama was born. Their hydrating Extreme Face Sunblock Stick gives up to 80 minutes of broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) fun-in-the sun protection.

$19.99 for 3.5 oz tin.
$35.99 for two face sticks

Osa Naturals Eco Friendly Reef Safe Sunscreen

Osa Naturals
Made in the Osa Peninsula

Osa Natural has been hand making the finest, all-natural bath & body products on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula since 2007, using locally sourced 100% organic coconut oil and other all natural ingredients.  Osa Natural’s top quality products are made for people and small businesses interested in promoting a more organic lifestyle; people who place a premium on personal health and a clean environment. Made with Cocoa Butter and Zinc Oxide, their chocolate tinted sunblock will keep you protected on outdoor adventures.

90 ml (3 oz.) for $16

Pura Sombra Eco Friendly Reef Safe Sunscreen

Pura Sombra
Made in Manuel Antonio

Their idea for an organic, reef safe and non-toxic sunscreen was inspired one day at the main beach in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. Surrounded by the beauty of wildlife and nature, we noticed the incredible number of people using toxic sunblock. 

Standard sunblock with toxic chemicals is not only hazardous, but also pollutes our ocean waters, bleaches our coral reef and harms our marine organisms. They partner with a different local non-profit every month who will follow their passion to protect our environment and/or community. Part of the proceeds from each sale will be donated to their mission. 

This month they partnered with Seeds of Hope whose mission is to restore communities and prevent young people from drug and alcohol addiction, gang violence, sex trafficking, child labor, dropping out of school, and other detrimental repercussions of living in poverty. 30 or 50 spf

3.4 oz for 16,000 colones

Las Olas Sunscreen
Made in Platanillo

Las Olas Suncare is made with love in Costa Rica with all natural ingredients including cacao purchased from local farms, which gives it a light brown tint. The 20% zinc oxide ensures in protects your skin from the sun while not harming the reef ecosystem. They currently support local surfers Zeb and Abe Healer (@crsurfbros) plus Community Carbon Trees organizer Jennifer Leigh Smith (@treejenny). Currently you can find this sunblock in the local farmer’s markets or you can contact them directly.

Do you have any favorite reef safe sunscreens that you would recommend? Please post them in the comments below.

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