5 Best Snorkeling Sunscreens in 2018


A sunscreen that is suitable requires different features than your average sunscreen. When you are floating on the water you get not only the rays of the hot sun beating down on your, but also the reflection. The sun bounces off the water to provide even more sun exposure. This leads to the dangers of you getting burnt double as fast. To combat this you need the best sunscreen for snorkeling.

As you are going into the ocean and swimming close up to many coral reefs and fish, it is important to get a chemical free, biodegradable sunscreen. Many sunscreens contain chemicals that are not only harmful to your skin but can be toxic to sea life. It is important to ensure that you are getting a high quality, safe sunscreen.

There are many features to look for when deciding the best choice for you as well as many options on the market. To help you navigate your way through, we have created a list of the best snorkeling sunscreens on today’s market.

Read to get started? Let’s go.


Best Snorkel Sunscreens

Editor's Choice


  • Anti-Jellyfish Sting Protective Sunscreen by Safe Sea

  • Our rating
  • SPF 50
  • Lasts up to 80 minutes in water
  • Price: See Here
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Snorkel Sunscreen Reviews

1. SPF 30 Reef Safe Natural Sunscreen by Tropical Sands

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This is one of the best biodegradable sunscreens on the market. Instead of harmful chemicals that other manufacturers use, Tropical Sands have developed a sunscreen that uses green tea. Not only is this a natural and organic solution but also an antioxidant. It will make your skin feel great and even look better than before.

This sunscreen has an SPF rating of 30 which means it will protect your skin from the UV rays from the sun. You don’t have to worry about skin irritation as this is a 100% all natural formula. Tropical Sands has created a hypoallergenic formula that doesn’t include harsh chemicals or nanoparticles.

The Reef Safe Natural Sunscreen is amazing for snorkeling. There is no chemical fragrances or chemical preservatives or emulsifiers which have been proven to be hard on reef environments.

What makes this sunscreen stand out:

  • Biodegradable
  • No harmful chemicals
  • Easy application

2. SPF 50 Anti-Jellyfish Sting Protective Sunscreen by Safe


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This is one of the only sunscreens that come with an anti jellyfish sting inhibitor. This is a great option for people swimming in areas with lots of jellyfish or for waters where it is too warm to wear a skinsuit. It has been proven effective by scientists in a lab and snorkelers in the ocean alike. What makes this even better is that it is a biodegradable coral reef safe sunscreen. This means that you can wear it when snorkeling even the most sensitive reefs.

Safe Sea has created a high SPF rated (50) sunscreen which is excellent for those more susceptible to burns. It is dermatologically tested to be hypoallergenic which means that it is a great option for virtually any skin type. This means people with even the most sensitive skin can wear this in the water without worrying about their skin. Not only this, but it is water resistant. You can spend up to 80 minutes in the water before you have to add another coat which is the highest rating.

What makes this sunscreen stand out:

  • High SPF rating
  • Lasts up to 80 minutes in water
  • Anti-jellyfish ingredient

3. SPF 45+ Biodegradable Sunscreen by Reef Safe


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Reef Safe have created a sunscreen that is safe for fish as well as the coral. Their sunscreen is fragrance free and biodegradable in oceans, lakes and rivers meaning you can take this with you wherever you plan on being in the sun.

Like some other sunscreens this is water resistant and can last up to 80 minutes in water. The SPF rating of 45+ is one of the highest which gives you the confidence to stay in the sun without fearing a sunburn. A fragrance free formula allows this to be an excellent option for those with skin sensitivities.

This sunscreen not only blocks the UVB rays that provide the sunburn. It also provides protection from UVA rays that harm without visibility. This works to help keep you incredibly safe.

What makes this sunscreen stand out:

  • Biodegradable in water
  • High SPF rating
  • Fragrance free

4. SPF 30 All Natural Biodegradable Sunscreen by Coral Safe


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Coral Safe have created one of the top rated snorkeling sunscreens on the market. This formula is 100% all natural and is even safe for kids. The sunscreen is made without harsh chemicals and nanoparticles which make it non-allergenic.

This All Natural Biodegradable Sunscreen is also coral friendly. It does this by not including chemical fragrances or chemical preservatives which allow it to fully biodegrade in water. In fact, one of the active ingredients is green tea which also acts as an antioxidant.

The SPF rating of 30 means you can spend time in the sun without getting burned.

What makes this sunscreen stand out:

  • 100% natural ingredients
  • Safe for kids
  • Coral safe approved

5. SPF 30 Biodegradable Sunscreen by Stream2Sea


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Stream2Sea has made one of the best sunscreens available today. It features a non-greasy solution that has been designed for fast absorbing. This means it is super easy to apply and won’t wash away once you enter the water. In fact, this sunscreen has been designed so it won’t run into, and irritate, your eyes.

Since this sunscreen is made from minerals it goes on white which adds even more protection from the elements. The SPF 30 rating is also excellent for protecting your skin from the sun. This is done by using ingredients like green tea, tulsi, wakame and olive leaf. All of these add a layer of protection to your skin while moisturizing it at the same time.

This sunscreen is also safe for marine life and coral due to its natural ingredients. You can rest assured that this sunscreen will protect you from the sun while making your skin feel great.

What makes this sunscreen stand out:

  • Biodegradable and reef safe
  • Organic and fast absorbing
  • Provides UVA and UVB protection

Features To Look For In Snorkeling Sunscreen


There are many aspects of sunscreen that people take for granted. Understanding each feature can help you get the right sunscreen for you and your family.

SPF Strength

The whole reason you are using a sunscreen is to keep from getting burnt. Having a sunscreen with a suitable SPF will do just that. The strength you choose largely depends on your skin type and your susceptibility to burns. Typically you will find sunscreens around 30 SPF.

Using an SPF greater than 30 doesn’t block as much sun as you may think. In fact, SPF 50 (98%) only blocks 1% more rays than SPF 30 (97%). SPF 100 blocks up to 99% of rays making it one of the best options for those with incredibly fair skin.

It is important to keep in mind that SPF only blocks UVB rays. These are the ones that cause burns. It doesn’t, however, block UVA rays, the rays that cause invisible damage. Some broad spectrum sunscreens block against both so it is important to look for a sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection.

Water Resistance

You may be thinking you need to go with a sunscreen that is waterproof instead of water resistant. US companies are no longer aloud to claim any sunscreen to be waterproof. That is why it is important to look for a sunscreen that is water resistant. You may not know that these products are only water resistant for a certain amount of time. The FDA only allows a company to claim water resistant for up to 80 minutes. This is the type of sunscreen you will want to look for.


When first applying your sunscreen it is important to let it dry for at least 15 minutes before hitting the water. Otherwise, you risk the sunscreen washing off the moment you hit the water. You will also have to reapply your sunscreen at least every two hours to maintain constant protection.

It is important to fully understand the proper application techniques when applying your sunscreen. Pay attention to what you do after you apply your sunscreen. Sitting on a seat can rub the sunscreen off you, laying on a towel does the same. It is often best to apply sunscreen to one side of you, wait the 10-15 minutes and then flip to the other and apply.

When snorkeling in the water, we recommend paying attention to any sunscreen you apply to your face. This can often lead to your mask not sealing properly and you having a far less enjoyable time snorkeling.

Reef Friendly

As you are going to be swimming with sensitive coral reefs and many fish and animals, it is important to take into account getting a natural reef safe sunscreen. Lots of major brands use chemicals like Oxybenzone, a chemical that is known to be toxic to fish and coral.

Many sunscreens now come in chemical free options that are approved to be gentle on the reef, and on your skin.

It is important to note that just because a sunscreen is biodegradable, does not mean it is chemical free. Many toxic chemicals, such as Oxybenzone, are biodegradable. In fact, some chemicals are fine for you until they biodegrade and are then toxic to marine life.


Globo Surf Overview

Choosing the best sunscreen for your next snorkel trip can be overwhelming. With so many chemical sunscreens on the market, it can be difficult to find one that is safe for you and the sea life. When snorkeling, it is important to look for a sunscreen safe for coral reefs. All of the sunscreens on our list provide the best sun protection while being safe for both you and the coral. These sunscreens are built to withstand the harsh sun conditions of snorkeling on the water. Being adequately water resistant while also providing a sufficient SPF, these sunscreens work to ensure that you have the best day on the water that you can.

For even more protection from the sun’s harmful rays, it is worth investing in a quality beach umbrella for when you are out of the water. This will work to give your body a break from the sun when you aren’t snorkeling.

Have you ever tried any of the snorkeling sunscreens on our list? How did they measure up for your summertime fun? Talk to us about it in the comment section below.

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Globo Surf Snorkel Sunscreen Review

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Going on a snorkel tour next week and wanted to find some safe sunscreen for snorkeling that doesn't hurt coral reef. Glad you had such an in depth article.
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