Best Place to Buy Reef-Safe Sunscreen & Baby Sunscreen [2019]

Best Place to Buy Reef-Safe Sunscreen & Baby Sunscreen

Looking for a reef-safe or baby-safe sunscreen?  We wanted to share our secret for the best place to buy these items.

 Note: This post may contain affiliate links.   What does this mean?

Before we get in to where to buy reef-safe & baby-safe sunscreen, let’s discuss what this is and why it’s important:

What is Reef-Safe sunscreen?

“Reef-safe” sunscreen seemed to gain momentum overnight.  “Reef-safe” is not an FTC regulated term, but most often it refers to the elimination of two ingredients, which are commonly found in traditional, chemical sunscreens:  oxybenzone and octinoxate.


There have been several studies linking these two ingredients to the harm of coral reefs.  It was found that these two ingredients cause bleaching, deformities, DNA damage and death in coral.  The damage to coral reefs is a problem that affects us all, whether we realize it or not.  “They protect cities and communities from the coastal erosion caused by hurricanes and storms (reefs absorb up to 90% of the impact of the waves). They mitigate climate change. They provide abundant fishing and valuable data for medical research (corals have been recognized as potential sources of cancer-fighting medicine). Reefs attract tourism for recreation and their beauty. And they maintain other habitats wealthy in biodiversity. Reefs are nurseries, homes and meal spots for countless creatures and supply tons of seafood for our consumption.


Hawaii, the Virgin Islands, and the city of Key West have all established a ban on sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate, set to take effect January 1, 2021.  These bans would prohibit both the sale and use of these sunscreens.  

How do I know if my sunscreen is “Reef-Safe”?

Read the label.  Look for oxybenzone and octinoxate.  Also, be aware that these chemicals go by other names.  Make sure your sunscreen doesn’t contain any of the following synonymous compounds: 

  • ((RS)-2-Ethylhexyl(2E)-3-(4-methoxyphenyl)) prop-2-enoate
  • Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate
  • Octyl methoxycinnamate
  • Eusolex 2292
  • NSC 26466
  • Parsol MOX
  • Parsol MCX
  • Uvinul MC80
  • (2-Hyroxy-4-methoxyphenyl)- 13 phenylmethanone
  • benzophenone-3
  • Escalol 567
  • Eusolex 4360
  • 4-methoxy-2-hydroxybenzophenone
  • Milestab 9

There’s also a great resource we discuss further below that you can utilize to find a reef-safe sunscreen, or see if the sunscreen you currently have is reef-safe.

What is baby-safe sunscreen?

The two ingredients you need to avoid if you want a “reef-safe” sunscreen, oxybenzone and octinoxate, are also harmful for babies (not-so-surprisingly).  Oxybenzone, for instance, is a known endocrine disrupter. But it’s not just these two ingredients you have to worry about. Most traditional sunscreens have a long list of ingredients that are absorbed into the bloodstream at potentially toxic levels.  

Which sunscreens are reef-safe? Which sunscreens are safest for babies?

You really have to do your research before buying a reef-safe sunscreen or baby sunscreen.  One of our favorite resources for safe sunscreen information is Mamavation.  They have analyzed the ingredients of hundreds of sunscreens and rated them as either “the bad guys”, “the better guys”, and “the best guys” in terms of safety for children and the coral reef.  We recommend sunscreen from Mamavation’s “Best” list, as these are the safest sunscreens on the market (best sunscreen for babies) and are reef-safe.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get to the reason you’re probably here.  Where is the best place to buy reef-safe sunscreen and/or baby sunscreen?

Best Place to Buy Reef-Safe Sunscreen? Best Place to Buy Baby Sunscreen?


Two major reasons Thrive Market is the number one place to buy reef-safe and baby sunscreen:

  1. Non-Toxic Ingredients:  Not all sunscreens on Thrive Market have been reviewed by Mamavation, but all the ones that have been are rated as either “Best” or “Better” (and most fall under the “Best” category).
  2. Almost Always Cheaper

How to Save Money on Sunscreen

Buying a safe, non-toxic (mineral) sunscreen is typically more expensive than the conventional (chemical) sunscreens.  But don’t let price deter you from going the safer route. In almost all cases, we’ve found that Thrive Market has the cheapest prices on reef-safe sunscreen and safe sunscreen for babies!

Let’s compare prices!

We’ve selected several sunscreens from the Mamavation “Best” category, and compared the prices from Thrive Market against two of the most popular retailers: Amazon and Target. Note: These prices are accurate at the time of posting but may fluctuate over time.

Cheapest Place to Buy Non-Toxic Sunscreen | Mineral Sunscreen | Baby Sunscreen | Reef Safe Sunscreen

Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+ (6 ounce)

ThinkBaby Sunscreen (Baby Sunscreen & Reef-Safe Sunscreen)

Thrive Market: $15.49

Amazon: $17.99

Target: $23.99


The price of the Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen is 15% less at Thrive Market compared to Amazon and a whopping 43% less than Target!

Babo Botanicals Baby Skin SPF 50 Mineral Sheer & Gentle Sunscreen Lotion, Unscented, 3 Fluid Ounce

Thrive Market: $12.99

Amazon: $18.95

Target: $14.99

The Babo Botanicals Baby Skin SPF sunscreen is 37% cheaper at Thrive Market vs. Amazon, and 14% cheaper compared to Target.

Raw Elements Face & Body SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen

Raw Elements Face & Body Sunscreen (Safe for Baby and Reef-Safe)

Thrive Market: $15.29

Amazon: $17.49

Target: not sold

The Raw Elements Face & Body sunscreen is 13% less at Thrive Market compared to Amazon.

Badger Baby Sunscreen Cream SPF 30 (2.9 fl oz)

Badger Baby Sunscreen (Reef Safe Sunscreen)

Thrive Market: $10.99

Amazon: $11.49

Target: $13.59


The Badger Baby Sunscreen is 3% cheaper from Thrive Market vs. Amazon and 21% cheaper than Target.

Best Place to Buy Sunscreen?

You probably get the jist.  We’ve found that in almost every case, that reef-safe, non-toxic baby sunscreen is almost always cheaper at Thrive Market than elsewhere.  Sometimes just a little cheaper, but sometimes a lot cheaper. 


Of course, if another store is having a sale or Amazon’s prices change (which seems to happen daily), there may be a better deal elsewhere.

Too Good to Be True?

If you haven’t heard of Thrive Market, there is a slight catch.  There is a membership fee you have to pay to buy from Thrive Market.  It’s $59.95 for an annual membership, which comes out to $5 per month. 

So obviously if you only plan on buying one sunscreen from Thrive Market, it wouldn’t be worth your while to spend $59.95 just to save a couple bucks.

However, we’ve found the Thrive membership to be well worth it. They sell thousands of products cheaper than you’ll find elsewhere.  It’s mostly groceries, but also cleaning supplies, pet supplies, bath & body, etc. The average shopper makes their annual fee back in savings after the second purchase.

Thrive Market offers free shipping over orders of $45 and you can also pick out from a selection of “free gifts with purchase,” which are typically full-sized products!  

They have a free 30 day trial so you can give it a try and gauge if it’s worth it for your family, based on your shopping habits.  If you’re worried you won’t see enough savings to make the annual fee worth it, worry not, as they have a savings guarantee. Basically, they will credit you the difference if you don’t save enough to cover the annual fee cost.  

If you do want to give Thrive Market a try, you can use this link to save 25% off your first order!  

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