Watermans is Proud to be a Reef Friendly Sunscreen

Protect yourself, or protect nature? Increasingly, reports are confirming that some sunscreen ingredients are damaging the ocean’s coral reefs, and reducing their ability to deal with climate change.

But you don’t have to choose between taking on dangerous UV rays or keeping the reefs healthy. Watermans is committed to being a reef friendly sunscreen, so that you aren’t doing harm to the natural world when you use them.


Our fragile and complex coral reef systems are vital to the Earth’s ecosystems. That’s because they support thousands of species of fish, coral, and other creatures that live within them and on and around them. Corals protect land masses by dissipating storms, are a likely place to find compounds that might cure diseases and other conditions, and provide food to more than a billion people on this planet by sheltering so many types of animals.

In addition, coral reefs attract tourism dollars that support local economies. But they are receding - some reports say up to 80 percent of the reefs in the Caribbean are gone, and the numbers keep getting higher. The remaining reefs need to be protected.


Around 14,000 tons of sunscreen lotion end up in coral reefs around the world each year. Chemicals inside these non reef friendly sunscreens damage the health of coral, harm developing coral, and “bleach” them by leaching corals of their nutrients. This actually causes them to appear white. Certain active chemicals in sunscreen can also disrupt the development of fish and other types of wildlife. These effects can make corals more vulnerable to temperature changes caused by the warming of the earth, exacerbating the problems of climate change.


Even small efforts to reduce chemical pollution in the world’s oceans can make a difference to the survival and recovery of coral reefs. In areas where conservation is critical, the use of Watermans can be a good alternative to other sport sunscreens. This is because, in addition to being Oxybenzone free (thats the bad stuff), Watermans products stay on the skin.  That’s thanks to our patented AQUA-ARMOR technology which won’t splash or sweat off, but can easily be removed with a quick soap scrub.

And, when sunscreen remains on your skin, it’s more effective and it’s not releasing chemicals that will negatively affect ocean life. Our products have been tested to stay on skin for eight hours even when you are constantly submerged in water, providing 97 percent or more of its maximum SPF protection that entire time. This way, our reef friendly sunscreen gives you the best of both worlds; you can protect yourself, and keep coral reefs from being harmed as well.

At Watermans, we’re outdoor enthusiasts just like you. That means we understand that part of enjoying and relishing the outdoors means we need to protect the ecosystems and habitats that make nature so marvelous. That’s why we offer products that protect humans, protect wildlife, and help preserve our environment.

Looking for reef-friendly sunscreen that stays on your skin and not in the ocean? Find out more about Watermans high-performance products here