Proving, once again, that Bonaire is a leader in reef conservation, the island’s government unanimously approved a motion to ban all sunscreen products that contain ingredients harmful to coral reefs. This makes Bonaire the second tourist destination in the world to take such a proactive stance against damaging sun protection products. Hawaii enacted a similar ban a few weeks earlier.

In case you are not familiar with the research, oxybenzone, a chemical that is typically found in many sunscreen products, is toxic to corals, stunting their growth and causing viral infections that lead to bleaching. The impact is considerable.

So what is the new rule? After January 1, 2021 it is prohibited on Bonaire to use any sunscreen products that contain oxybenzone.

So what should island visitors plan to use as a suitable, sun-protection substitute? We understand why no one wants to risk a sunburn on a dream Bonaire vacation, so here are a few reef-safe sunscreens. And don’t worry if you forget to pack your own, all these brands are available to purchase on Bonaire. One is even made here! How’s that for buying local?

Island Tribe

Whether you’re going to spend the day windsurfing, scuba diving or just chilling on the beach, Island Tribe offers full-day protection from the sun. Available in different formulas – gel, lotion, spray and stick – this product stays on…and on…and on…giving you total sun protection with one application. You can find Island Tribe at a number of retailers around the island including Warehouse Supermarket, Kiteboarding Bonaire, Toucan Diving and Jibe City.

Learn more about Island Tribe here.


Formulated for those who work, play or sweat in the outdoors, this organic paste offers a sustainable alternative for sun protection. It’s all natural, non-toxic, reef-safe, kid-safe and water/sweat-proof, making it a great choice for all day sun protection. Plus it smells really good, too. You can pick up Manda at Moana Bonaire, the sustainability-focused surf shop in town.

Read more about Manda here.

Tropical Nature

This zinc-based sunscreen is produced on Bonaire by local resident Doreen Crespo. Her concern for the health of her adopted island’s coral reefs was the driving force behind the creation of her oxybenzone-free sunscreen product. Available at a number of local retailers, including MG Bonaire, Dushi Style, Peanuts Fresh Market and Between 2 Buns, you can easily pick up a jar on your next visit.

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