If you’re planning a vacation to Hawaii (and let’s face it, who doesn’t want to be doing that) you should know that some sunscreen in Hawaii is banned. Yep, banned.
If you’re surprised by this, you’re not the only one! Many travelers have no idea that Hawaii has a sunscreen ban. Before you start freaking out that you won’t be able to use sunscreen in Hawaii, don’t worry. It’s not a ban on all sunscreens. It’s only a ban on certain harmful sunscreens, and in actuality, it’s only a ban on selling those sunscreens.
In this post, I’ll give you a quick look at what you need to know about the Hawaii sunscreen ban and I’ll share some suggestions for Hawaii-approved sunscreens.
Legal Stuff: This post may contain affiliate links and/or credit card referral links. Also, we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Hawaii Sunscreen Ban
The Hawaii Sunscreen Ban (SB 2571) went into effect on January 1, 2021. It prohibits the sale and distribution of sunscreens containing the harmful chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate.
As a tourist in Hawaii, it’s not illegal to use sunscreen that contains these ingredients, but it’s in the best interest of the oceans, coral reefs, and your health to avoid them as much as possible.
Read More: Hawaii isn’t the only location to ban harmful sunscreens. Places like Palau, Bonaire, Aruba, and parts of Mexico have also banned harmful sunscreens.
The Best Sunscreen for Hawaii
Before your trip to Hawaii, be sure to stock up on reef-safe sunscreen so you can avoid inflated Hawaii prices.
Look for sunscreen without oxybenzone and octinoxate. These will usually contain mineral sun blockers like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide instead. You can find these reef-safe sunscreens at most major retailers like Amazon and Target.
Another questionable ingredient is avobenzone. While it isn’t part of the Hawaii sunscreen ban it’s still an ingredient you want to avoid when looking for a reef-safe sunblock.
Top 10 Hawaii Reef-Safe Sunscreens:
- Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen, Sensitive SPF 30 (my personal favorite)
- Raw Elements Certified Natural Sunscreen Face + Body SPF 30 (also cruelty-free and biodegradable)
- All Good Sport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
- Kokua Sun Care Hawaiian SPF 50 Natural Zinc Sunscreen (Hawaii-grown ingredients)
- Reef Repair Suncream SPF 30
- Two Peas Organics Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
- TotLogic Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 (No parabens, phthalates, artificial fragrances, or dyes)
- Stream2Sea Biodegradable Mineral Sunblock SPF 30
- Babo Botanicals Sheer Zinc Spray Sunscreen SPF 30 (Cruelty-free; made in the USA by a certified B Corp)
- Thrive Natural Body Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 (Cruelty-free, paraben-free, and vegan)
Hawaii Sunscreen FAQs
Q: What’s the best sunscreen for Hawaii?
A: The best sunscreen for Hawaii is one that doesn’t contain oxybenzone and octinoxate. My personal favorite is Blue Lizard.
Q: What is the sunscreen ingredient banned in Hawaii?
A: The sunscreen ingredients that are banned in Hawaii are oxybenzone and octinoxate.
Q: What is the Hawaii sunscreen law?
A: The Hawaii sunscreen law is from SB 2571 which was signed in 2018 and went into effect on January 1, 2021. It prohibits selling and distributing sunscreens containing the harmful chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate.
Q: Is Neutrogena sunscreen allowed in Hawaii?
A: Any Neutrogena sunscreen is allowed in Hawaii. However, it’s best to look for one that doesn’t contain oxybenzone and octinoxate. A good choice would be Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Mineral Sunscreen or Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Face Mineral Sunscreen.
Q: Is Banana Boat sunscreen allowed in Hawaii?
A: Yes, any Banana Boat sunscreen is allowed in Hawaii. The Hawaii sunscreen ban only applies to sale and distribution. However, it’s best to choose a reef-safe option like Banana Boat 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50.
Q: When did Hawaii ban sunscreen?
A: The bill that banned the sale of some sunscreens in Hawaii was signed in 2018 but didn’t go into effect until January 1, 2021.
Q: Why is sunscreen banned in Hawaii?
A: Certain harmful chemicals in traditional sunscreen have been shown to damage coral and other marine life.
Q: Can you bring banned sunscreen into Hawaii?
A: Yes, you can legally bring any sunscreen into Hawaii, even ones that have been banned. That’s because the ban is only on the sale and distribution of harmful sunscreen. However, it’s best for the oceans if you stick to Hawaii-approved reef-safe options.
A Hawaiian vacation is a dream come true for many travelers. Be prepared for your trip by stocking up on reef-safe sunscreen that doesn’t contain oxybenzone and octinoxate. Use this handy beach trip packing list to ensure you don’t forget anything.