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Love, EP

Welcome to Empower Palette, a magazine blog. Shining light on fashion, beauty and health products that empower women. Don't hesitate to let me know what you want to see on the blog!

4 Reef-Friendly Sunscreen Brands + SPF Makeup

4 Reef-Friendly Sunscreen Brands + SPF Makeup

Sunscreen IS important! No matter the color of your skin, sun exposure and sun damage causes skin aging. Plus, you don’t ever want to think about having skin cancer.

I know many people of color who say they don’t burn or don’t need sunscreen because of their roots and their melanin. This is NOT true. Even in Africa, melanoma is prevalent. Culturally, men and women in Africa moisturize with raw shea butter which naturally has SPF.

If you are worried about white residue, I’ve covered that in this post!

UVB Rays = sunburns (B for burn)

UVA Rays = deeper damage (A for aging, sun spots, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, can lead to skin cancer)

SPF (sun protection factor) made simple: “Anything over 50 is false advertising. No matter the number, you still need to reapply every 2 hours.” - Supergoop!

Why is it important to wear sun protection everyday?

Sun exposure is present throughout all four seasons. The sun penetrates through the windows in your house, apartment, office, and car. If you’re on a bike everyday you’re SOL. I’m kidding haha, I personally love a scooter or a bike especially the electric ones!

Sun or no sun?

I’m not that woman who says hide from the sun or always cover up. If you are not regularly in the sun, I HIGHLY recommend taking what I call a “sunshine break”. Just 5 - 10 minutes sitting or walking in the sun (wearing sunscreen).

I wouldn’t shower or wash up right away. Let the nutrients soak in for a few hours.

Benefits: boosts your mood, vitamin D, boosts immune system, healthier bones, reduces blood pressure, improves brain function & sleep

Is sunscreen reef-friendly & safe for water animals?

There is no specific test to certify a sunscreen as reef-friendly. BUT, make sure to look for sunscreens without oxybenzone and octinoxate.

Hawaii actually passed a bill banning sunscreen with those two ingredients. The new law will go into effect January 1, 2021.

I would also avoid petroleum (mineral oil) and titanium dioxide. Neither are biodegradable. When titanium dioxide interacts with warm sea water it creates hydrogen peroxide.

Also, look for paraben-free.

I’ve listed sunscreens and brands that infuse sunscreen into everyday makeup and skincare. TIP: You can apply sunscreen over or under your makeup.

Before you get to that list, I’ve created another list of oils that naturally contain SPF!

Natural Sunscreens:

Highest SPF (~20-40): carrot seed oil, raspberry seed oil & wheatgerm oil

Low to Medium SPF (~4-15): avocado oil, soybean oil, coconut oil, shea butter, olive oil, macadamia nut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, sunflower oil & sesame oil

1. Supergoop!

  • Woman-owned by Holly Thaggard

  • Cruelty-free

  • Mostly vegan products

  • Free of oxybenzone & octinoxate

  • Read the full list of ingredients they DON’T use here

  • Read their Sun 101


We’re here to change the way you think about sunscreen

No longer is it a sticky, tacky, smelly mess you put up with at the beach. SPF is the most important thing you can do for your skin. Every. Single. Day.™ That’s why we’re constantly creating new products that you’ll love, so wearing SPF isn’t a chore, but a ritual. Not to mention it should be fun too.

- Supergoop!

I have LOTS of picks from this brand! 😍

EP’s Picks:

2. Black Girl Sunscreen

  • Woman-owned by Shontay Lundy

  • Vegan

  • Cruelty-free

  • Free of oxybenzone, octinoxate, parabens & fragrance

  • Read their reviews here

 Like many women with dark skin tones, applying sunscreen meant dealing with the white residue left behind by traditional products—and it wasn’t a good look.

Ingredients include avocado, jojoba, cacao, carrot juice (boosts level of melanin in your skin), & sunflower oil.

3. Coola

  • Cruelty-free

  • Mostly vegan products (focuses on plant-based ingredients)

  • Free of oxybenzone & octinoxate

  • Farm to face

EP’s Picks:

This is my go-to brand for sunscreen. I’m OBSESSED with their Guava Mango Organic Sunscreen Spray SPF 50. Everyone I let try it, loves it and the smell! It also comes in travel-size. I bring it on my sunny vacations! Plus, it’s loaded with antioxidants such as cucumber, algae, strawberry, and red raspberry seed oil (natural SPF). 😍

Their other scents are tropical coconut, piña colada & fragrance-free.

 This sunscreen comes out clear, so there is no white residue.

via   COOLA


via   COOLA


Use a few drops like a facial oil on your face and neck OR blend with your skincare and makeup.

Disclaimer: Blending Sun Silk Drops with other products may decrease the claimed SPF value.

Baby Organic Sunscreen Stick SPF 50

via   COOLA


via   COOLA


I support the new freckles, the fair, honey, caramel, bronze, mocha, and dark chocolate!

It all starts with protection and ends with recovery.

Ingredients: aloe vera leaf juice*, sunflower seed oil*, water/aqua/eau, cetearyl alcohol, glycerin, caprylic/capric triglyceride, cetearyl glucoside, saccharomyces/agave americana leaf ferment filtrate**, cetyl palmitate, lavender flower oil*, sweet orange peel oil, mandarin red peel oil, rosemary leaf oil, cedrus atlantica (cedar) wood oil, xanthan gum, rosemary leaf extract*, dehydroacetic acid & benzyl alcohol

*ingredients from organic farming

**made using organic ingredients

4. Bali Body

  • Australian made

  • Cruelty-free

  • Vegan-friendly

  • Free of oxybenzone & octinoxate

EP’s Picks: 

Moisturizing Sunscreen

This only has an SPF of 15. I HIGHLY recommend pairing this with their watermelon tanning oil (SPF 15). Watermelon is great for fighting free radical damage. Eat it, drink it and wear it in the summer!

Watermelon Tanning Oil

Ingredients: grape seed oil, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, homosalate, hydrogenated vegetable oil, octocrylene, butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane, sunflower seed oil, phenoxyethanol, natural watermelon fragrance*, tocopherol (vitamin E), ethylhexylglycerin, soybean oil, watermelon seed extract

*naturally derived

BB Cream SPF15

 + read about more watermelon products

+ more Bali Body & tanning products

+ get sun goddess vibes (before & after sun)

What brand of sunscreen do you use? What brand would you like to see on this list?

Post a comment or question below and don’t hesitate to share this post and help create a cycle of better sunscreen 😘

& remember to allow your authentic self to empower the women around you

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