Alba Botanica Hawaiian Sunscreen, Green Tea SPF 45 Review

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Sunscreen is probably one of the most well known sunscreens out there. It currently has a 4.2 star rating on amazon, and is actually advertised as biodegradable. However, is this truly a reef safe sunscreen? To know for sure, we'll have to do some digging. 

Best Fea​tures

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    100% Vegetarian Ingredients 
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    No Parabens, Phthalates, Fragrances
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    High SPF
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    Water Resistant

Item Specifics

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Sunscreen is a broad spectrum, biodegradable sunscreen. Biodegradable sunscreen is fairly self explanatory. Just like any other biodegradable product, the best biodegradable sunscreen is able to breakdown naturally into organic components. In terms of sunscreen, this happens after it is exposed to moisture, heat, and natural micro organisms. This makes the best biodegradable sunscreen very environmentally friendly because it minimizes the impact that the sunscreen has on plant and animal life. How do biodegradable sunblocks do this? Well, it is actually rather simple. The biggest difference between the best biodegradable sunscreen and regular sunscreens is the ingredients and chemicals that are used. More specifically, biodegradable sunscreens do not include environmentally harmful ingredients, some of which are hormone disrupters.


Unfortunately, the ingredients is where Alba Botanica Hawaiian Sunscreen loses some points. While it does not contain any of the very serious, reef harming ingredients, there are a few that are a cause for concern. The full list of ingredients for this sunblock are as follows. Active ingredients: Homosalate 10.0% (sunscreen), octocrylene 10.0% (sunscreen), ethylhecyl methoxycinnamate 7.5% (sunscreen), ethylhexyl salicylate 5.0% (sunscreen), titanium dioxide 2.0% (sunscreen). Inactive ingredients Aqua (water), glycerin, cetearyl olivate, cetyl alcohol, glyceryl stearate SE, sorbitan olivate, dimethicone, VP/hexadecene copolymer, caprylic/capric triglyceride, aloe barbadensis leaf juice*, calendula officinalis flower extract*, camellia sinensis leaf extract*, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract*, ginkgo biloba leaf extract, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower/leaf/stem extract*, sodium stearoyl glutamate, tocopheryl acetate, xanthan gum, alcohol, benzyl alcohol, ethylhecyglycerin, phenoxyethanol, potassium sorbate, ssodium benzoate, citronellol, geraniol, hexyl cinnamal, limonene, linalool and fragrance.

As you can see, there are quite a few ingredients that are a cause for concern. For starters, Homosalate and Octocrylene are listed as moderate concerns on the EWG website. Homoslate breaks down into toxic products and can disrupt estrogen, androgen, and progesterone. Octocrylene has relatively high rates of skin allergy. Another one is Phenoxyethanol. This is a chemical, and while it is relatively safe for use around reefs and in natural pools, the risk it poses is to your body. If used constantly and you allow it to accumulate in your body, it has the potential to have an effect on the brain and central nervous system. Not to mention it can also irritate the skin and eyes, while also has the possibility to cause blistering on the skin. Now this can only happen if the ingredient is used a lot and often. Small amounts probably will have no effect. But nevertheless, it is still something that most other sunscreens have avoided.


There are a lot of great features that Alba Botanica Hawaiian Sunscreen has. For starters, this biodegradable sunscreen covers a broad spectrum, which includes both UVA and UVB rays. This way you are protected for both types of solar rays, which is always great to have. 

This sunscreen also has a pretty high SPF level. With 45 SPF, you will definitely not have to worry about getting burned quickly. Pair that with 80 minutes of both water and sweat resistance, and you probably won't have to reapply it for a while. The worst thing is reapplying sunscreen when you are all wet and covered in sand. 

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Sunscreen is free of any reef damaging chemicals and has 100% natural fragrance. It is reef safe, biodegradable, free of animal testing, gluten free, has 100% vegetarian ingredients, and no artificial colors or fragrances. Oh, and it is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation.

About This Company

Started in 1979, Alba Botanica still follows the same mission. To create a vibrant lien of body-loving products that nourish the skin, hair, and soul. All of their products use 100% vegetarian ingredients and are dedicated to making your life better. Of course, their products not only help your body, they also are Earth conscious as well. Alba Botanica does their part by reducing their environmental footprint whenever they can. None of their products are tested on animals and all are free of toxic ingredients. 

Their product line is quite expansive, including products for face, hair, body, and sun. Since we are looking at their sun care products, they include general protection, mineral, spray, sport, kids, facial, lip, tanner, after fun, and treatment. Each made from the same, non-toxic formula. Their sunscreen line by itself is over 15 products. 


Alba Botanica Hawaiian Sunscreen is in fact biodegradable and reef safe. None of the ingredients that are included are harmful pose any damage to the reefs. 

With a 45 SPF and 80 minutes of Sweat and water resistance, you will not have to reapply for quite a while. Now they still recommend reapplying after spending extended amount of time in the water.

This sunscreen is free of parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, animal testing, and gluten. Not to mention it features green tea antioxidants and soothing aloe vera, as well. 


There are a few ingredients that are listed as moderate risk on the EWG website. While these do not pose a risk to the coral, they can pose a small risk to your body. However, the risk is rather low. 

Final Thoughts:

With these ingredients, it is hard to say whether this is a sunscreen that we can highly recommend or not. While it is relatively safe for the environment, the risk is has is about your body. The chemicals included can pose a risk to your body in terms of estrogen and skin allergy, among others. However, the risk is fairly low. EWG lists both of the active ingredients as a 4-6 risk level, which is moderate, but not overly serious. That being said, it is always better to be safe than sorry and if you are reading this site, it is probably because you want to avoid any and all chemicals. 

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    100% Vegetarian
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    45 SPF
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    80 Min. water resistance


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    Contains some chemicals of moderate risk

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Sunscreen Conclusion

Overall, it seems like Alba Botanica Hawaiian Sunscreen is biodegradable and reef safe. However the risk comes to your body. That being said the risk is still low and if you want to try it out you can find it on Amazon for about $9.95. For any other information including the best biodegradable sunscreen, head on back to Green and Growing.

Common Questions

Here are some top questions that I found for people seriously considering buying the Alba Botanica Hawaiian Sunscreen.

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    Is this non-nano sized zinc oxide? Yes, this sunscreen features non-nano sized particles of zinc oxide, which is the only active ingredient.
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    How often should I reapply this sunscreen?  It is recommended that you reapply every 90 minuets or so when you are actively in the water. 

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Patrick Sands

Hey, I'm Pat. I am a Millersville grad with a Bachelors of Arts in English. I love to write, play video games, watch movies and TV, basically be a total nerd whenever I can. Green and Growing is important to me because it allows me to help others be as green and eco-friendly as possible. With Climate Change being what it is, it is even more important for people to get educated about their environment. This website allows me to do my part in that. Also, I'm a huge goof who tries to add some humor into anything I write. Stay Excellent out there!

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