The Best Sun Cream For Inshore & Offshore Fishing (Reef and Fish Safe)

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When you go flats fishing, you always do it in a stunning tropical environment close to the equator, such as the flats of The Bahamas, Mexico, Belize, Seychelles, and so on. Yes, the waters are crystal blue, the sands are as white as can be, and the views are incredibly beautiful, but the sun is super strong. 

To add to the already intense sunshine, you’ll either be on a flats skiff or wading shallow waters, and you’re doing this from 8 am to 4 pm, and there is no shade to speak of. You can not hide from the sun; therefore, more than any other form of fishing, flats fishing will expose you to the harshest harmful UVA and UVB rays imaginable. 

Having been a fly fishing guide for 250+ days a year for a few years in Seychelles, I can’t stress enough how important it is to protect yourself from the sun. 

I have seen days of fishing trips being cancelled because the angler got too sunburnt on day 1, and their skin needed a break on days 2 and 3. This is the last thing you need, and in addition to a good hat, long sleeves, and a buff, you’ll want the maximum sun protection for flats fishing with you too. 

Join me as we look at the best sun cream for flats fishing and the one I still use whenever I’m out on the water fishing. 

An Overview of Green People Organic Sun Lotion SPF30 

It took me a long time to find a sun cream that could protect my skin while flats fishing which was also natural at the same time. 

The idea of putting a chemical-based cream on my face and body and then baking it in the sun for 200+ days a year wasn’t very appealing, and then I discovered the Green People Organic Sun Lotion SPF30. The Green People lotion is the only suncream I wear now, even while surfing for 3 hours at a time because it’s so good in every way possible. 

The Daily Mail has made this sunscreen their best environmentally friendly for 2022.

What Is It Made From? 

Firstly, it’s made with 84% organic ingredients, which is a huge tick for me. My skin isn’t being plied with horrid chemicals when I use this; it’s the opposite. It’s also full of natural antioxidants that are good for your skin, helping you stay protected while assisting with the healing and repairing of any damage. 

What Are The Core Natural Ingredients, And How Do They Help? 

This sun cream comprises 4 core natural ingredients that help ensure your skin stays happy while casting flies to “tailing” bonefish and “rolling” tarpon. 

The first key ingredient is Aloe vera, which we all associate with after-sun treatments. Aloe vera is antioxidant and nutrient-rich and will naturally soothe and hydrate your skin. 

Next up is Green Tea, which is rich in antioxidants that help protect against free radical damage and also protects collagen to preserve the skin’s structure by inhibiting enzymatic damage. 

Myrrh Oil is an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial astringent that protects the skin and accelerates skin healing. It’s great for healing cracked, chapped, and mature skin. 

Edelweiss can withstand very strong UV light levels at high altitudes and contains high levels of antioxidants to protect against free radical activity. It also contains lignans, which calm the skin, and leontopodic acid, which helps to protect against skin sensitivity. 

You couldn’t have a better lineup of ingredients on your team when battling the harsh effects of the UVA and UVB rays you’ll experience on the flats. 

How Does It Feel On Your Skin? 

When you first apply this sun cream, it does feel a little thicker than oily-based ones, but as you rub it into your face, it feels more like a natural moisturizer. It’s not oily at all, and it leaves your pores unclogged which is great for your skin and really helps you stay cool while you’re on the flats.

Does It Help With Skin Moisture?  

It also helps your skin retain moisture and not dry out to avoid skin peeling from prolonged sun exposure. This equates to a deep tan for longer, so you won’t go home with a white/red peeling face after using this on the flats; you’ll be returning with a tan. 

Is It Ok For Sensitive Skin? 

Yes, it is designed for all skin types and even for people who suffer from prickly heat. So no matter how sensitive your skin is or if you have a skin ailment when you go flats fishing, this sun cream will soothe it instead of angering it. 

How Much UVA & UVB Protection Does It Provide? 

Once you have put this cream on, it forms a natural broad-spectrum UVA and UVB barrier that blocks 97% of the sun’s rays from harming you. It really does work too. I used to put it on at 5:30 am before work and once more at lunch, and I avoided being burned every day. 

Is It Water-Repellent & Reef Safe? 

The sun cream stays put in the water, too, thanks to its water-repellent properties and even when I’m surfing, I can still see it on my arms an hour after getting into the water. It’s also reef safe, so when it does eventually wash off in the water, it will not harm any reef ecosystems it might end up being washed onto. 


  • It contains 84% organic ingredients to ensure your skin stays safe 
  • Packed full of natural antioxidants to protect your skin from the sun 
  • It does not clog your pores and allows your skin to breathe, which helps you to stay cool on the flats 
  • Water-repellent and does not wash off for the first 1-2 hours after application 
  • Great for anyone with sensitive skin and people who suffer from prickly heat
  • It’s reef safe, meaning it will not harm any coral when it gets washed off into the ocean 
  • Provides excellent sun protection with SPF30 
  • It does not wash off or rub off easily 
  • Feels great on your skin 
  • It’s not oily or greasy 
  • Provides broad-spectrum UVA & UVB protection 
  • Award-winning natural sun cream 
  • Moisture retaining for a longer-lasting tan
  • It comes in plant-based packaging that is fully recyclable


  • The suncream is a little bit thick to apply, but once it’s on, it stays put 
  • It is pretty expensive, but it is not the most expensive sun cream by any means 


  • SPF: 30 
  • Organic Ingredients: 84%
  • Non-organic ingredients: 16% 
  • Reef Safe: Yes 
  • Water-repellent: Yes 
  • Key Ingredients:  
    • Antioxidants: Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Chamomilla Recutita (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract*
    • Exfoliant: Gluconolactone
    • Soothing: Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice Powder, Chamomilla Recutita (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract
    • Sunscreen: Isoamyl P-Methoxycinnamate (Naturally Occurring Uv-Filter), Titanium Dioxide [Nano] (Mineral Uv-Filter), Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate

How Does Green People Organic Sun Lotion Perform Overall? 

I believe that Green People SPF30 has performed better than any other sun cream I have ever used for close to ten years now. 

My skin stays healthy and free from chemicals when I fish with it on; it ensures I don’t get sunburnt while actively soothing and helping my skin to heal; plus, it stays on in the water, doesn’t harm the reefs, and lots more. 

This is the one to go for if you’re looking for the best sun cream for flats fishing. 

Which Sun Cream Is The Worst To Use?

Many researchers have concluded that two common chemicals, oxybenzone, and octinoxate, are potentially harmful to aquatic life. Hawaii banned the sale of sun cream with these chemicals in 2018, and recently Key West, Florida, has done the same.

Green People supports the Marine Conservation Society, and for every purchase, the company will donate US$ 0.30 towards this active and important ocean cause. 

Multiple well-known brands have oxybenzone and octinoxate as ingredients; please ensure you read and check the labels before buying any sun creams.

This lotion is a confirmed reef and fish-safe product. Even the packaging is made from sugar cane!

Final Thoughts

Sun cream obviously has an important role for all fishermen, whether saltwater or freshwater anglers. My choice is widely recognized by many worldwide as the best for use out on or near the water.

Thanks for reading this article; I hope it gave you peace of mind about what sun cream to buy and its safe use.

You can read more of my related articles on my two choices for fishing sunglasses, the Costa Del Mar Sampan and the Smith Optics Basecamp; you can match these glasses with a fishing guide shirt to really look the part!

Jamie Melvin