Close your eyes for a second and picture the colours of summer. What are you seeing? Brilliant, bright, bold colours like yellow and red? Or cool, ocean-tones like blue and green? Perhaps it’s the golden sunset glow on your skin? Part of getting that glow comes from ensuring your skin is nourished, hydrated and protected.

What is sunscreen oil?

Sunscreen comes in various forms – as a cream, aerosol spray, lotion or an oil. The main thing to check to see how much protection you are getting is the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) on the label. This tells you how effective the product is at preventing sunburn.

By including the active ingredients that work to block damaging UV rays in formulations with carefully selected oils, the Reef range of sunscreen oils offer various levels of sun protection combined with the nourishment and hydration that gives you that beautiful glow.

What’s the difference between sunscreen oil, lotion and tanning oil?

The main difference between sunscreen oils and lotions is the formulation of the product. Lotions are oils mixed with water, giving them a creamier feel on the skin, while oils are, well, oils. When you are looking for protection from the sun the most important factor is the SPF rating of the product – whether you choose an oil or a lotion is completely up to your personal preference.

Tanning oils are a whole different kettle of fish. They provide hydration but little or no protection when you are in the sun. Some tanning oils with SPF, like Reef Deep Sun Tan Oil SPF6 are not designed to protect your skin from UV damage, while others like Reef Dark Sun Tan Oil contain no SPF protection. A tan is caused by your skin cells producing melanin (pigment that gives the skin colour) in response to exposure to the sun’s damaging UV radiation, and there is no such thing as a safe tan.

Benefits of coconut sunscreen oil

Coconut oil brings a lot to the table when it comes to your skin. Not only is coconut the very scent of summer, but it also keeps your skin looking hydrated and supple while you’re out enjoying those warmer months. Find out more about why Reef products use coconut oil, as well as our two other key oils here.

When looking to get that summer glow, take a look through the Reef range of sunscreen and tanning oils designed to nourish and hydrate your skin.

Frequently asked questions about sunscreen oil and tanning oil


A sunscreen oil is a product that contains ingredients that block or filter harmful UV rays, while moisturising your skin. Products with SPF on the label tell you how much UV radiation is blocked (the higher the SPF number, the better protection for your skin).


The SPF factor on the label will tell you how effective the sunscreen is – the higher the SPF the more UV rays are blocked.


If using an oil, always choose a product with high SPF when in the sun, and follow all the directions for application and reapplication. Tanning oils do not offer protection so use other means to avoid sun damage, such as wearing a hat, clothing that covers your skin, seeking shade and wearing sunglasses.