Sunscreens and Coming to Thailand
Since this website is all about life & money saving travel tips, we have a totally outside the box one that will save you big dollars when wandering around Thailand national parks, marine reserves or when visiting beautiful islands and our fantastic beaches.
That tip is to buy your sunscreen before you come to Thailand and to make sure you buy an all natural sunscreen and avoid the overpriced chemical junk you find on the shelves at every seven-11.
Sunscreen in Thailand is Crazy Expensive
Because most people don’t want to waste luggage allowance on big bottles of sunscreen, you’d be forgiven for doing what most travelers do here and just buying some when you land. Sadly though, this is a mistake and you’ll be paying through the nose for it for the rest of your stay.
Thailand pharmacies and seven-11’s know that us whitey fair skinned types desperately need sunscreen, so the locals crank the price up to around triple what you pay in your home country. Basically the further you go into the country side, or when visiting any of the Island hot spots here, like Phuket, Phi Phi, Koh Samui, Koh Tao or Koh Phangan, the more expensive sunscreens get.
Look, if you don’t mind paying 20$ – 25$ USD for a small bottle of ineffective sunscreen that will likely leave you sun burned anyway, than you can simply buy that at most convenience stores.
But if you like to protect your skin and don’t want to spend your holiday burned to a crisp under our extreme tropical sun, follow these instructions.
Purchase Reef Repair Sunscreen From Dive Shops!
Thankfully in Thailand there is now a company called Reef Repair, who has a mission to make sunscreen here affordable and moral again.
Basically if you didn’t already know it, most chemical sunscreen is highly toxic to coral reefs. Active ingredients like Oxybenzone, Avobenzone and Octioxate can literally wipe out coral reefs just by too many people snorkeling over the top of them while wearing chemical based sunscreen.
So Reef Repair, said hey, stuff this, and made an all natural reef safe sunscreen that works even better than most of the chemical ones, is 100% reef safe, contains no carcinogens or parabens and feels like you are not wearing sunscreen at all.
That means you can use it on your face, your children, your children’s children and be safe in the knowledge you are protected from skin cancer and sun burns when holidaying here, believe me it will only take you a few minutes to burn here when riding your scooter or going to the beach.
The best part though, for a big bottle it is only 15$, small bottles are 10$, making it actually cheaper than most of the big brand name alternatives. You can now find Reef Repair sunscreen in almost any dive shop in Thailand or hotel boutique.
Buy Sunscreen in Your Country
Don’t stress about finding a specific brand of sunscreen here in Thailand. If you have a sunscreen you like, bring it with you, trust us when we say it will save you money, heck it will probably make you some friends on every island you visit or any boat tour you go on. Sunscreen is liquid gold here in Thailand.
The one thing to be wary of though is that beach authorities and tourist operators are now very very very protective of the environment. Toxic chemical sunscreen is on the same list as single use plastics, which means it can be taken off you or you won’t be allowed to bring it onto some islands, inside of the national parks or use before scuba diving and snorkeling tours.
You can even be fined for being caught with single use plastic or toxic sunscreen. Fines will vary depending on where you are and who you are talking to, as with most of Thailand.
To ensure your home brought sunscreen doesn’t get thrown out or taken off you, please only bring natural sunscreen with you. There is a ton of good natural sunscreen available now that uses environmentally friendly natural minerals to protect your skin from the sun.
If your local store has no environmentally friendly sun cream, try getting some on Amazon, just punch in reef safe sunscreen and grab one before you get here and help protect Thailand’s beautiful natural environment.