It’s a beautiful day and you’re planning to spend it outdoors soaking up the sun. As you reach for your sunscreen, you pause. Lately, you’ve been hearing about non-toxic sunscreens that protect your skin from UV rays and don’t have harmful chemicals.
But, it’s difficult to tell which “natural” or “organic” products are truly non-toxic and which ones are just using buzzwords. I’ve been there myself. In fact, I made the switch to clean beauty products about four years ago, and it was no small task. No worries though. This post is filled with the best natural sunscreen options making your search a breeze. Let’s dive right in.
Which Natural Sunscreen is Best?
When it comes to selecting the best natural sunscreen, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. The “best” sunscreen for you depends on your skin type, sensitivity, and what you’re using it for. Other factors like SPF, broad-spectrum protection, and water resistance are important too. Keep reading to see our top recommendations for non-toxic sunscreens.
Meet the Attitude Mineral Sunscreen is a class apart from your regular sunscreens. This gem not only has your skin covered against both UVA and UVB rays, but it also does the job without any fragrances. Unlike many sunscreens that focus on either UVA or UVB, ours takes a comprehensive approach, fending off the deep skin damage caused by UVA and the nasty sunburns from UVB. The special ingredient? Non-nano zinc oxide – a natural element that you can trust. But don’t just take our word for it, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) rates it highly too. In fact, it’s on their list of top-rated sunscreen moisturizers. And hey, it’s not just for adults, the kids can use it too. So if you’re after safe sun care for the whole family, the Attitude Mineral Sunscreen is a no-brainer.
Choose Suntegrity Mineral Sunscreen for a body sunscreen that’s good for your skin and the environment. This product provides SPF 30 protection against UVA and UVB rays. What makes it stand out from the crowd is its unique chemical-free formula. No parabens, phthalates, or mineral oil, just a non-greasy formula that glides onto the skin.
But that’s not all! This product has antioxidants from organic ingredients like Green Tea Extract, Cucumber Extract, and Pomegranate Seed Oil. These antioxidants protect the skin. If you’re vegan or love animals, you’ll like that it’s cruelty-free with no animal testing or ingredients.
Plus, it’s reef-safe, crafted carefully to be harmless to aquatic life. As an added bonus, its eco-friendly packaging is another reason to fall in love with it. Suntegrity Mineral sunscreen comes in a sugarcane tube, shaving off a bit of your environmental footprint.
Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen is a wonderful sunscreen for kids. It is high-quality and protects against UVA and UVB rays. This sunscreen contains 18.4% zinc, which is a safe and effective ingredient. It’s also enhanced with organic oils, ensuring skin stays moisturized and comfortable.
This product is made for sensitive skin. It has no fragrance, is hypoallergenic, and doesn’t irritate. It even rubs in clear, avoiding that ghostly sunscreen appearance. Plus, it’s resistant to water and sweat for up to 80 minutes, making it perfect for active, outdoorsy kids.
Don’t forget about Babo’s exclusive Nutri-Soothe Complex! It’s a special mix of vitamins and antioxidants that help keep your skin healthy. Lightweight and ultra-sheer, Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc sunscreen feels comfortable on the skin, so children won’t fuss when it’s time to reapply.
Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen is a game-changer. It has many benefits and doesn’t have the usual problems of traditional sunscreens. This product is great for sensitive skin, darker tones, or an active lifestyle. It is invisible, lightweight, and scentless. Even your digital devices won’t be able to harm your skin as it filters blue light, in addition to protecting against UVA, UVB, and IRA rays. Bonus points for also serving as an impressive makeup primer that delivers a shine-free, smooth finish.
What truly makes this sunscreen stand out is its commitment to both your skin and the environment. It’s crafted without harmful chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate, making it a reef-friendly choice. The inclusion of frankincense and meadowfoam seed in the formulation ensures your skin is nourished while being protected.
And, here’s the cherry on top – it’s also beard-friendly! So, guys, this one won’t mess up your facial hair. All these reasons make it an exceptional SPF product for anyone looking to protect and nourish their skin while being mindful of the environment.
ThinkSport Mineral Sunscreen is perfect for athletes and people who enjoy being active outside. It offers broad-spectrum UVA & UVB protection, making it ideal for sensitive skin and everyday use. Application is a breeze thanks to its non-greasy, easy-to-apply SPF 50+ lotion, which is free from chemical scents.
The sunscreen’s mineral formula is vegan and Leaping Bunny certified. And, it’s free from harmful ingredients like PABA, parabens, phthalates, BPA, and toxic chemicals. Plus, it doesn’t contain oxybenzone, avobenzone, petroleum, gluten, or dairy. It’s water-resistant too, earning FDA approval for maximum water resistance.
ThinkSport Mineral Sunscreen goes beyond protection, offering trust and transparency with accurate ingredient lists and a pleasant natural scent. So, if you’re in the market for a sunscreen that cares as much about your health as you do, this could be your sunny day game-changer.
If you’re all about sun protection that also gives your skin a little TLC, then you might just love Pacifica Sea & C Vegan Sunscreen. This isn’t just your everyday sunscreen; it’s a fusion of skincare and sun protection. It includes a powerhouse combo of Vitamin C and marine plant extracts that are great for your skin.
This body spray sunscreen packs an SPF of 30 and provides broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Whether you’re at the beach or at a pool party, this sunscreen has got you covered. It’s water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, so you can play hard without worrying about reapplication. Plus, it smells amazing! It features a delightful natural vanilla and orange scent that’s sure to make you feel like you’re on a tropical vacation.
And it’s not picky about skin types either, everyone can use it. The sunscreen comes in a continuous spray aluminum bottle, making it easy to apply and ensuring you’re covered from every angle. It’s a fantastic choice for those who want their sun protection to do double duty and care for their skin.
If you’re into skincare and looking for a daily sunscreen that’s a real all-rounder, give Odacite Sheer Sunscreen a shot. It’s so much more than just a sunscreen. With its lightweight, fluid texture, it’s perfect for everyday use and lets you step out with confidence, knowing you’re shielded from both UVA and UVB rays with a whopping SPF 50.
But this all-star doesn’t stop at protection; it battles signs of aging too. Thanks to its unique Sun Repair Complex, your skin gets pampered with Niacinamide, Green Tea, Squalane, Chamomile, and Calendula. While the Niacinamide works on evening out your skin tone, the Green Tea, brimmed with antioxidants, takes on the job of skin repair.
Let’s not forget the hydrating Squalane, or the soothing Chamomile and Calendula that work together to hydrate and soothe your skin. With a fast-absorbing formula that leaves a sheer finish, it’s the perfect final step in your morning skincare routine.
Let’s chat about Coola Organic Mineral Sunscreen. Now, this isn’t just any old sunscreen. It’s a rockstar SPF 50 lotion that’s got your back (and front, and arms, and legs) for a solid 80 minutes in the water.
It’s all about the details with this one. It’s powered by non-nano Zinc Oxide that leaves your skin matte and protected from the sun. Plus, it’s packed with plant-based antioxidants that wage war against those annoying free radicals while also nourishing your skin.
Not a fan of perfume? No worries! This sunscreen is fragrance-free, so it won’t mess with your vibe.
But here’s what really sold me: it’s a green goddess. Coola Organic Mineral Sunscreen is compliant with the Hawaii Reef Compliant Act 104, and it’s vegan, gluten-free, and paraben-free. So while you’re out there catching waves and soaking up the sun, you can feel good about doing your part to keep our planet beautiful.
The Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Daily Defense Sunscreen SPF 30 is an exceptional sunscreen that offers more than just skin protection. This product is designed for individuals who want to combat harmful sun rays, free radicals, and oxidative damage—all at once. It’s an amazing ally in the fight against photoaging and works diligently to maintain a youthful-looking complexion.
What sets it apart from the crowd? It’s packed with potent antioxidants that not only provide essential moisture but also help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Moreover, it’s crafted from the highest quality ingredients without any compromise. The product has been developed, tested, and made right here in the USA. And let’s not forget, it’s certified cruelty-free, meaning no animal testing now or in the future. It’s a game-changer for anyone seeking an effective, ethical, and quality sunscreen solution.
Unsun Cosmetics Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen is the ultimate triple-threat skincare product you’ve been looking for. It serves as a sunscreen, provides a hint of color for that picture-perfect look, and acts as a primer. It’s like an all-rounder in a bottle. With SPF 30 mineral sun protection, it’s got your skin’s back when it comes to those harmful UV rays. But the real MVP is the residue-free formula. None of that sticky aftermath you dread so much. Also, it’s available in two shades, light/medium and medium/dark, so you can find your perfect match.
The infusion of botanical extracts like coconut, safflower, beet, and tangerine helps quench your skin’s thirst without making it feel like you’ve bathed in oil. If you’re someone who appreciates multi-purpose products and wants to keep your skincare game strong, yet simple, this sunscreen will tick all your boxes. Ideal for daily wear, it’s a surefire way to step up your skincare routine. So why would you love it? Because it’s everything your skin needs in one, and it promises to leave your skin feeling and looking flawless. Now, that’s a win-win if you ask me.
For those living an active lifestyle, the Juice Beauty Sport Sunscreen is your new BFF to beat the sun’s harmful rays. It’s all about broad-spectrum sun protection with an SPF 30 and a water-resistant formula, specifically designed for those outdoor adventures. But hey, this isn’t just a sun warrior.
It’s also a skin-nourishing superhero, packed with a blend of organic jojoba, soothing aloe, and other beneficial vitamins and antioxidants that love your skin. For the eco-conscious among us, you’ll dig that it’s made with certified organic ingredients and even packaged in sustainable FSC paper. So, while your skin’s soaking up that good stuff, you’re also showing a little love to Mother Earth.
Which Sunscreen Ingredients Should You Avoid?
While sunscreen is a must-have, not all sunscreens are created equal. Some of the ingredients found in popular sunblock can actually be harmful to your skin and overall health. So, let’s navigate the confusing world of sunscreen ingredients together and find out which ones you should be avoiding.
- Oxybenzone: This chemical is often used in sunscreens for its ability to absorb UV light. However, it has been linked to hormone disruption and potential damage to coral reefs when washed off in the ocean.
- Octinoxate: Like oxybenzone, octinoxate is commonly used due to its UV-filtering abilities. But it’s also known to disrupt hormones, and it can be harmful to wildlife and the environment.
- Retinyl Palmitate: This form of vitamin A may speed up the development of skin tumors and lesions when applied on the skin in the presence of sunlight, according to certain studies.
- Homosalate: Used to help sunscreen penetrate the skin, homosalate has been linked to hormone disruption.
- Parabens: These preservatives (including methylparaben, Propylparaben, and butylparaben) are used to prolong the shelf life of sunscreens. They’ve been linked to hormone disruption and potential breast cancer risk.
- Phthalates: Though not an active ingredient in sunscreen, these chemicals can be found in the fragrance mix used in some products. They have been associated with hormone disruption and potential reproductive problems.
Remember, the above ingredients are not exhaustive of all potentially harmful chemicals in sunscreens, but they are among the most commonly used. It’s always a good idea to read product labels and research any unfamiliar ingredients.
Why Should You Use Non-Toxic Sunscreen?
Choosing non-toxic sunscreen is not only beneficial but essential for both our health and the environment. These sunscreens don’t have the harmful chemicals we talked about earlier. These chemicals can mess with our hormones and maybe even cause health problems later on. They’re designed to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays without relying on these risky ingredients. Plus, non-toxic sunscreens are generally more eco-friendly. When sunscreen ingredients, such as oxybenzone and octinoxate, wash off our skin and enter the ocean, they can harm aquatic life and coral reefs. By choosing non-toxic sunscreen, you’re taking a stand for your health and for our planet.
What is Sunscreen?
Sunscreen (also known as sunblock or suntan lotion) is a product that you apply to your skin to protect it from the sun’s UV rays. It works by reflecting, absorbing, and/or scattering the energy from those rays before they reach our skin, thus preventing sunburns and other skin damage. Sunscreen is a must if you’ll be spending any amount of time outside, especially during the peak summer months. It’s important to note that sunscreen does not block out all UV rays and should not be used as an excuse for extended exposure to the sun. Make sure you also stay in the shade and cover your skin with long-sleeved shirts, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat.
What is SPF?
The sun protection factor (SPF) of a sunscreen product measures the amount of time it takes for UVB rays to cause skin damage when wearing sunscreen compared to how long it would take without any sunscreen at all. The higher the SPF number, the greater the level of protection against those damaging rays. For example, SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays while SPF 30 protects 97%. It’s important to make sure the sunscreen you’re using is labeled “broad spectrum” in order to have protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Additionally, it’s recommended that you use an SPF greater than 30 for maximum protection. Remember to reapply often, especially if you’re swimming or sweating, as sunscreen can wear off after a few hours of activity.
How Do You Protect Against UVA Rays?
UVA rays have a longer wavelength than UVB, meaning they penetrate the skin more deeply and are harder to block. To protect against UVA rays, make sure you use a sunscreen labeled “broad spectrum.” This means that it provides protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Additionally, avoid direct sun exposure during peak hours (10 AM to 4 PM) and wear protective clothing such as hats, long-sleeved shirts, and sunglasses.
Additionally, seek out sunscreens that include physical blockers like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to provide UVA protection. Chemical filters like avobenzone are also commonly used in sunscreens to absorb UVA rays before they can do any damage. It’s important to check the ingredients of your sunscreen to make sure it includes one or more of these components.
Is Spray or Lotion Sunscreen Better?
Both spray and lotion sunscreens provide effective protection, and which one you use is ultimately up to personal preference. Sprays are easier to reach hard-to-reach areas but can be challenging to apply evenly. Lotion sunscreens require more time and effort for application but are usually easier to ensure even coverage. Whatever type of sunscreen you choose, make sure you apply enough to cover all exposed skin and reapply as needed.
FAQs about Natural Sunscreen
11 Best Chemical-Free Sunscreens
Non-toxic sunscreens are a game-changer in sun protection. These eco-friendly options not only shield your skin from harmful UV rays but also contribute to the health of our marine ecosystems. Remember, sun safety isn’t just about protection, it’s about using products that are kind to our skin and the environment. So, the next time you’re stocking up on sun protection, consider going the non-toxic route.
Now it’s your turn. Have you tried any of the non-toxic sunscreens on this list? Let me know in the comments below!