We’ve been told, time and again, to slather on sunscreen every time we go outside, even on overcast days. What is much less publicized is the dizzying array of chemical ingredients found in most sunscreen brands and their impact on human health. But which ones are the best natural sunscreen for your skin?. Fortunately you can have sun protection without coating your largest organ in gobs of dubious compounds…
Mineral Sunblock vs. Chemical Sunscreens
As mentioned as best natural sunscreen, in addition to averting sunburns, wearing sunscreen is considered key to preventing skin cancer and stalling the aging effects of sun damage on the skin. That’s a pretty compelling call to action. But as consumer awareness on chemicals found in everyday products grows, so too do concerns over this coconut-fragranced lotion that promises to protect us from the sun’s harmful UV and UVA rays.
Of the two types of sunscreens on the market today, the chemical ones are the most common. Chemical sunscreens are formulated to adhere to and permeate the skin to absorb UV light. They often contain penetration enhancers to assist in the skin’s absorption, and because of this, the chemical ingredients are frequently found in blood, urine, and breast milk.
Though we’ve thoroughly covered the dangers of chemical sunscreens in a previous article, the ingredients in sunscreen to watch out for are oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate – all of which have been found to disrupt and / or mimic hormones. Oxybenzone – also called benzophenone-3 – is the most prevalent and the most disturbing: this chemical has been detected in more than 97% of the U.S. population, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Mineral sunblock, on the other hand, reflects sunlight away from the skin. Made with the nanoparticles zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, mineral sunblock (also called physical sunscreen) works very differently than chemical sunscreens since it actually blocks and scatters UV light, rather than absorbing it.
Providing strong sun protection, mineral sunblock is the best option for sunscreen to date, since it won’t degrade under sunlight and doesn’t permeate the skin. While there’s no evidence of adverse health effects in conjunction to using mineral sunblock, there has been concern over the inhalation and ingestion of mineral nanoparticles, which can damage the lungs and gastrointestinal tract when consumed in large doses. It is recommended to use creams and lotions and to avoid sprays and powders when using products that contain these minerals.
Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen & Primer, $45
Leave it to this do-it-all moisturizer/primer/SPF 30 to keep your face summer- and selfie-ready. Not only is it providing broad spectrum coverage, but this multitasker boosts your skin’s dewy factor with hyaluronic acid, jojoba oil, and red algae (a nutrient-dense antioxidant). This is on the first position of best natural sunscreen list.
You can buy here, at Amazon.com
Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream SPF 30, $85
An anti-inflammatory sunscreen-slash-moisturizer? Yes, please. This hydrating cream is instantly absorbed into your skin, and delivers reparative plant oils (like sea buckthorn and broccoli oil) and soothing herbal actives (evening primrose and calendula) that clear any redness. There’s zinc oxide in there to keep your face covered—oh, and it finishes with a matte, even complexion.
Buy it now!
Badger All Natural Sunscreen
With an SPF of 30, Badger utilizes the power of zinc oxide to deflect the sun’s harmful UV and UVA rays. Formulated with a total of eight ingredients, Badger also contains extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, jojoba oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, and the extracts of rosemary and seabuckthorn berry, all of which are certified organic. It is an earth-friendly sunscreen, too, that is biodegradable and safe for use in and around aquatic ecosystems like coral reefs. While most mineral sunscreens aren’t waterproof, Badger is water-resistant for at least 40 minutes of swimming or sweating before you need to reapply. The Badger line-up also includes plenty of choice by way of body, facial, and children’s sun protection.
Buy It Here: Badger All Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30, Unscented
Great for fair-skinned people who are more prone to sunburns, this is Tropical Sands’ most protective formula with an SPF of 50. It goes on thick (and will be visible) so it’s ideal for long days in the sun to prevent severe sunburn. It is made with both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, as well as shea butter, green tea extract, coconut oil, eucalyptus oil, sunflower seed oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E, xanthan gum, gluconolactone, glycerin, and lecithin. For those looking for a less visible sunscreen, Tropical Sands also carries a thinner version with an SPF of 30.
Goddess Garden Facial Broad Spectrum Natural Sunscreen SPF 30, $12
This is truly a Goldilocks option—it’s thick and creamy enough where you feel like you’re getting ample protection (and you can tell where on your face it’s actually gone) without being so thick that you really need to rub it in. (The aloe vera-lavender scent doesn’t hurt, either.) Basically, the perfect addition to your daily routine—think of it as the Neutrogena of the natural world.
Find it here: iherb.com
Block Island Organics Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30, $20, Amazon
You know you’re doing something right when you win an award from the Environmental Working Group. This organic natural mineral sunscreen with SPF 30 contains non-nano zinc, which is the safest and most effective UV filter. It’s also gentle on all skin types (even sensitive skin), free of toxins and cruelty free, and is enriched with antioxidants like aloe vera, green tea, and vitamin E. Reviewers call this sunscreen “phenomenal” and say it absorbs fast and is lightweight and free of fragrances. Buy it now!
Supergoop! Skin Soothing Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40, $28, Amazon
If your skin is prone to inflammation and redness, switching to this Supergoop! mineral sunscreen with omega 3 and 6-rich olive polyphenols can help. This broad-spectrum SPF 40 is free of parabens, fragrances, and oxybenzone and reviewers say it doesn’t oxidize or change color after a few hours, is effective in keeping oil at bay, and is perfect for sensitive, acne-prone skin. Buy it here
Juice Beauty SPF 30 Tinted Mineral Moisturizer, $29, Amazon
If you prefer a natural SPF that knows how to multitask, this 4-in-1 tinted sunscreen is a zinc-based broad-spectrum formula that works overtime as a moisturizer and anti-aging lotion and provides a sheer, glowing hint of color, to boot. A blend of grape, aloe, pomegranate, and coconut, sunflower, and jojoba oils work together to hydrate and tone your complexion, while broad spectrum SPF 30 protects your skin from harmful rays. Choose among three adaptable shades: ivory, sand, or tan. Grab it now from Amazon.com
Kiss My Face Cool Sport Natural Sunscreen SPF 50, $11, Amazon
In this list of best natural sunscreen, it can not without Kiss my face. If you prefer natural spray sunscreens to creamy lotions, this cooling sports performance formula will impress with an “air-powered” spray that covers more of your skin at any angle. It’s vegan, gluten and cruelty free, and it’s also rich with flower extracts and nourishing vitamin E. And, thanks to cucumber and aloe, this sunscreen actually cools you down when you apply it. Don’t miss this change. Buy now!
Beauty By Earth
A non-greasy sunscreen for the face, Beauty By Earth is an everyday moisturizer that also protects against wrinkles, fine lines, and sun spots. With an SPF of 20, Beauty By Earth is made with zinc oxide, aloe vera juice, coconut oil, vegetable glycerin, sorbitan sesquioleate, sunflower oil, jojoba seed oil, castor seed oil, glyceryl stearate, rosemary leaf extract, vitamin C, Epsom salts, xanthan gum, argan oil, cucumber fruit extract, and ginkgo biloba extract. Beauty By Earth also offer a full body mineral sunscreen with an SPF 25. Amazon are selling it with 20$
Lightly tinted in natural flesh tones (available in light, fair, golden light, and medium), Suntegrity Skincare is a facial sunscreen that easily blends into your skin without leaving white spots or streaks. Suntegrity offers a bit more bang for your buck, too, with their 5-in-1 formula that acts as a makeup primer, moisturizer, SPF 30 sunscreen, anti-aging and anti-inflammatory cream that helps soothe skin conditions like acne and rosacea. Highly ranked by the EWG, the ingredients list spans zinc oxide, aloe vera juice, coconut oil, jojoba seed oil, Epsom salts, sunflower seed oil, cucumber fruit extract, red algae, green tea extract, and pomegranate oil. You defenitely buy it from Dermstore.com
Kari Gran Three Sixty Five SPF 28, $48
This SPF is like a face oil with superpowers—it’s ultra nourishing (and, if you’re already into oils, means you’ve got one less step in your skin care regimen). The red raspberry and macadamia nut seed oil-based blends seamlessly with your other products, whether it’s concealers or tinted moisturizers, and has an intoxicating nutty smell—almost like marzipan (yum). Buy now!
Vanicream SPF 50+, $19, Amazon
One of Vanicream’s claims to fame (and the reason why so many dermatologists love it) is because it’s totally free of formaldehyde, parabens, all fragrances, lanolins, dyes, and basically every preservative on the block. This natural sunscreen has a super high broad spectrum SPF 50 and is non-comedogenic and won’t cause blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples. Reviewers caution that it can leave a while film behind, so blend, blend, blend! Find it here
Cotz Face SPF 40, $20, Amazon
This lightly tinted bes natural sunscreen with SPF 40 goes on smoothly and it won’t dry out skin, but it’s especially great for oily skin types because the dimethicone in it will leave your complexion matte and ready for makeup. Reviewers say it’s perfect for acne-prone skin, provides a light hint of color, and has a “velvety” texture, rather than a thick, creamy one. Buy at Amazon.com
Sunology Body Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50, $14, Amazon
This fragrance-free, natural sport sunscreen contains titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, but doesn’t have avobenzone, oxybenzone, or parabens — so even the most sensitive skin types will get the most out of it. This is a broad-spectrum SPF 50 that is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, is 100 percent cruelty free, and contains the benefits of essential oils like moringa oil, which has been lauded for its ability to clear up acne and hyperpigmentation. It may prove too creamy and rich for the face, so use this only on your body if you’re prone to breakouts.
Beauty By Earth Mineral Sunscreen SPF 25, $14, Amazon
Love to swim, but can’t stand how quickly your average sunscreen vanishes after being exposed to water? Try this water-resistant mineral sunscreen with SPF 25, which is made with 100 percent natural and organic ingredients like aloe vera and plant extracts. This sunscreen is good for all skin types and is eco-friendly and reef safe. Since it’s a physical sunblock, you can also jump onto the beach volleyball court right after applying it — there’s no need to wait 25-30 minutes as is necessary with chemical sunscreens. Buy here
Babo Botanicals SPF 40, $14, Amazon
One of our biggest complaints about any and all sunscreens is that they tend to be greasy and leave behind a white residue. That’s not the case with Babo Botanicals – the best natural sunscreen, which contains 100 percent natural ingredients like sunflower oil, white tea, avocado, and shea butter and was designed for ultra sensitive and allergy-prone skin. This SPF 40 can be used on the face and body (and is safe for babies and kids) and reviewers say it absorbs quickly, won’t leave you looking like a ghost, and will even moisturize your skin as it protects it from UVA and UVB rays. Find it here
Naturopathica Daily UV Defense Cream SPF 50, $58
Extreme winter sports fans, this one’s for you. The new SPF-moisturizer goes on really thick (it’s more of a paste than a lotion)—but you can feel it’s creating a protective barrier for your skin. When you need extra SPF during an Aspen vacation or for snowboarding, it’s ideal—plus it’s super-moisturizing, with shea butter and coconut oil. Just be sure to rub it in. Buy here
Now that your face is taken care of, these are best natural sunscreen that the rest of your body will need. And now that you’re SPF’ed up, check out these tips to choose best sunscreen.