Whether you’re headed to the beach for the day or spend a few minutes outside here and there, wearing sunscreen is one of the most important ways you can shield yourself from damaging UV rays. If you find yourself easily irritated by most sunscreens or you prefer clean beauty products, choose a physical one instead of a chemical one.
Physical sunscreens (also known as mineral sunscreens) are formulated with zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide and create a barrier on your skin, whereas chemical sunscreens are formulated with ingredients like oxybenzone and avobenzone to actually absorb the sun’s rays. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) says chemical filters like oxybenzone may cause allergic reactions and even act as a hormone disruptor, although more research is needed in that area. That being said, there are plenty of physical sunscreens that will help keep you sun-safe. Pick one that’s SPF 30 or higher, and make sure it’s broad-spectrum, meaning it protects against UVA and UVB rays—since both cause damage.
Where to start? See below: Each of these clean, non-toxic sunscreen has been highly rated by the EWG. (And we are big fans, too.)
Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30 ($34, sephora.com): In addition to sun protection, this broad-spectrum physical sunscreen is jam-packed with antioxidants like grape juice extract that shield you from free radical damage, which causes skin aging.
Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer ($30, dermstore.com): If you have oily skin, you’ve probably experienced a sunscreen-induced breakout or two. This moisturizer with SPF is oil-free and formulated with ingredients that detox skin, like lemon balm leaf.
Goddess Garden Organics Sport Natural Sunscreen Continous Spray ($14.99, cvs.com): Spray sunscreens are super-convenient for the beach, and you don’t have to worry about them leaving you looking chalky. This spray is reef-safe (it won’t damage precious coral reefs) and biodegradable. If you want to use a spray sunscreen on your face, spray it into your hands first, then apply to your face.
Beautycounter Protect Stick Sunscreen (Body) ($34, beautycounter.com): Stick sunscreens are another easily portable form of SPF—no spills in your beach bag here. This stick sunscreen glides on without a white cast and is oh-so-moisturizing thanks to the organic cocoa butter in its formula.
MDSolarSciences Mineral KidCreme SPF 40 ($28, mdsolarsciences.com): Although this sunscreen is marketed to kids, it’s safe for use on anyone six months or older. The formula is free of fragrance and oil, so this is a great non-irritating pick if you have sensitive skin, regardless of your age.
MyChelle Dermaceuticals Sun Shiend SPF 28 Coconut ($20, mychelle.com): Does any scent scream summer more than coconut? Nope! That’s why this lightly scented physical sunscreen soothing aloe and vitamin E is worth a spot in your summer skin care rotation.
Marie Veronique Everyday Coverage Tinted Sunscreen, SPF 30 ($48, credobeauty.com): For days when you want a little coverage without having to layer multiple products on top of your face (not so ideal on hot, humid days), pick a tinted sunscreen. This one is chock full of ingredients that prevent sun damage, like red raspberry seed oil and sea buckthorn oil.
All Good Unscented Lip Balm SPF 20 ($3.50, allgoodproducts.com): The lips are all-too-often forgotten when it comes to sun protection—but this seriously softening lip balm with SPF will make you want to keep reapplying it throughout the day.
More on natural beauty products:
- The best natural deodorants to try.
- Why you should have a bundle of eucalyptus in your shower.
- Five non-toxic beauty products to try immediately.
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