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19 Natural Sunscreens for Sustainable Sun Protection

Don't settle for run-of-the-mill sun protection - amp up your beach game with these eco-friendly natural sunscreens options.

16 min read
Photo-Illustration: Catchy Shopper; Photos: Retailers

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Spending time in nature is one of life's simple pleasures. It's invigorating, and refreshing, and can work wonders for our physical and mental health. However, as we bask in nature's charm, we must also protect ourselves from the sun's dangerous UV rays. Conventional sunscreens may offer a quick solution, but did you know they contain chemicals that can harm your skin and the environment? Fortunately, natural sunscreens packed with minerals and plant-based ingredients offer a safe and effective alternative. In this post, we'll reveal the critical differences between natural and regular sunscreen and why it's essential to make the switch to natural. Plus, we'll highlight the top 19 natural sunscreens that'll keep your skin protected while you soak in the beauty of the great outdoors- free from worry, and full of bliss.

What is Natural Sunscreen?

Natural sunscreen, also referred to as mineral sunscreen, is a sun protection option that harnesses the power of minerals such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to shield the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. These minerals work by forming an invisible barrier on the skin's surface, reflecting the sun's dangerous rays away from you.

Unlike regular sunscreens, natural sunscreens are free of chemical ingredients such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, and avobenzone, which can harm your health as well as the environment. Not only is choosing a natural sunscreen safer for you and your family but it also provides superior broad-spectrum coverage without irritating or causing allergic reactions or hormone disruptions.

What’s more, natural sunscreens are biodegradable which makes them an ideal choice for ocean lovers who care about preserving our fragile marine ecosystems. So whether you’re packing your bags for a beach vacation or simply lounging in the summer heat, don’t forget to bring along some natural sunscreen - it’ll make sure that you stay healthier and protect the environment at the same time!

How to Choose the Right Natural Sunscreen

When it comes to selecting a natural sunscreen for yourself and your family, there are a few important factors to keep in mind.

  • Firstly, look out for those sunscreens that contain minimal ingredients, as the fewer components they have, the more gentle and effective they usually are.
  • Secondly, it’s always beneficial to check customer reviews and ratings so you can get an idea of what other people think of the product.
  • Finally, don't forget to take note of the SPF rating on your chosen sunscreen - this stands for Sun Protection Factor and is classified by numbers ranging from 15-50+; the higher the number, the better its protective capabilities against UVA and UVB rays.

Keep these tips in mind when shopping around for natural sunscreen, then make a choice that best fits your needs and ensures you're getting top-notch protection from the sun's harmful rays!

Our Favorite Natural Sunscreens to Try

When it comes to finding a natural sunscreen that’s dependable, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly, the market can be saturated with options. To make your choice easier and break it down for you, we’ve put together a list of our favorite natural sunscreens! Not only do these products protect your skin from the harsh UVA and UVB rays but they are also gentle enough for every type of skin without the fear of irritation or allergies. Read on to find out more about each one and why these natural sunscreens deserve their top spots in our books!

Badger Sport Sunscreen – SPF 40

Looking for a surefire way to protect your skin from the sun and bask in its revelry without worrying about harmful UVA and UVB rays? This top-rated, waterproof option uses zinc oxide, a safe mineral-based ingredient that forms an additional protective layer between you and the sun’s damaging rays. What’s more, it’s non-greasy, moisturizing, made with just four simple ingredients (zinc oxide, sunflower oil, beeswax & vitamin E), cruelty-free, gluten-free and non-GMO! Plus these natural sunscreens come in 50% recycled tubes - so they’re kinder to the planet too.

It is no surprise that this sunscreen has impressed many with its 4.5-star average rating and over 1,100 five-star reviews. One user raved: “I chose this sunscreen after reading an article about what makes a safe sunscreen. The ingredients stay on the skins surface and aren’t absorbed because of the molecular structure, making it safer to use. It provided excellent coverage for hours in the sun. I highly recommend it."

It is ideal for outdoor activities due to its light formula that stays intact during intense physical activity as well as offers necessary protection from scorching solar radiation levels; whether it be running marathons or surfing waves at dawn. Seriously – you can't go wrong with this one!

ThinkSport Safe Sunscreen – SPF 50+

Say goodbye to the days of nasty, greasy sunscreens and hello to the future of skin protection with ThinkSport Safe Sunscreen – SPF 50+. This highly-rated sunscreen uses no biologically harmful chemicals such as avobenzone, oxybenzone, or UV chemical absorbers. Not only is it non-toxic and gentle on sensitive skin, but it's also an easy-to-apply formula that quickly absorbs into your skin without leaving a sticky residue; perfect for achieving moisturized skin without any unpleasant scent.

This fast-absorbing SPF 50+ sun lotion has won the hearts of many; receiving an impressive 4.5-star average rating and over 4,700 five-star reviews. One user raved: “The best coverage for a sunscreen in all my years that I've used. No adverse skin reaction and no feeling like your pores are clogged and skin is smothered. That this sunscreen product is eco-friendly only makes it even better."

All Good Sport Sunscreen – SPF 30

The sun’s harmful UV rays have met their match with All Good Sport Sunscreen – SPF 30. Not only is it organic and reef-friendly, but this sunscreen provides your skin with full UVA and UVB protection while nourishing your body with antioxidant-rich ingredients like green tea, rose hips, coconut oil, jojoba oil, and nourishing shea butter. Formulated to be hydrating and easy to rub in, this lotion spf won’t leave your skin feeling oily or sticky thanks to its light formula that stays intact during intense physical activity. As one reviewer put it: “Like this sunscreen. There’s no scent and it doesn’t irritate my skin. I wish it came in larger tubes, I use a lot of it."

It's no wonder why All Good Sport Sunscreen has received an impressive 4.5-star average rating and over 800 five-star reviews; this reef-friendly sunscreen is the perfect blend of sun protection, natural ingredients, and convenience!

Sun Bum Mineral Sunscreen – SPF 50

Say goodbye to sun damage and hello to the perfect day in the sun with Sun Bum Mineral Sunscreen – SPF 50. This vegan and cruelty-free sunscreen is enriched with Zinc Oxide and uses Broad Spectrum protection to guard your skin against both UVA/UVB rays. One user raved about this reef-friendly sunscreen: “This sunscreen is lightweight, non-greasy, and fragrance-free. Because it's zinc-based, it does leave a little white cast on your skin (like all zinc-based products)."

It’s no wonder why Sun Bum Mineral Sunscreen has received an impressive 4.5-star average rating and over 2,400 five-star reviews; this mineral sunscreen provides excellent broad-spectrum protection that suits even the most conscious consumers!

BurnOut Eco-Sensitive Sunscreen – SPF 35+

This environmentally friendly sunscreen offers reliable protection from UVA/UVB rays thanks to its non-nano zinc oxide formula. It’s also fragrance-free, making it a great option for those with sensitive skin. One user raved about this broad-spectrum sunscreen: “I have very sensitive skin and this glides on without being white and too greasy. Finally found my sunscreen. Happy customer." And for those with darker skin tones, the aloe vera-based ingredients can provide whitening benefits!

It’s no wonder why BurnOut Eco-Sensitive Sunscreen has received an impressive 4.3-star average rating; this eco-sensitive sunscreen is perfect for people looking for reliable sun protection suitable even for sensitive skin!

Raw Elements Sunscreen – SPF 30+

Reef-safe and biodegradable, this zinc oxide-based sunscreen is free of synthetic fragrances, parabens, and phthalates. Plus, it's soy-, gluten- and nut-free so everyone can use it with peace of mind. It's easy to apply too - just spread a generous layer over your face to get up to 80 minutes of water resistance protection (reapply sunscreen as often as needed). What's more, its nourishing formula contains antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can help keep your skin healthy long after environmental exposure.

What do people think? Judging by the 4.1-star average that one reviewer said "This sunscreen prevented burn, unlike other mass-produced brands. We spent two weeks in Hawaii hiking and swimming. We didn’t have any burns at all." So if you're looking for an effective zinc oxide face sunscreen that will protect your skin without leaving behind unsightly white residue or exposing you to harsh chemicals, try Raw Elements Sunscreen SPF 30+ today!

Alba Botanica Sensitive Sunscreen – SPF 50

With a hypoallergenic vegetarian formula free of harsh chemicals, this broad-spectrum SPF spray sunscreen is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. Featuring nourishing ingredients like aloe vera, chamomile, and avocado oil, it'll also leave you feeling smooth instead of sticky. Plus, it's water-resistant for up to 80 minutes so you won't have to worry about reapplying constantly while at the beach or pool.

Well, with an impressive 4.4-star average and over 3,100 five-star ratings from reviewers, the consensus seems to be positive! One reviewer said: "Finally a CLEAN spray sunscreen that works! This goes on clear and protects you from the sun. I was in the sun for hours without reapplying and did not get burnt. The nozzle does not clog either. This is going to be my go-to for the family all summer."

COOLA Mineral Sunscreen – SPF 50

This eco-conscious sunscreen uses only organic, non-GMO ingredients, and is vegan, cruelty-free, and coral reef friendly; perfect for those who want to enjoy the sun with guilt-free protection. Antioxidant-rich plant protection helps fight free radicals while hydrating and nourishing the skin barrier - all without leaving behind an uncomfortable, greasy feeling. Plus, it's quick and easy to apply so you can start your day without any hassle.

What do people think? Judging by its 4.3-star average, one reviewer said: "It goes on easily and covers completely. It stays on and provides strong sun protection. This was recommended by my dermatologist too!"

Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen – SPF 30+

Keep your skin safe from the sun's rays with Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen SPF 30+. With its mineral-based protection, this sunscreen uses active ingredients of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to shield your skin without fragrances or parabens, making it perfect for even the most sensitive skin. Because no Oxybenzone or Octinoxate is present, Blue Lizard acts like thousands of tiny mirrors that reflect UV rays away before they enter your body.

What do people think? Reviews speak for themselves; this natural sunscreen has an impressive 4.7-star average with over 4900 five-star ratings from happy reviewers. One reviewer said: "This product is wonderful! I have super sensitive skin, and this not only kept me from getting sunburned, but it also didn't make me break out! This will be my new 'go to' for sunscreen on my body.'

Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen – SPF 30

Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen SPF 30 is the perfect gentle and lightweight option for protection from the sun. Its non-nano formula is hypoallergenic, waterproof, and free of harsh chemicals, making it safe even for babies delicate skin. With its mineral formula enriched with Babo's organic Nutri-Soothe Complex, this sunscreen provides broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection without oxybenzone and octinoxate. It also helps soothe skin with its blend of natural ingredients like colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, and vitamins A, C & E.

One reviewer said: "We purchased 4 different mineral-based, reef-safe sunscreens for a snorkeling and sailing trip recently, and this one was by far our favorite one!" With over 1,300 five-star ratings on Amazon, this natural sunscreen has an impressive 4.5-star average!

Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen – SPF 50

Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen – SPF 50 is a mineral-based sunscreen that effectively blocks UVA/UVB light using non-nano zinc oxide and provides broad-spectrum protection from sunburns without harsh chemicals. Plus, it has an impressive 4.3-star average, and one reviewer raves that it “feels super light on my face and fully rubs in without white residue, smells super good,” and loves that it is cruelty-free. Not only does the mineral formula provide long-lasting protection (up to 80 minutes), but it also won’t leave your skin feeling greasy or look like a ghost thanks to its active, non-whitening formula.

Whether you’re heading out for a day in the sun or hitting the beach this summer, Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen – SPF 50 is sure to be your go-to sunscreen!

Thrive Natural Sunscreen – SPF 30

This mineral-based option contains non-nano zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to protect your skin without a heavy finish. Plus, it's fragrance-free and leaves a matte, non-tinted finish. This product also has anti-oxidant-infused sunblock formula for men and women to help repair skin damaged by sun and environmental stressors. So you can be kind to yourself while protecting yourself from the sun.

And with an impressive 4.3-star average and over 1,500 five-star ratings, this is one product where customers can't stop raving about how great it works! One reviewer praised the product for its “really good scent” and noted that it moisturizes the skin well without leaving a “white” look when applied liberally.

Suntegrity Natural Mineral Sunscreen – SPF 30

This mineral-based option contains non-nano zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to provide broad-spectrum protection without harsh chemicals like parabens, phthalates, and mineral oil. Plus, it’s rich in nourishing ingredients like green tea and pomegranate, making it a great choice for those with dry or sensitive skin.

And if you’re looking to simplify your skincare routine, this sunscreen could be the perfect solution — because it even contains hyaluronic acid! One reviewer praised the product for its soothing zinc oxide formula plus the added antioxidants in the product: “No need for extra face creams. Love it!”

Beauty by Earth Sunscreen – SPF 20

This facial sunscreen is organic and non-GMO and formulated with safe, natural ingredients, so it’s perfect for daily use. Not only does it provide broad spectrum protection from the sun with just 20 SPF, but it also leaves no residue and is easy to spread. And don’t take our word for it — with an impressive 4.3-star average, one reviewer loves how “easy to spread” the formula is and notes that it not only protects their skin from the sun's damaging rays but also leaves no embarrassing rashes or residue — perfect for wearing under makeup or alone.

MyChelle Sun Shield Unscented – SPF 28

This vegan and cruelty-free formula uses only organic ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, so it won’t clog your pores or cause breakouts. And its moisturizing yet non-greasy texture makes it perfect for wearing under makeup or alone — plus it helps to soothe sun-caused skin irritation and reduce symptoms of sun damage for clear skin.

Don’t take our word for it — with an impressive 4.5-star average and over 400 five-star ratings, this product has a loyal fan base who can’t stop raving about how great it works! One reviewer loves how “moisturizing but not heavy or greasy” the formula is and notes that it dries down matte — perfect for those who want to wear minimal makeup in hot summer weather.

Block Island Organics Mineral Sunscreen – SPF 30

This plant-based option uses non-nano zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to provide UVA and UVB protection without harsh chemicals, and its vegan and cruelty-free formula helps lock in moisture while nourishing skin with shea butter, aloe, and antioxidants to help prevent premature skin aging. Plus, this ultra-moisturizing sunscreen can be worn under makeup or alone — and with an impressive 4.1-star average and over 250 five-star ratings, it’s easy to see why customers love it!

One reviewer praised the product for being “very moisturizing and non-greasy” while providing “very good sun protection” with a light scent. Whether you need effective sun protection or want something kind to your skin, Block Island Organics Mineral Sunscreen – SPF 30 is sure to keep your skin safe!

Aveeno - Positively Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50

Aveeno Positively Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 is a natural sunscreen perfect for those who want effective skin protection with its formula is fragrance-free and free of harsh chemicals like parabens and sulfates, with broad spectrum SPF 50 to protect all skin types from the sun's damaging UVA and UVB rays. Plus, its TSA-compliant size makes it easy to travel with - no more running out of sunscreen on your vacation!

This SPF lotion is gentle and non-irritating, even on sensitive skin, this sheer mineral sunscreen is made with naturally-sourced 100% zinc oxide active ingredient and nourishing oat. It's easy to apply and can even be worn under makeup without clogging pores. One reviewer said: "I wear under makeup and it works very well. After having two bad skin cancer scares I never go out without sunscreen. My dermatologist recommended the kind with spf 50 and zinc oxide mineral." For organic sunscreen that provides water-resistant protection in a convenient size without breaking the bank, give Aveeno Positively Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 a try today!

MDSolarSciences Mineral Sunscreen – SPF 50

Give your skin the utmost daily protection with MDSolarSciences Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50. This luxurious sunscreen features antioxidant-rich non-nano zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to provide broad-spectrum protection, without any harsh chemicals or additives. Perfect for extra sensitive skin, it's formulated to offer maximum SPF protection without irritation - even with everyday and outdoor sun exposure.

Plus, its green tea scent makes applying sunscreen a little more pleasant! Reviews speak for themselves; this natural sunscreen has an impressive 4.4 star average with over 1000 five-star ratings from happy reviewers. One reviewer said: "Feels nice on the skin, almost looks like a primer. So far I like it."

Natural Sunscreens FAQs

What is the difference between natural and chemical sunscreen?

Chemical sunscreens contain active ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate, which are commonly found in sunscreen products. These chemicals work by absorbing UV radiation from the sun, converting it into heat that is then released from the skin. Natural or organic sunscreens use physical filters like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to sit on top of the skin, blocking and deflecting UV rays to protect your skin.

Both kinds are effective at preventing sunburns and other long-term damage caused by UV exposure, but natural sunscreens have some additional benefits. They’re gentler on sensitive skin types, contain fewer chemicals and toxins, are biodegradable, don’t impact coral reef ecosystems, and may even be more effective at preventing sunburns.

Is mineral sunscreen better than chemical sunscreen?

Mineral sunscreen is a type of physical sunscreen that uses active ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to protect the skin from UV radiation. It’s considered to be better than chemical sunscreen for a few reasons – it doesn’t contain any chemicals, which means it won’t irritate sensitive skin, has no known toxic effects or reactions with other skin products, and is biodegradable. Its lightweight formula also makes it easier to apply evenly, which helps ensure complete coverage. Additionally, mineral sunscreen reflects UV rays instead of absorbing them like chemical sunscreens do, meaning it can potentially provide even better protection from sunburns.

Are all mineral sunscreens reef-safe?

Mineral sunscreens are generally seen as less harmful to coral reefs than chemical sunscreens, though not all mineral formulas are the same. Look for words like “non-nano”, “coral-safe” or “reef-safe” on labels, or verify your product is certified by organizations such as the Marine Stewardship Council for extra protection.

Is a natural sunscreen suitable for acne-prone skin?

Yes, natural sunscreens are just as effective as synthetic sunscreens in protecting acne-prone or oily skin from UV rays. Look for ingredients that reduce oiliness, like zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and green tea extract. Avoid mineral oils, coconut oils, and lanolin - these can worsen breakouts. For hydration without breakouts, look for non-comedogenic ingredients such as soybean oil, rice bran oil, and shea butter. With the right natural sunscreen, you can protect your skin while being kind to your wallet and environment!

What are some effects that come with the long-term use of natural sunscreen?

It can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, protect your skin from sunburns, and guard against long-term damage such as hyperpigmentation and skin cancer. Natural sunscreens are often packed with hydrating ingredients that can also help keep your skin soft and supple. Additionally, using natural sunscreen may help improve the overall health of your skin, as it is not exposed to harsh chemicals found in some conventional sunscreens.


With so many natural sunscreen options available, you can enjoy the sun responsibly and protect your skin with natural ingredients. All you have to do is find the best natural sunscreen for your needs by keeping an eye out for key ingredients like zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and green tea extract. With the right sunscreen in hand, you'll be taking advantage of nature's best offerings while still protecting yourself from harmful UV rays.