Protecting my skin from the sun has always been important to me. I learned from a young age that a major sunburn is NOT something you want to deal with! As I enter my 30s (why hello, wrinkles and sunspots!) and have watched my husband have pre-cancerous spots removed, the importance of good, clean sunscreen has only become more apparent.
Several years ago when I began transitioning to clean beauty products, I knew I wanted to find a clean sunscreen that was healthier for me and the environment. I’ve found some great ones!
Here’s some more information on why it’s important to choose non-toxic sunscreen, as well as my personal recommendations for good products!
Why Should I Buy Clean Sunscreen?
You might want to consider non-toxic sunscreen if:
- You don’t like killing coral reefs.
- You don’t want to mess with your hormones.
- You don’t want to poison fish.
- You don’t want allergic skin reactions.
Unfortunately, most traditional sunscreens are laden with a lot of nasty chemicals. In addition to typical skincare product toxins like fragrance and parabens, sunscreen may contain:
- Avobenzone: Irritates skin.
- Methylisothiazolinone: Irritates skin.
- Octinoxate (Octyl methoxycinnamate): May impact reproductive systems, thyroid, and behavior. Also a skin irritant. May negatively impact fish and coral reefs.
- Octocrylene: Irritates skin and is toxic to fish.
- Oxybenzone: affects hormone levels, irritates skin, may impact pregnancy/birth, and damages coral reefs.
- PABA: Irritates skin.
There may be other negative effects as well, but we don’t know because sunscreen ingredients haven’t been widely studied. According to the FDA, the 12 most common UV filters in sunscreen filters “have limited or no data characterizing their absorption,” meaning we don’t really know what happens when you put it on your skin.
Where Can I Get Clean Sunscreen?
Thankfully, more and more brands are offering clean, non-toxic sunscreen options. You can purchase these online, at some large retailers like Target and Walmart, or at your local clean beauty store.
Below are some of my favorite clean sunscreen brands. Not every ingredient list is perfectly without fault, but these are great if you’re looking for better-for-you or better-for-the-earth products.
Alba Botanica makes reef-safe, biodegradable sunscreen, including formulas designed especially for kids and babies. Their products are made without parabens, phthalates, and artificial colors and are 100% vegetarian.
I’ve been using Alba Botanica’s products for years! Their products are widely available at drug stores and big box stores, and they were some of the first I saw to advertise “reef-safe” sunscreen.
Babo Botanicals makes zinc-based sunscreens that are formulated for sensitive skin. In addition to body sunscreen, they offer tinted face and lip options.
I actually haven’t tried their sunscreen yet, but I’ve currently got their spray sunscreen in my Thrive Market cart after reading rave reviews. (Pro tip: Thrive Market has a MUCH lower price than other retailers. Use this link for 25% off your first Thrive Market order!)
Beautycounter‘s clean ingredient sunscreen is pricey, but boy-oh-boy is it nice. Their spray sunscreen is my absolute favorite if I’m wanting a splurge. It goes on so light, you don’t feel at all like you’re wearing sunscreen. I usually feel like I need a shower after wearing sunscreen all day, but never with Beautycounter!
Coola offers a variety of organic body, face, and lip sunscreens with a lot of beauty-forward options (BB cream, face drops, etc.). Their ingredients are sourced using sustainable farming techniques.
My favorite thing about Coola’s products is that they smell SO good. I feel like I’m at a luxurious Hawaiian resort every time I apply!
Suntegrity offers face, lip, and body sunscreen that multi-tasks (i.e. moisturizes, provides makeup coverage, etc.). Their products contain a lot of certified organic ingredients and are reef safe. I am personally a big fan of their “5 in 1” face sunscreen that rejuvenates, hydrates, and provides light tinted coverage. I love being able to cover any blemishes before spending the day out on the beach!
These are some of my personal favorites, but be sure to check out other clean, non-toxic sun protection products on The Detox Market!
What brands did I miss? Share your favorite clean sunscreen in the comments!
P.S. – This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you purchase a product using a link from this post. Read more here about my disclaimers/disclosures.
This is a really useful post. I’ve generally used baby sunscreen options with a good EWG rating because I have sensitive skin.
wow thanks for that!! I knew that generic sunscreen isn’t great, but having the specific ingredients and what they do to our skin and our environment is so useful!