The weather in LA is heating up and we are slowly getting into summer mode over here. Bear and I love to spend time outside, hike with our dogs, and swim. Sometimes we surf! For times when sunscreen is needed (skin covered in sunscreen does not absorb vitamin D the same as un-blocked skin), these are my favorite sustainable and vegan sunscreens to use.
Like most conventional products, sunscreen can contain lots of icky ingredients. In order to steer clear of that stuff, look for a few key indicators on your sunscreen to help you navigate. Ideally the ingredients are natural or organic, and mineral-based (like zinc oxide) with limited other (hard to pronounce) ingredients. Bonus: look for products that also tout being reef safe. Ingredients gentler on the planet are generally gentler for our bodies, too.
Though there are a fair amount of natural-based sunscreens out there, continue to read labels and question ingredients—as even if they lack some of the more common scary ingredients, there could be some other questionable ones in there. Here’s one: Ethylhexylglycerin is a relatively new chemical on the market and is commonly used as an alternative to parabens. While it does derive from vegetable oil, it goes through several chemical processes. It’s definitely not the worst ingredient out there, but there just isn’t too much research on it so just be aware. Similarly, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide is a synthetic ingredient commonly found in natural sunscreens. It is also not a terribly dangerous ingredient, but the way it works is by breaking the cell wall of bacteria and damaging its DNA. Studies have shown it’s not strong enough to break down human cells, so that’s a relief! But it is restricted in Japan so if you want to lean on the safe side, steer clear of it.
Listed below are some healthy sunscreens— some I like to use and others with excellent safety ratings. So get your best summer on without burning, premature aging, or damaging coral reefs. Enjoy!
Best Sunscreen For Daily Protection
For the Face
1. Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream Tinted, SPF 30
I love this tinted SPF! It has zinc, so it protects against UVA and UVB rays, blended with yummy organic ingredients like almond oil, calendula, and shea butter.
2. Body Deli Solar Day Cream
I love the Body Deli products and this sunscreen does not disappoint, either. This is great for the face. Nice neutral scent, and feels really lightweight.
3. Manda Organic Sun Paste, SPF 50
This stuff is for a serious ocean day. If Bear and I were surfing for hours, I would use this on our faces. It smells so good.
4. Alba Botanica, SPF 30
Goes on like a charm, feels nice! The coconut shea butter one smells really good!
5. Coola, SPF 50
I love Coola’s sunscreen. There are a few different flavors but the gentle white tea scent is my pick. It’s reef safe, and doesn’t leave a white tint. I mostly use this on my face but it feels nice on my arms and body and isn’t sticky either. I also love the Coola Guava Mango SPF 50 Sport organic sunscreen spray. It’s one of my favorites and smells incredible.
6. Raw Elements Baby and Kids Stick, SPF 30
Great! I love the idea of a stick- especially with a kid, it makes it super easy to apply on the face quickly and then let them run back into the sun!
7. Elina Organics Sun Day, SPF 35
Super white and thick- I had to rub this one in a lot!!! It is heavy on the white tint but it does go in nicely.
For the Beach
8. Keeki, SPF 30
I enjoy using Keeki, although some of the ingredients, particularly xantham gum, potassium sorbate, and banana flavor oil are slightly questionable. Xantham gum has some studies linked to digestive issues, potassium sorbate has been connected to skin and eye irritation, and banana flavor oil isn’t guaranteed to be 100% natural – there could be some artificial ingredients mixed in. These questions aside, it works well and doesn’t leave a major white tint.
9. Butterbean, SPF 30
This one is thick and can be hard to rub it in. It also leaves a subtle white tint. However, once it’s on, it feels nice and smells even nicer.
10. Soleo Organics, SPF 30
This sunscreen rubs in rather easily and is great when you’re at the pool or beach as it has a three-hour water resistance window!
11. MyChelle Replenishing Solar Defense, SPF 30
Smells great, lightweight, no white cast….but slightly sticky! Doesn’t feel overly sticky that I wouldn’t use it, though!
12. Goddess Garden Sport, SPF 50
Not white at all, but you need to really rub this one in! It does smell good and absorbs quickly once you rub it in.
13. Babo, SPF 50
Great for Bear — this one is very kid-friendly. It does give you a slight white tint, and it isn’t super easy to rub on, but it is great for the shoulders and chest and I feel like it’s one of the best for keeping littles protected.
14. All Good Kids Sunscreen, SPF 30
This one didn’t really pass the test! Extremely white on the face and body- and sticky once it’s on!