About this time of year, people start asking me for natural sunscreen recommendations. With that comes a whole list of things they don’t want in their “organic sunscreen”.
Things like: no nano particles or chemicals; no white, chalky or greasy finish; and won’t clog their pores.
That’s a major set of requests to fulfill… but I’ve got you covered and protected — like an SPF 50, baby!
I’ve put together an exhaustive list of my tried and true favorites amongst the safest sunscreen options for a variety of skin types for your face and body.
What do you really want?
If you want an “organic sunscreen” that’s “chemical-free”, you’re probably searching for the best mineral sunscreen in a natural formula without toxic ingredients, chemical blockers, or nano particles. Am I right?
If you’ve taken my Natural Beauty eCourse then you already know I’m a stickler for using the correct terminology – and the terms above aren’t accurate.
The safest mineral sunscreen is made with inorganic chemicals…and yes, every ingredient (natural or synthetic) is a chemical.
The Best Sunscreens with natural, organic ingredients – that work
I’ve actually tested each one of these non-toxic sunblocks personally, so I know they work and pass my ingredient stamp of approval.
Lately I’ve seen SO many websites pushing out lists of the “best organic sunscreens”.
They just straight-up reword marketing lingo the brands sent them, and aren’t careful about the terminology they’re using (or being transparent about ingredients). It drives me crazy!
If you want to be able to discern who is telling the truth, check out The Ultimate Natural Beauty Shopping Guide for a deeper discussion on how to shop smarter and understand tricky terminology.
Be forewarned: I put in two recommendations for a sunblock that may ruffle some feathers for those of you who are purists (in the waterproof and non comedogenic section).
However I consider myself to be a purist, but also a realist and I know there are those of you with different shades along the “spectrum of green” reading this who will want those safer sunscreen options – that also won’t harm water or sea life.
Here are the sunscreens and sun blocks I love – and of course they’re all non-nano mineral sun protection! Now you can decide which sunscreen is the best for your needs.
Sun protection starts here…
The best defense is a good offense. Start by boosting your levels of antioxidants through nutrition to help your skin protect from the inside out.
I like to put this serum by Kaelen Harwell Sun Salvation on my face before anything else because it acts as a wonderful moisturizer for the skin and contains plants (like red raspberry seed oil) known for their inherent sun protection capabilities. Click to See Full Description/Buy
However, I do not think this alone will keep you from burning. So a mineral sunblock is still necessary when you intend to spend a lot of time soaking in some warm rays.
Also, stay covered whenever possible with clothing, hats and shade to help minimize your exposure.
The best everyday sunscreens for face
Naturopathica Lavender Protective Moisturizer SPF 17 Click to See Full Description/Buy
Super lightweight without a greasy finish, though it has a bit of hydration. This is an amazing everyday sunscreen for the face year-round, but it is not enough sun protection if you plan to be hanging out a bunch outside.
In that case, you should be using something closer to an SPF 30 or SPF 50 like the ones listed below.
Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream SPF 30 Click to See Full Description/Buy
There are two versions. Non tinted (pictured above) and tinted.
Both are totally fantastic. One thing to note is that the tinted sunscreen doesn’t use the tint as coverage to even out skin tone, as much as it tones down the potentially chalky effect of zinc oxide.
It dries to a matte finish – so this is also a pick for those with oily skin or in humid climates.
Just like everything Josh makes, it’s filled with only organic, non-GMO ingredients that are seriously skin beneficial.
It has the faintest smell of chocolate. YUM! And if you look closely you’ll also see the Nutrient Day Cream also includes cat nip! So both humans and cats may love you more when you wear this.
Kari Gran three sixty five SPF 28 Click to See Full Description/Buy
This ultra hydrating sun protection not only has the mineral sunblock you need to protect from UVA/UVB rays, it also contains non-GMO red raspberry seed oil as a way to further ensure the skin’s protection from the sun.
Really lovely for skin that tends to be dry or for drier climates. This would be amazing if you were going skiing and needed something to protect your skin on all fronts.
Babo Botanicals Super Shield Sport Stick Sunscreen SPF 50 Click to See Full Description/Buy
I grab this little sunscreen stick when I need serious protection on my face. It’s called a “sport stick” because this stuff doesn’t budge. Sweat proof and waterproof, it’s ideal if you’re headed to the beach, river, hiking, etc. also because it won’t just streak off the moment you begin sweat or get in the water.
For being such high coverage SPF, it’s pretty amazing that it’s not super chalky or heavy when applied.
It’s so small (not that you can tell from the huge picture) that I can just toss this in my purse and easily apply if needed when I’m out and about.
Best sunscreen for under makeup
Hynt Beauty Sun Prep Broad Spectrum Skincare SPF30 Click to See Full Description/Buy
An invisible layer of protection that works beautifully under makeup as a primer. Coming from me, a makeup artist of many years, that’s a big deal.
I don’t know how they did it, but it has all the ingredients for sun protection, plus other skin soothers (they’re big on making sure everything is soothing to the area it’s meant for), yet feels like nothing once applied.
It slides on and absorbs fast without drying too matte. And so this is great for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
Best sunscreen for oily skin
I used to have oily and acne prone skin, so I can totally understand if you’re worried about sunblock clogging your pores and feeling greasy.
Sunscreen powders are all the rage lately, because they are a perfect way to matte-ify your face, set your makeup and get sun protection all in one.
You need to use a liberal amount evenly applied all over the areas you want protection. So don’t skimp.
Mineral Fusion Mineral SPF 30 Brush-On Sun Defense Click to See Full Description/Buy
Best sunscreen that won’t clog pores or leave white residue
This is the recommendation that may ruffle some feathers.
Let me preface this category by saying that many of the brands above won’t clog pores, and several I’ve mentioned don’t leave too much of that white chalky cast…
Yet minerals are known to really adhere to skin, look white when applied and can create blockages leading to pimples.
So in full disclosure sometimes when I want to avoid those possible scenarios, I’ll reach for this sunscreen that is not exactly the purest, but is far better than most of the other junk-ola on the market today.
Kiss My Face SPF 30 Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin 3-in-1 Click to See Full Description/Buy
The sun protection comes from a mix of octinoxate, octisalate and zinc oxide and is in a base of natural, safe ingredients that I highly approve of.
The Best Sunscreens for Body
Best Waterproof Sunscreen
Pacifica All Mineral Continuous Sunscreen Spray – SPF 50 Click to See Full Description/Buy
A full SPF 50 from Zinc Oxide, it stays water resistant for 80 minutes, leaves minimal white cast on the skin and feels weightless. I’m loving this for my pale self.
I’ve talked extensively with Pacifica about the “parfum” listed on the ingredient label and they provided me with a wealth of information about the high standards that they voluntarily subject themselves to when selecting fragrance that is naturally derived to ensure they are acting sustainably and safely.
Those of you who are concerned about fragrance, then may not choose to use this product but everything else about it is totally amazing – filled with natural ingredients that are beneficial to the skin. The Pacifica sunblock works well, is ocean safe, vegan and cruelty free.
Best Unscented Sunscreen
Badger Certified Natural Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30 Click to See Full Description/Buy
This one is truly unscented and it is awesome! I wear this on my body most of the summer. Particularly on my legs where I like to have more moisture.
Badger has always done an exceptional job formulate safe, effective sun block. It’s creamy and covers the skin well. Year after year, I go back to this one.
The best sunscreen for sensitive skin
The best sunscreen for sensitive skin can mean so many things. First you’ve got to know, what are you sensitive to exactly?
You could be sensitive to plants, nuts, or certain synthetics (like these).
So I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the majority of the sunscreen recommendations in this list will work for those with average sensitive skin.
If you’re one of the many people experience dermatitis (AKA itchiness, dryness and redness) from synthetic fragrance, you’ll do fine with almost every sunscreen listed above.
Most refer to this category of “fragrance-free” sunscreen as “unscented sunscreen.” Again, the terminology here isn’t quite accurate.
There are natural scents from the botanicals and essential oils used in many of these natural sunscreen formulas, so don’t think that “unscented” means without any scent profile.
To help you make the transition to clean beauty as simple as possible, click the button below to get your free copy of the Toss the Toxins Toolkit.
Looking for the best sunscreen for babies? See 17 Of The Best All Natural Baby Products That Really Work for some recommendations.
What are some of your tried and true favorites? I’m sure there are several I didn’t mention that you love and would love to hear what they are in the comments below.
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