Whether you have sensitive skin or simply want to avoid chemicals, a natural sunscreen is a safe bet, especially as the weather starts to warm up and you trade your sweater for a swimsuit.
How to choose the best natural sunscreen
Scan the label: Natural sunscreens are formulated with mineral or physical sunscreen ingredients, like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which physically block the sun’s rays, shielding your skin from UV damage, as opposed to chemical sunscreens that absorb the sun’s rays once they come in contact with your skin . As a bonus, these ingredients are also considered reef-safe, as they have not yet been found to harm corals.
Look for moisturizers: In additional to sun protective factors, look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, shea butter, aloe vera, and glycerin for a boost of skin-soothing moisture.
Kick up the SPF: To ensure optimal sun protection, stick with SPF 30 or higher.
Even with all of that mind, shopping for the right sunscreen can feel completely overwhelming! So here are the best natural and organic sunscreens to protect your skin all year long.
Gentle enough for the whole family, this zinc oxide and titanium dioxide formula applies seamlessly thanks to its lightweight and shine-free finish. It also packs free radical-fighting antioxidants to double down on premature signs of aging, like vitamin C, green tea, and pomegranate extract. Because it’s noncomedogenic, water resistant for 80 minutes, and free of oils, fragrances, parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, this is a great pick for all skin types.
This chemical-free, organic sunscreen packs aloe vera, jojoba oil, and hyaluronic acid to keep skin feeling hydrated, smooth, and soft. It also contains vitamin C, a powerful anti-aging antioxidant that offers extra protection against sun damage. The water resistant formula (for up to 80 minutes) absorbs quickly into the skin, so you won’t have to worry about that greasy feeling.
This chemical-free formula is packed with oodles of skin-nourishing ingredients, like vitamin E, coconut oil, jojoba, vitamin C, and aloe vera—making it a dream for dry skin. Still, it never feels thick and applies with no residue in sight.
This sunscreen protects the skin with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide but is gentle enough so it won’t cause itching, burning, redness, or irritation in over-reactive complexions, that’s why I recommends it for those with sensitive or eczema-prone skin, as it’s also paraben-, lanolin-, and PABA-free. Water resistant for 80 minutes.
Drunk Elephant’s unique formula packs anti-aging algae extract, soothing aloe vera, moisturizing jojoba oil, and of course, sun-protective ingredients. “This product contains a high concentration of zinc oxide in a formulation that does not leave the face white or chalky. It also contains botanical extracts that promote healthy skin cell function.”
Neutrogena has tons of sunscreens to choose from, but their lightweight, chemical-free SheerZinc formula is a great pick for all skin types. It’s noncomedogenic, water resistant, oil- and fragrance-free, and layers on invisibly. On top of that, it offers excellent UVA and UVB protection against sunburn, skin cancer, and premature signs of aging.
Blue Lizard’s formula hits the mark as a natural option. People with the most sensitive skin are able to tolerate this. Plus the bottle turns blue when there is UV exposure, so it’s a great reminder to reapply. There are no chemicals, parabens, or fragrances in this sunscreen.
This sunscreen is free of chemical blockers, and uses mineral technology to protect the skin. The natural, fragrance-free formula feels non-greasy on the skin, never clogs pores, and can be applied to both face and body. It also contains nourishing oat extract, an especially soothing ingredient for easily irritated skin.
This oil-free, noncomedogenic sunscreen combines zinc oxide and titanium dioxide for sun protection with antioxidants to combat skin-aging free radicals. It’s also free of fragrances and parabens (a win for sensitive skin!) and water resistant for 40 minutes so you can get your swim in. This provides a nice tinted and matted coverage for the face, You can mix it with an un-tinted sunscreen to achieve your skin tone.