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I Tried Ten Natural Sunscreens and Found A Favorite (but reviewed all of them for you!)

Ten Mineral Sunscreens that are good for you + the planet – updated Feb 2024!

Getting excited for summer and the warm weather? Us too! With the sun coming out, you must make sure that you’re protected from the harmful rays, in a natural way though, that’s good for your skin and the environment.

When shopping for natural sunscreens, it’s important to also look out for the ingredient list. Mineral sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are the sunscreens you will want to purchase.

Why? Here are ten reasons mineral sunscreens are better than chemical sunscreens.

  1. Broad Spectrum Protection: Mineral sunscreens provide broad-spectrum coverage, effectively blocking both UVA and UVB rays. Zinc oxide, in particular, is known for its superior ability to protect against a wide range of UV light.
  2. Immediate Effectiveness: Unlike chemical sunscreens, which may require about 20 minutes to become effective after application, mineral sunscreens work immediately upon application.
  3. Reef Safe: Mineral sunscreens are generally considered safer for marine life and coral reefs. Chemical sunscreens often contain oxybenzone and octinoxate, which can contribute to coral bleaching and harm marine ecosystems.
  4. Stability Under Sunlight: Chemical sunscreen ingredients, like avobenzone, can actually break down under sunlight, leaving you unprotected!. Mineral sunscreens, on the other hand, tend to be more photostable and maintain their protective qualities even with sun exposure.
  5. Suitable for Sensitive Skin: Mineral sunscreens are often better tolerated by people with sensitive skin. They are less likely to cause skin irritation or allergic reactions compared to chemical sunscreens.
  6. Less Penetration Into Skin: Mineral sunscreens sit on top of the skin and are not absorbed deeply, which reduces the risk of systemic exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.
  7. No Hormone Disruption: Chemical sunscreens sometimes contain ingredients that may disrupt hormones in the body. Mineral sunscreens, free from such chemicals, pose a lower risk of hormonal disruption.
  8. Environmentally Friendly: Mineral sunscreens are less likely to contain ingredients that are harmful to the environment. This aspect is particularly important for those who are eco-conscious…which is everybody?
  9. Longer Shelf Life: Due to their stable composition, mineral sunscreens often have a longer shelf life compared to chemical sunscreens.
  10. Easier to Identify Active Ingredients: The active ingredients in mineral sunscreens (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) are straightforward and easy to identify, making it simpler for consumers to know what they are applying to their skin.

Because I’m a little obsessed about sun protecton, I tested out 10 natural sunscreens from different brands and shared my thoughts below!

All products featured on No Kill Mag are independently selected by our writers or editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

elta MD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46

This is definitely the brand that I’ve seen in every dermatologists office –and yes, I’ve been to a few– so you would expect it to be good. And if you want a super basic but effective sunscreen this is for you. It definitely goes on clear and it’s unscented as well. The only drawback for me is I’m not a huge fan of the airless pump because I’m always convinced that there’s a little product in the bottom I can’t access. (but that’s just me!)

Raw Elements Face Stick SPF 30

This stick is convenient for on-the-go and perfect to keep in your purse or bag. It claims to be water resistant for 80 minutes and never run or sting your eyes. When I tried it, I definitely enjoyed it for the convenience factor and will be keeping it on hand for all of my on-the-go needs. My only con is that because it is in a solid form it is a lot more difficult to spread on my face. If you apply it directly on your face, it tugs on the skin. However, if you put it on your hands and then apply it, you run the risk of missing spots and not having an even layer. It has a bit of a sticky consistency so I would only use this SPF on days I don’t wear makeup.

raw elements face stick certified natural sunscreen

True Botanicals Skin Barrier Sun Shield SPF 30

This was one of my favorite sunscreens out of the ten. It is completely invisible, super smooth to the touch, and can be used as a primer under your makeup. I think the best part about this product is that it can easily be used every day. I also like how committed the company is to creating non-toxic products. If I had to choose out of the ten sunscreens I tested, to only buy one, this would be a top contender.

Babo Botanicals Daily Sheer Facial Sunscreen SPF 40

This sunscreen I would recommend for all of those with sensitive skin because it contains Aloe Vera, avocado and jojoba oil, rose hip, and green tea. All these ingredients are perfect for soothing the skin and it’s also unscented. This one I enjoyed because it didn’t leave a white cast, it quickly absorbed into my face, and moisturized my skin but didn’t leave it feeling tacky or sticky. The Babo Botanicals sunscreen lived up to everything it claimed.

babo botanicals daily sheer sunscreen

Cocokind Daily SPF 32

I would compare Cocokind to the Babo Botanicals. The texture is very lightweight and quickly absorbs into my skin for a smooth finish as well. The one thing I love about this product that is different to the others is its claim to protect against the blue light from all the devices I use on a daily basis. I work every day for several hours on my laptop and phone so protecting my skin daily is a must.

cocokind daily spf 32

 

Kosas DreamBeam Comfy Smooth Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40

The description of this sunscreen reads like a sunscreen and beauty treatment in one. Packed with peptides it’s a peachy-pink hue which they say counters the natural blue of zinc. I’m not sure about that, but it did give my face a nice glow.

Cyberderm Simply Zinc ultra SPF 50

This silky-smooth, fluid formula imparts 25% zinc oxide for complete UVA and UVB protection, and mattifies skin with a sheer wash of color that never leaves you looking chalky. Okay, that was part of their official description but it’s definitely true. My t-zone avoided the shine and I almost felt like I wasn’t wearing anything on my face. Lovely!

Tatcha The Silk Sunscreen SPF 50

Okay, I’ll be honest: you probably won’t find this sunscreen on a lot of lists. But the issue isn’t the sunscreen (which is amazing) but the packaging. Everywhere online people are complaining about how the purple peels off the bottle. And for real, it’s a problem. BUT I happen to know new packaging is coming. And our editor Katya is such a fan of this I had to include it. I loved how smooth it goes on and a nice tint made me feel like I didn’t need makeup. It also doesn’t dry my face like some sunscreens can.

Clean Freak Nutrient Boosted Body Sunscreen, SPF 30 (Sport)

Okay, I was focused on face sunscreens so wanted to add a few full body ones as well. I found it surprising lightweight and easy to blend it. It wasn’t sticky at all which is a big plus when looking for full body coverage. A few reviewers on their site even use it on their face –which I can definitely see as an option.

And it’s great that it’s EWG Verified so toxic free.

Definitely do your research when shopping for natural sunscreens to find the best option for you and your needs. There are so many out there to pick from. If everyone switched to using natural sunscreens, imagine the difference we could all make to our coral reefs and oceans!

–Tayler May


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