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7 Non-Toxic Sunscreens for Summer

No matter what time of year it is, wearing sunscreen is an absolute must for healthy skin.

Not only can sunscreen prevent physical signs of aging, like sun spots and wrinkles, it also shields our skin cells from cancer-causing UV rays. Skin cancer is the most common malignancy in the United States, affecting roughly 3.3 individuals every year — which gives us an idea about how important it is to apply sunscreen every single day.

However, not all sunscreens are created equal. Conventional formulas that contain chemicals like oxybenzone, avobenzone, and octocrylene have been found to leach into the skin with dangerously high toxicity levels. Oxybenzone, in particular, is known to disrupt normal human hormone patterns. Avobenzone can turn toxic when exposed to chlorine, and octocrylene pumps out harmful free radicals once absorbed into the skin.

Yeah — yikes! We think that if we’re going to be applying a product to our skin every day, at the very least it should be free of toxic chemicals.

That’s why we’ve rounded up a list of natural, mineral-based sunscreens that will protect your skin from the sun and keep toxic chemicals out of your bloodstream, which is a win-win in our eyes!

Photo by Jakob Owens

1. Sun Bum Original SPF 70 Lotion

Dermatologist-formulated with a killer SPF to boot, Sun Bum’s antioxidant-enriched sunscreen is gluten, cruelty and paraben free. Bonus: it also smells really good, and it doesn’t have the chalky texture that some mineral-based sunscreens are prone to having.

2. Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen - SPF 30+

Blue Lizard’s sunscreen is made with 79% zinc oxide, a natural compound that blocks harmful UV rays. The formula contains no parabens and no fragrances, making it ideal for those with sensitive skin.

Photo by Stanley Dai

3. Beyond Coastal Natural SPF 30 Sunscreen

Beyond Coastal’s formula is a powerhouse of natural ingredients. Aloe, shea butter, and rosehip oil nourish the skin, while vitamin A and pro vitamin B restore skin elasticity. Micronized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide naturally shield the skin from the sun.

4. Kabana Green Screen® Organic Sunscreen SPF 32 Original – Soy Free

This sunscreen is soy-free, gluten-free, corn-free, dairy-free, vegan, and contains 86% certified organic ingredients. And good news for parents: Green Screen Organic Sunscreens are also baby and pregnancy safe.

Photo by Drew Dau

5. Badger Clear Zinc Unscented Sunscreen Lotion

Fair trade and organic aloe make up the base for this moisturizing sunscreen. It’s also certified cruelty-free, gluten-free, and non-GMO. Please note that this is not a water resistant sunscreen, so we’d recommend using it on your face for day-to-day wear!

6. True Natural Caribbean Coconut SPF 30 Sunscreen

This tropical sunscreen is rich in coconut oil, which not only makes it supremely moisturizing, but also gives it an amazing scent. Plus, it’s biodegradable, gluten-free and vegan on top of being natural and non-toxic.

Photo by Lindsay Lenard

7. Coppertone Pure & Simple SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion

This gentle formula is another great product for people with sensitive skin. Along with naturally-sourced zinc oxide, tea leaf, sea kelp, and lotus extracts protect and nourish the skin in this hypoallergenic sunscreen.

What are some of your favorite natural sunscreens? Let us know in the comments!

Cecilia Seiter
Cecilia is a freelance writer and contributor to Slow North. She writes largely about sustainability, especially as it applies to beauty, wellness, and the future of technology. She is a graduate of the journalism department at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and is based in Los Angeles, CA.

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