Last updated June 2023 by editors.
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 million 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!
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.
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.
Australian Gold's formula is a powerhouse of natural ingredients. The antioxidant rich sunscreen, created with soothing elements like Eucalyptus & Red Algae, forms a unique blend of antioxidant-rich plants to fight free radicals for nourishing your skin.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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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