Looking for the best natural sunscreen to reduce sunburn and sun damage to the skin from UV rays? Want your organic sunscreen to be as kind to the planet as it is to your skin?
Well, you’re in the right place. Today, we’re looking at the best natural sunscreens that you can buy!
It’s worth noting that “natural” is not a legally defined concept and a lot of businesses have varying ideas about what it means.
If you have sensitive skin; Caveat Emptor!
The FDA doesn’t regulate the term “natural” and to complicate things even further it is talking about making changes in the regulations governing sunscreens too.
For up-to-date information, you can refer to the Environmental Working Group's list of safe sunscreens and a breakdown of ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
The FDA states: “Americans should continue to use face sunscreen with other sun-protective measures as this important rule-making effort moves forward.”
However, as we don’t have a crystal ball to see into the future with – we’re sticking to the best natural, organic, or pure-mineral sunscreens in our recommendations.
We reserve the right to change them when the FDA updates its advice on sun protection from uva and UVB rays. [source: FDA]
Organic & Chemical-Free Options
EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
This is one of our top mineral-based picks. Mineral-based sunscreens often suffer from well, not being very good.
They feel chalky or they feel sticky, and mineral sunscreens are often harsh on the skin they’re supposed to protect, and frankly, they often smell nasty too. Ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are not always the best in a natural sunscreen.
This EltaMD product is nothing like that. It goes on well, there’s no grease, no tackiness and it really doesn’t smell of very much at all.
We like the fact that it works well with makeup which is an important point for some of us at the beach.
It’s also good if you suffer from acne, it’s gentle on sensitive skin and won’t bring you out in zits for a day in the sun.
It’s also full of antioxidants to ensure no free radical damage too.
You can find EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 online.
Sun Bum Original Mineral Sunscreen SPF 70 Lotion
What did we love about the Sun Bum brand natural sunscreen products? Are they the best sunscreens?
Well, apart from the delightfully silly name we were also impressed with the formulation there was absolutely no-greasy feel and you can’t find any residue trapped on yourself or your clothing either.
Then, of course, there’s the fact that this is waterproof which makes it ideal for splashing around in the sea to cool down it.
It’s also completely hypoallergenic and that’s going to be very important to many buyers.
Finally, the thing that we really like is the scent which is a very pleasant coconut base with just a hint of banana. Yum.
Proctect your self from uva and uvb rays, find Sun Bum Original Mineral Sunscreen SPF 70 Lotion online.
Australian Gold Botanical SPF 50 Face Sunscreen Tinted Mineral Lotion
This SPF 50 number is absolutely excellent, and we think it’s one of the best value for money sunscreens we’ve ever tried.
It happily competes with products that cost 5-10 times more than it does! It's definitely at the top of the list for the best natural sunscreen products.
Their mineral sunscreen provides protection with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
There’s no sense of this clogging your pores or ending up feeling slimy and greasy.
Instead, you get a nice dry, smooth finish, and no matter your natural skin tone, there’s no pale white hue to the final applied layer.
We’ve even heard that some users of this product have swapped it for their usual moisturizer in all circumstances because of the way it makes them feel. It’s really good.
You can find Australian Gold Botanical Face Sunscreen Tinted Mineral Lotion online.
Blue Lizard Sensitive Skin Mineral Sunscreen
This Australian brand of natural sunscreen is very popular with dermatologists who say that you can’t beat the gentle, hypoallergenic formula that it provides.
We found that it provides an excellent level of protection against the sun – even our most sensitive staff members didn’t get any burns with normal wear.
You'll never return to your titanium dioxide or zinc oxide formulations again. Forget them zinc oxide formulas.
It’s a thicker feeling formula than most, but we don’t think that matters very much, once you’ve rubbed it into your skin – it’s gone and there’s no greasy feeling or white residue at that point.
There’s no scent to this product either, so, if you need an unscented option – Blue Lizard might be the way to go.
You can find E Blue Lizard Sensitive Skin Mineral Sunscreen online.
COOLA Mineral Face Matte Tinted Sunscreen Moisturizer
If you want that super matte finish, this COOLA product does the trick very well, but it is a little pricier than some of the other entrants on our list.
For the money, you get a sunscreen that won’t antagonize your acne and will never leave you gleaming like you’ve been polished at the car wash, either.
Their broad spectrum SPF 30 protection formula is made from natural mineral zinc oxide and titanium dioxide ingredients.
It can also be used as a substitute for primer (in fact, one of our testers says they intend to use it in place of their regular primer all the time) and makeup remains fresh-looking for a good period of time when wearing it.
The downside? You really must shake this product before you use it.
It separates into oil and water layers while resting and they must be mixed for it to work.
You can find COOLA Mineral Face Matte Tinted Sunscreen Moisturizer online.
Sun Bum Original Sunscreen Spray
Yup, it’s those super folks at Sun Bum making a second and deserved entrant on our list.
There are times when it’s just not practical to rub in a sunscreen lotion and that’s when you want to be able to reach for a spray and know that you’ve been covered in an SPF 50 protective layer.
We think this product’s going to suit those who enjoy sailing, rafting and other types of watersport.
It’s not 100% waterproof but we’ve found that it holds up pretty well – if you get completely drenched, just reapply it to your skin.
We also think it represents reasonable value for money, it’s not the cheapest sunscreen product in our tests but it is far from the most expensive.
You can find Sun Bum Original Sunscreen Spray online.
Babyganics Sunscreen SPF 50 Spray
If you’ve got little ones with you, then it’s worth investing in something a little stronger and a little gentler to ensure that they stay safe in the mid-day sun without coming out in rashes or other forms of skin irritation due to the product that you’ve used.
So, our pick for this is Babyganics’ Spray as the best natural sunscreen.
It’s not cheap but it’s really good and we find that you only need to spray it on twice to go a full day which means it lasts longer than cheaper products do.
We much prefer this spray to some of the cream titanium dioxide or zinc oxide formulations that can smear and stain.
We’re also happy to point out that the bottle is built for travel with little ones and the double cap system will stop it from leaking in your bag when you’re on a day out.
You can find Babyganics Sunscreen SPF 50 Spray online.
Alba Botanica Aloe Vera Hawaiian SPF 30 Sunscreen
We love the Alba Botanica product because it’s just incredibly gentle.
If you have existing skin conditions and particularly acne rosacea – you’ll know how hard it is to find a sunscreen that protects you without turning your face and neck into a bit of a mess.
We found with this spf 30 sunscreen is that it absorbs into your skin really quickly and leaves absolutely no grease or residue to upset your skin.
In fact, it also has a slight moisturizing effect which can help with some conditions. It does have a scent but it’s one of tropical fruits and summer days, it’s very pleasant and certainly nothing to complain about. It certainly deserves to be recognized as one of, if not THE best natural sunscreen for 2020.
You can find Alba Botanica Aloe Vera Hawaiian SPF 30 Sunscreen online.
Badger – SPF 30 Kids Sunscreen Cream with Zinc Oxide
Another super gentle skin product for kids is the Badger Zinc Oxide Sunscreen.
We did think it was a little thick and that made it a bit more effort to knead into their skin but we thought it was easy to get around that by warming it up in your hands before you try to apply it, then it goes on in a thin and even layer.
It smells like ice cream too, which makes kids very happy to be covered in it, if your little ones want something non-toxic but a lot of fun – you can do worse than Badger’s sunscreen.
You can find Badger – SPF 30 Kids Sunscreen Cream with Zinc Oxide online.
Banana Boat Simply Protect Kids Tear-Free Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50
Our final pick is, without a doubt, the lowest-cost product in our review but it’s certainly not the least of the natural mineral sunscreens.
In fact, this travel-sized (TSA-approved) sunscreen is absolutely excellent and its active ingredients are formulated to ensure that even the most sensitive child can use it without tears.
The formula is somewhat thicker than most organic sunscreens in our tests, but we don’t think that’s always a bad thing.
We think when you’re trying to ensure that your kids’ skin is completely safe, it’s best to have a bit more of a barrier between them and the sun's damaging uv rays.
You can find Banana Boat Simply Protect Kids Tear-Free Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50 online.
For more information and resources don't miss our Guide to Natural Beauty.