As proponents of skin health, we’ll never get tired of repeating this mantra: Never leave home without sunscreen. Adequate sun protection is an essential part of life, but unfortunately, there’s a catch: some sunscreens you find on beauty aisles are loaded with toxic chemicals that may be harmful not only to our bodies, but also to the environment. The good news? Natural sunscreens are generally deemed gentler on your skin and the environment and just as effective by some experts.
But what is natural sunscreen? Natural, mineral or physical sunscreens take advantage of the natural protective properties of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide against sun damage. Also known as physical blockers, these minerals create a barrier on our skin and shield it from UVA and UVB rays. Think millions of microscopic hats and umbrellas! Unlike chemical sunscreens, which take 30 minutes to be absorbed and take effect, natural sunscreens become effective as soon as you apply them.
Still unconvinced that natural is the way to go? Take it from Dermstore’s Natural and Spa categories buyer Ashley Van Dyke. “People are beginning to understand the negative short- and long-term effects harsh, synthetic chemicals have on their bodies. Those who have already made the switch to natural skin care and beauty products are loving the results!”
To make sure you’re getting optimum protection from the sun, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends choosing sunscreens that offer broad spectrum coverage with SPF 30 or higher. For best results, apply an ounce (about a palmful) of sunscreen to cover all exposed areas and reapply every two hours or after swimming, sweating or wiping off.
Ready to make the switch to safer sun protection? Check out our top picks for natural sunscreens!
Weightless and water-resistant, this mineral powder works twice as hard as your regular sunscreen. Furthermore, it keeps your skin protected from UV rays while controlling oil and shine for an evenly matte finish. It comes in six gorgeous shades to match every skin tone and a brush-on applicator for easy on-the-go touch-ups.
Aside from providing broad-spectrum protection, this lightweight, unscented cream also features anti-agers like stem cells from Swiss apple, Mexican prickly poppy and alpine rose to deeply hydrate skin and strengthen its protective barrier against environmental stressors. It’s literally like a force field that shields your skin from its enemies!
Formulated with a potent blend of vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and natural caramel, this body sunscreen hydrates, nourishes and protects your skin from the sun while imparting a natural-looking glow.
This organic sunscreen is specially formulated to prevent sun damage and deliver age-fighting nutrients deep into your skin. Micronized zinc blocks harmful UVA and UVB rays that can lead to premature aging and hyperpigmentation, while aloe and rose hip nourish and protect. Plus, it has a highly absorbable formula that leaves behind no white residue.
This BB cream creates luminous, sheer coverage while hydrating and protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Enriched with moisturizers and complexion-correcting pigments, this purse-perfect multitasker helps reduce fine lines and large pores while botanical extracts and antioxidants help diminish the effects of oxidative stress.
Take this sunscreen from sea to summit and keep your skin always protected with its special formulation that’s tailored to your outdoorsy lifestyle! Fortified with broad spectrum coverage, this water-resistant sunscreen absorbs quickly and is loaded with vitamins and antioxidants to counter the damaging effects of the sun’s rays and free radicals.
Created from a blend of shea butter, vitamin E, coconut oil and five different fruit extracts, this zinc oxide and titanium dioxide broad-spectrum sunscreen blends into skin without a trace. Perfect for all types of skin tone, this lightweight, mineral tinted sunscreen fits into any beauty regimen for naturally protected skin.
A broad-spectrum sunscreen with anti-aging benefits? Yes, please! Packed with the rejuvenating and antioxidant benefits of raspberry seed and virgin marula oils, astaxanthin-rich algae and grape juice extracts, this sunscreen defends your skin from free radicals and UV rays while nourishing and soothing sun-exposed areas.
An award-winning sunscreen that lets you enjoy the outdoors without worrying about sunburn and bug bites! Featuring a mineral-based, baby-friendly formula, this water-resistant sunscreen deflects harmful UV rays, hydrates parched skin and helps soothe insect bites—perfect for camping trips, swimming by the lake or hiking with the kids!
With its broad-spectrum coverage and nourishing botanicals, this cream sunscreen is designed to be versatile. Light enough to wear as moisturizer for everyday use yet potent enough to be used outdoors. Infused with red algae extract and macadamia oil, this sunscreen helps restore sun-damaged and inflamed skin, reduces fine lines and wrinkles and leaves you with a youthful glow.
If your skin is the type that reacts to products easily, then this day cream is for you! Its unique Biocomplex formula fuses vitamins and antioxidants to nourish skin, vanilla to improve circulation and botanical extracts to moisturize, heal and improve tone and texture.