Our SKL community has been having a lot of discussions lately on sustainable and safe sunscreen options. Many of our members have forsaken sunscreen completely because of the scary ingredients that are found in most over-the-counter options. Other folks just grab whatever is the cheapest and easily available, spray, and go. For our family, I found that the best way to stay sustainable and safe is to follow these super simple rules:
- Limit direct exposure to the sun, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. During the summer months, our family aims to wake up with the sun and enjoy 3-4 hours of cooler summer fun before the sun gets too hot. Around 10-11 a.m., we seek shelter with parasols, covered terraces, covered playgrounds, or simply heading indoors.
- Use sun protection clothing. I purchased my children’s sun protection light layer long sleeve hooded shirts and loose pants from Patagonia Worn Wear 2 years ago and they are still our go-to sun protection clothing line. So unbelievably comfortable, breathable, and quick to dry. My children have no issues wearing their sun protection clothing on even the hottest days. Bonus? These still look as good as new and we can sell them back to Patagonia when done.
- Apply a sustainable and skin-safe sunscreen as needed while supplementing with steps 1 and 2. There is no need to lather on sunscreen all day long (quite unsustainable) if you are following the direct sunlight rule and the sun protection clothing rule. Apply as needed and be mindful of the sun and exposed areas.
These tips saved us so much during the summer months and we have avoided sunburns for years! Choosing the right safe sunscreen option can be daunting, so we decided to create this super simple list for you all today with ingredients, price, and shipping information.
So, which Sustainable and Safe Sunscreens do we recommend?
Today, I’d like to take the time to educate our community on sunscreen brands that are not only safe for our families but also safe for the environment. Many of the brands listed below are zero or low waste, or can be recycled through terra cycle. Let’s get started!
Our first brand on our list is All Good Kid’s Natural Sunscreen. This reef-safe sunscreen is made of all organic and USDA Certified ingredients like non-nano zinc oxide and chamomile. It is water-resistant for 80mins protection so you can reapply less. All Good is also a Carbon Neutral Certified and B Corp certified brand.
Top Ingredients: Aloe Leaf Juice, Shea Butter, Calendula Flower*, Caprylyl Glycol, Cellulose Gum, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Citric Acid, Coco-Glucoside, Coconut Oil*, Diheptyl Succinate, Glycerin, Sunflower Seed Oil*, Buriti Fruit Oil*, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Sodium Gluconate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Cocoa Seed Butter*, Tocopherol, Water. (* signifies organic)
Tierra and Lava is next on our list. This natural, sustainable and reef-safe sunscreen offers SPF 15 broad-spectrum protection for 2hrs. It is perfect for the skin because it is absorbed quickly and gives long-lasting hydration. Plus it is made from organic and natural ingredients sustainably sourced in Guatemala. The zero waste container is made of recycled tin can so you can reuse it or recycle it when it is all finished. What I love about them is that they turn their non-recyclable plastics into eco-bricks!
Ingredients: coconut oil, macadamia seed oil, zinc oxide, cocoa seed butter, beeswax, castor seed oil, titanium dioxide, french marigold flowers, turmeric root & vanilla planifolia bean absolute.
BeeYou Organics Zero Waste Sunscreen
One of our favorite brands also offers a natural, sustainable and reef-safe sunscreen. BeeYou organics has Ocean and Coral Reef Safe Sunscreen that gives supreme sun protection to your skin with coconut oil that also adds extra sun protection. Equipped with hydrating and moisturizing ingredients to keep your skin healthy even when under the sun. They do not test on animals nor ask other companies to test on animals for them. Plus points for them for putting it in a tin can that you can reuse after.
Ingredients: Zinc Oxide, Unrefined Shea Butter*, Unrefined Coconut Oil*, Sweet Almond Oil*, Sunflower Oil*, Beeswax*. Scented contains Lavender Essential Oil* & Tea Tree Essential Oil*. *USDA Certified Organic
IndahGlowandCo Zero Waste Sunscreen
This all-natural and sustainable sunscreen from IndahGlowandCo is hand-made in small batches. Because they are aware of the impact of chemical sunscreen on our ocean, they aim to be a reef-safe sunscreen. This is to protect you and our environment at the same time. Made in all-natural and organic materials, this sunscreen is environmentally safe and effective against the sun’s harmful rays. They use a cardboard container so it will decompose.
Ingredients: Coconut oil, All organic, Shea butter, Avocado oil, Raspberry seed oil, Carrot seed oil, Non nano zinc oxide powder, Bees wax, Coconut tincture, Tapioca starch
Our next natural, sustainable and reef-safe sunscreen is made from the Philippines. Human Nature’s SafeProtect SPF30 Sunscreen armors your skin from UVA rays that cause skin aging. It also deflects 97% of UVB rays with natural physical particles. Reef-destroying ingredients will not be found on this amazing sunscreen. It is also cruelty-free!
Ingredients: coconut oil, castor seed oil, hydrogenated castor oil, zinc oxide, sunflower seed oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride, dicaprylyl ether, beeswax, soybean oil, fragrance (all-natural), glyceryl caprylate, vitamin E, p-anisic acid
Everyone wants a perfect guilt-free summer, that’s why Badger has the perfect natural, sustainable and reef-safe sunscreen. It is a cream-based zero waste sunscreen packed in a tin can that has SPF40 to shield your skin from UVA and UVB rays. Certified natural and non-toxic, this sunscreen can protect you for up to 80mins and it is reef-friendly and biodegradable. This sunscreen stays where you put it, so you can enjoy your day, not where your sunscreen is.
Ingredients: Uncoated Zinc Oxide 22.5% Base Ingredients: Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Beeswax, Sunflower Vitamin E.
Apothecary Muse also has natural, sustainable, and reef-safe sunscreen. This double-purpose product also serves as an anti-bug bite stick. Its all-natural ingredients divert the harmful rays of the sun and also helps to naturally cool down in the summer heat. You can use it not just for swimming but also for backpacking and mountain biking. It’s also air-travel friendly since it’s a solid stick!
Ingredients: Sunflower Oil or Grape seed oil, Illipe butter, Candelilla wax, Zinc oxide (Non-Nano Zinc) powder, Kaolin Clay powder, Red Raspberry seed oil, Rosehip seed oil, Lemon Eucalyptus oil, Texas Cedarwood oil, Carrot seed oil, Geranium oil, Patchouli oil, Catnip oil, Neem oil.
Price: $10.00 – $15.00
With all your summer activity, you should always have that trusty sunscreen in your bag! Blue Lizard has SPF50+ that inherently protects your skin. Apart from that, it contains no skin-irritating ingredients, no paraben, no fragrances. Sweat and water-resistant for 80 minutes. And because they love our ocean, their natural, sustainable, reef-safe sunscreen doesn’t contain Oxybenzone or Octinoxate.
Ingredients: Alumina, Aluminum Stearate, Beeswax, Palmitate, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Castor Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Purified Water, Sorbitan Oleate, Stearic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, VP Hexadecene Copolymer
SunButter Natural Vegan Sunscreen was formulated with our health and planet in mind. As a result, it is made of all-natural, organic ingredients that protect our skin from UVA and UVB rays. This is also vegan and cruelty-free. It has SPF50 and water-resistant for 4 hours! Furthermore, it is packaged in a metal tin can and has no Oxybenzone that is why it is a reef-safe sunscreen
Ingredients: Medium Chain Triiglycerides (from coconut oil), Candelilla Wax, Coco-Caprylate, Castor Oil, Coconut Oil, Polyglyceryl-3 Ricinoleate (vegetable based emulsifier), Isostearic Acid (plant based binder), Alpha Vitamin E
Dirty Hippie Cosmetics Zero Waste Sunscreen
Our last all-natural, zero waste and reef-safe sunscreen is from Dirty Hippie Cosmetics. It is a Coconut Sunscreen Balm that contains sun-blocking ingredients that are developed for people with sensitive skin. Its creamy and non-greasy texture is perfect for the hot summer weather. You can buy it with or without the bug repellent formula that doubles the purpose of this balm.
Ingredients: Virgin Coconut Oil, Shea Liquid, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Non-micronised Zinc Oxide, Candelilla Wax, Carnauba Wax*, Carrot Seed, Raspberry Seed and Wheatgerm Oils, Natural Vitamin E, Steam Distilled Lime Essential Oil. (Certified Organic)
Have you found your perfect safe sunscreen match? Don’t forget to always bring your all-natural, sustainable and reef-safe sunscreen with you this summer! It will protect your skin without compromising the impact on our environment.