As we all know, protecting our skin from the harmful UV rays is crucial, but not all sunscreens are created equal. In this guide, we will delve into the world of non-toxic, mineral-based sunscreens that not only shield your skin but also respect the environment.
We've handpicked five of the best non-toxic sunscreens. So, get ready to enjoy the summer sun safely and responsibly, with our top 5 recommendations!
Made with non-nano zinc oxide & soothing botanicals f.a.e. This sunscreen by Thrive Market is not just the most affordable on this list they also have some of the cleanest and safest ingredients of all sunscreens currently on the market.
f.a.e. Broad Spectrum Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 30
Made with non-nano zinc oxide & soothing botanicals. Water resistant up to 80 minutes
Price: $7.99 (at time of writing)
Ingredients: Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide (18.75%) Non-nanoparticle
Inactive Ingredients: Cera Alba (Beeswax)*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Simmondsia Chinesis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, non-GMO Tocopherol (Vitamin E). *Organic
Made with just 5 simple ingredients that moisturize, nourish & protect. Hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic and gentle on sensitive skin
Badger Mineral Sunscreen Cream SPF 30
Help prevent sunburn and skin damage with a zinc oxide sunscreen with broad spectrum UVA UVB protection. Gluten free & non-GMO
Price: $15.29 (at time of writing)
Ingredients: Uncoated Clear Zinc Oxide, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Beeswax, Sunflower Vitamin E & Organic Seabuckthorn Extract (98% Organic & Certified Non-GMO)
No more burning eyes. Sweat it out hiking, running, biking, this sunscreen won't run into your eyes. Water resistant up to 80 minutes.
All Good Sport Mineral Sunscreen Lotion
A sunscreen lotion that is super hydrating and easy to rub in thanks to a blend of coconut oil, jojoba oil, and shea butter.
Price: $16.98 (at time of writing)
Ingredients: Zinc Oxide, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice, Bentonite, Calendula Of Cinalis (Calendula) Flower, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Carthamus Tinctorius (Saf Ower) Seed Oil, Cellulose Gum, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Coco-Glucoside, Glycerin, Helianthus Annuus (Sun Ower) Seed Oil, Heptyl Undecylenate, Jojoba Esters, Mauritia Flexuosa (Buriti) Fruit Oil, Methyl Dihydroabietate, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Octyldodecyl Oleate, Olea Eur
Thinksport sunscreen provides effective sun protection for athletes, sports and active use. The broad spectrum UVA & UVB sun cream is suitable for daily use on even sensitive skin, offering gentle defense against the sun’s rays.
Thinksport SPF 50+ Mineral Sunscreen
The first sunscreen to pass Whole Foods Premium Care requirements.
Price: $14.99 (at time of writing)
Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 20% (Non-nano)
Inactive Ingredients: Purified Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Capric Caprylic Triglycerides, Sorbitan Stearate (Coconut Based), Pine Wood Resin, Vegetable Glycerin,cetyl Dimethicone, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt), Sunflower Oil, Jojoba Oil, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Tocopherols (Vitamin E), Olive Oil, Raspberry Seed Oil, Cranberry Seed Oil, Hyaluronic Acid (Made From Vegetable), White Currant
Aloe vera, coconut oil, and shea butter nourish your skin, while non-nano Zinc Oxide keeps the sun’s rays away. It’s efficient, effection protection made simple.
Beauty by Earth SPF 25 Mineral Sunscreen
Unlike chemical sunscreens which penetrate your skin, this sunblock carefully crafts a barrier - providing an impenetrable layer of protection that sits on top of your skin
Price: $21.59 (at time of writing)
Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 14% (Non-nano)
Inactive Ingredients: Organic Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Organic Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Glycerin (Vegetable), Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Organic Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Organic Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Organic Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract, Organic Vanilla Planifolia (Vanilla) Fruit Extract, Organic Camellia Oleifera (Japanese Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract, Magnesium Sulfate, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Pulp Extract, Vanilla Tahitensis (Vanilla) Fruit Extract
Why is mineral sunscreen considered a ‘safer’ option?
Mineral sunscreens, also known as physical sunscreens, are considered a safer option for several reasons. Primarily, they contain active mineral ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which have been recognized as safe and effective by the FDA. These ingredients work by creating a physical barrier that blocks the sun's rays, rather than absorbing them like chemical sunscreens. This makes them ideal for children, people with sensitive skin, and people with melasma.
Additionally, a study published in JAMA found that several chemical sunscreen ingredients can be absorbed into the bloodstream at levels that far exceed the FDA's safety threshold. This has led to calls for additional safety information on these ingredients. On the other hand, mineral sunscreens are not absorbed into the skin, reducing the risk of systemic exposure.
While chemical sunscreens can be irritating to some skin types and have been linked to adverse environmental effects, mineral sunscreens are generally less likely to cause skin irritation and are considered more environmentally friendly. However, they can leave a white cast on the skin and may need to be reapplied more frequently.
So which sunscreen ingredients should be avoided?
Oxybenzone/Octinoxate: These are chemical ingredients that are commonly found in many sunscreens. They are known to cause coral bleaching and pose potential risks to human health, such as endocrine disruption.
Avobenzone: While this ingredient offers excellent UVA protection, it can degrade in the sun, resulting in the release of harmful free radicals. Additionally, it can cause skin allergies in some people.
Retinyl Palmitate: This is a form of vitamin A that can speed up the development of skin tumors and lesions when exposed to the sun. It's best to avoid sunscreens containing this ingredient, especially during peak sun hours.
Homosalate: Homosalate is a UVB absorber that can disrupt estrogen, androgen, and progesterone. This chemical can accumulate in the body faster than it can be excreted, thereby posing potential health risks.
Octisalate: Octisalate is a UVB absorber that can penetrate the skin and result in allergic reactions. Its safety on human health is still under debate, so it's safer to avoid sunscreens containing this ingredient.
Octocrylene: This ingredient can cause skin allergies and is potentially harmful to aquatic life. It also generates reactive oxygen species that can cause cellular damage when exposed to the sun.
Cinoxate: Cinoxate is not a strong UV absorber on its own and is often combined with other ingredients. Its safety profile is still not clear, and it's known to cause allergies in some people.
Dioxybenzone: Dioxybenzone is a strong UVA and UVB absorber that can cause skin allergies and cellular damage. It is also a potential endocrine disruptor, which can lead to various health issues.
Ensulizole: Ensulizole is a UVB absorber that can cause skin allergies. It's also suspected to be an environmental toxin, harmful to aquatic life.