The Best Non-Toxic Sunscreens for Healthy, Glowing Skin
Choosing a Non-Toxic Sunscreen
With summer flying by, we know it’s tempting to grab any old sunscreen off the shelf during that trip to the store to get one more thing checked off your list. Don’t do it! The brands we’re used to seeing on the shelves seem safe because we used them as kids or because they use sneaky greenwashing to appear healthy. In reality, the majority of sunscreens on the market are packed with harmful forever chemicals and release free radicals, wreaking havoc on our thyroids, hormones, endocrine systems and more.
But who has time to research every ingredient in sunscreen?
We do! So forget about the overwhelm of trying to find a healthy sunscreen that’s safe for you and your family. At Love Peace Organic, we did the research for you, and we are proud to bring you a selection of clean & effective sunscreens for every sunny occasion. So whether your summer consists of running from one event to the next, carpooling kids from sport to sport, or lounging at the beach or pool, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing your sunscreen is filled with skin-loving goodness.
In a hurry? Skip to shop our top picks for the best non-toxic sunscreens. Want to learn some of our favorite ways to get the most out of your sunscreen? Read on.
The Skinny on Sunscreen
We did the hard work for you, but we still want you to be informed about what you’re putting on your skin! Here are a few basics to know before lathering up.
What is SPF, actually? How high of an SPF rating do I need?
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. SPF measures the amount of time a sunscreen will protect you from UV rays. It’s important to note that SPF rating refers specifically to UVB rays, though many sunscreens are full spectrum, meaning they provide protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Always opt for full spectrum sunscreens, as UVA rays play a large role in skin aging.
Higher SPF ratings aren’t necessarily better. In fact, sunscreens with an SPF higher than 50 can be misleading. A product with an SPF of 15 blocks about 93% of UVB rays, whereas a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 blocks about 97% of UVB rays. SPF 30 sunscreens are typically enough for most people, given that you apply a thick enough layer and reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours or so.
What ingredients should I look for in sunscreen?
Look for sunscreens containing moisturizers like jojoba oil, as well as sunscreens with natural skin protectors like coconut, avocado, raspberry seed or pomegranate oil.
If you have dry or sensitive skin, opt for a sunscreen with shea butter and chamomile.
Choosing a sunscreen rich in antioxidants will support your skin’s regeneration process, while purchasing a sunscreen with hydrating and skin-calming ingredients will soothe sensitive skin. Look for terms including non-nano (when referring to zinc oxide), phthalate free and paraben free when shopping for sunscreens, and remember, when it comes to ingredients, less is more.
What sunscreen ingredients should I avoid?
If you see ingredients including oxybenzone, homosalate, triclosan, octinoxate, avobenzone, octocrylene, cinoxate, parabens or anything else with “bezone” or “flouro”, RUN! These chemicals have been found in urine, breast milk and blood, and they’ve been banned in some places (even in the USA) for concerns ranging from cancer to coral reef and aquatic life destruction, hormone disruption and free radical generation.
Why should I use a mineral sunscreen?
Mineral sunscreens are naturally broad spectrum and feature zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or both as main ingredients. Non-nano zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are both currently recognized as safe for use in sunscreens, and zinc oxide is particularly beneficial for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin.
Unlike chemical sunscreens, which absorb into your skin and cause irritation, mineral sunscreens reflect heat on the surface of your skin. Thus, you won’t experience the same burning, itching or breakouts you’d get with chemical sunscreens.
Look for a mineral sunscreen with non-nano zinc oxide, which is the safest form of sun protection available in sunscreen products.
Should I apply sunscreen before or after moisturizer?
If you’re using a mineral (physical) sunscreen, apply your moisturizer first, because mineral sunscreens don’t penetrate your skin. If you’re using a chemical sunscreen (which we recommend against), apply your moisturizer last, because chemical sunscreens work by absorbing into your skin.
Regardless of the type of sunscreen you use, always give yourself time to put enough on, in even layers, at least 15 minutes before going out in the sun.
LPO’s Grab-and-Go Clean Sunscreen Guide
We’ve stocked up on the best non-toxic sunscreens and organized them for all your summer needs. Talk about easy! Just choose the sunscreen that’s right for you and get back to fun in the sun.
Best Clean Sunscreens for Daily Use:
- Great for everyday wear from home to office to running errands
- Perfect for sensitive skin
- Bonus - protects against blue light!
- Blends well under makeup
- Nourishes with organic raspberry oil and passion fruit seed oil
- Packed with antioxidants
- Moisturizing and soothing for sensitive skin
- Fragrance free for those easily irritated by aromas
- Ideal for achieving an effortless sunkissed glow
- Lightly tinted with a blend of antioxidants to support skin health
- Perfect for everyday protection without the white residue
Best Clean Sunscreens for Beach Days:
Living Libations Everybody Loves the Sunshine Stick - one of Anastasia’s favorites!
- Great for on-the-go, just toss in your bag and glide on when needed
- Glowy, not greasy
- Smells amazing
- A soothing lotion alternative for those who don’t love the feel of sunscreen
- Pump makes it easy to apply mess-free
Best Clean Sun Care for Tanning:
Living Libations Everybody Loves the Sunshine - one of Anastasia’s favorites!
- A luxurious, moisturizing oil perfect for nourishing your skin while you’re out in the sun
Best Clean Sunscreens for Babies and Kids:
Babo Botanicals is one of our favorite mom-created brands. We love to use their products for our own families, and we’re confident you’ll love them, too. Babo Botanicals products are gentle, moisturizing, non-greasy and hypoallergenic.
Best Clean Sunscreens for Sports and Long Days in the Sun:
- Won’t sting, itch or irritate even the most sensitive skin
- Formulated with soothing calendula and organic cocoa butter
Keep Your Summer Skin Happy with Safe Sunscreens from Love Peace Organic
Keeping your skin healthy and hydrated with the right sunscreen is key to enjoying a sunkissed summer while avoiding painful sunburns and premature aging. We carry all the non-toxic sunscreens you need, plus ultra-gentle sunscreens for your whole family, too! Load up on all your favorite natural sunscreens right here at LPO.
Annie Celentani is a freelance writer who loves nature, traveling and Italian wine. When she's not writing, you can find her researching natural foods & skincare products or out on a walk with her husband Paul, hoping to meet a dog to pet along the way.