Today I am sharing my guide to eco-friendly sunscreen, updated for 2021.
I’m all about eco-friendly beauty products. From sustainable soap to plastic-free conditioner and to zero-waste makeup, I always think that the best products are ones that work well, are effective, affordable, and are made sustainably. The sunscreen market should be no different.
Questions have been raised about the ingredients in conventional sunscreen. Whilst in the past, selections have been limited, in 2021 the market for sustainable sunscreen has grown hugely.
What To Look For In An Eco-Friendly Sunscreen
Unfortunately, even in the eco-friendly market, not all sunscreens are equal. Be wary of brands that say they offer “complete protection” without any further detail. Instead, look for ones that specifically say that they give broad-spectrum protection. Specifically both UVA and UVB protection.
Also, be wary of sunscreens saying they offer protection above SPF 50. There is no evidence anything above SPF 50 offers increased protection. This also fools you into thinking you can reapply less. Be mindful that you still have to reapply the cream every couple of hours regardless of the SPF.
Guide to Eco-Friendly Sunscreen
To help you through this minefield I’ve done some research. As such, I’ve come up with a few reliable eco-friendly sunscreen brands – from vegan-friendly to reef safe, and more. Each offers a good SPF. And all creams featured also offer both UVA and UVB protection and are safe for all of the family to use.
This post contains affiliate links, denoted by a *.
Badger SPF 30 Sunscreen
Badger Sunscreen* is one of the best eco-friendly sunscreens on the market. It offers a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 and provides protection from both UVA and UVB rays. It’s 100% harsh chemical-free. What’s more, it contains 87% certified organic ingredients and is hypoallergenic. This makes it safe for every member of the family, even little ones.
If you’re planning on snorkeling or diving in coral reefs or other environmentally sensitive ecosystems, then it’s a great choice. As it’s completely biodegradable it won’t cause any harm to the reefs or waterways. And for the final thumbs-up, it’s not tested on animals. However, do bear in mind that it’s not vegan as it contains beeswax.
The downside is that it is not readily available in the UK. However, I’ve tracked down this one, and other sunscreens in their range, on Amazon*.
Green People SPF 30 Eco-Friendly Sunscreen
Green People’s* 78% certified organic eco-friendly sunscreen packs great protection from UVA and UVB rays. It’s also free from parabens, alcohol, Lanolin, phthalates, artificial perfumes, petrochemicals, and colourants.
Green People’s sunscreen is suitable for the most sensitive of skin, even babies, and rubs in really well. It’s not vegan, however, due to the inclusion of beeswax.
Green People have also confirmed that it is reef-safe, so good news if you are planning on diving or snorkeling.
Available with free delivery from Green People for £22* for 200 ml. This is a great family size for holidays. Also, take 10% off your first order when you sign up for the Green People newsletter.
Jāsön Sun Family Sunscreen SPF 45
Free from parabens and SLS, the Jāsön eco-friendly sunscreen offers a hefty SPF45 protection from both UVA and UVB rays. It’s also gentle and non-irritant, making it great for all of the family. The sunscreen is not tested on animals and is vegan-friendly, however, if you are planning on snorkeling then bear in mind it’s not reef-safe. If you’re after a reef-safe sunscreen then try the Jāsön Mineral SPF30 sunblock*, which is £14.99, from Look Fantastic.
Jāsön Sun Family Sunscreen is available from Look Fantastic for £12.99* for 113 g, making it a handy size for carrying around in your bag.
Sol De Ibiza Sunscreen
If you are looking for plastic-free sunscreen, then try Sol De Ibiza*. This SPF 50 natural sunscreen, which protects you from both UVA and UVB rays, gives you great protection without any plastic packaging. This fragrance-free, non-nano formulation is made with organic and cruelty-free ingredients and is suitable for the whole family. What’s more, it’s water-resistant and reef-safe. At £24 for 100 g, it is not the cheapest product but I tried this out over the hottest days of summer and found it to offer mighty eco-friendly sun protection.
Sol De Ibiza also comes in cardboard pushup tube* for easier application on the go. Ironically, I found it difficult to apply the sunscreen in the tube as the texture is more akin to that of a wax crayon, and it’s tricky to get any on your skin. My advice? Stick with the tin.
Odylique Natural Sunscreen
This exceptionally pure, 100% natural, eco-friendly sunscreen was the first sun lotion to be accredited as both Fairtrade and organic. What’s more, it’s also cruelty-free and certified vegan.
The sunscreen itself is great for very sensitive skin, including babies and children. The mineral zinc oxide is the active ingredient, delivered in non-nano format. As such, it offers broad-spectrum UVA and SPF30 UVB protection.
Odylique’s formulation protects the skin whilst actively caring for it. This is through its mixture of nine organic botanicals. These include Fairtrade raw shea butter, which replenishes and soothes skin. The formulation also contains a mixture of chamomile, rosemary, and sea buckthorn to calm sun-sensitive skin.
The light, non-greasy formula makes for easy application and for immediate protection. Find it here* at Big Green Smile. Prices start from £15 for a 50ml tube.
Weleda SPF 30 Sunscreen
Weleda’s SPF 30 Sunscreen* offers waterproof UVA and UVB sun protection with natural non-nano mineral UV filters.
This high-factor natural and vegan sunscreen does leave a white sheen on your skin. However, this is due to its non-nano mineral UV filters, which reflect harmful UV rays. In terms of skincare, organic virgin coconut oil and shea butter protect the moisture level in young skins. The fragrance-free formula is also clinically tested. As such, it’s suitable for sensitive skins – both babies and adults.
All ingredients are grown biodynamically by Weleda. Where this isn’t possible, ingredients are ethically sourced from around the world.
Find it on sale at Content Beauty*.
Have you found any other eco-friendly sunscreen brands you love? Do let me know in the comments! I’m especially looking for recommendations on plastic-free sunscreen. It’s something I’ve not tried before, so am keen to hear from those who have.
PS: Now you’ve got your sunscreen, be cool at the pool with this guide to ethical swimwear too.