Like this article? We’ve got more! Check out the rest of our articles on skincare innovation, skin health, and combatting environmental stressors.
We loved this post from SkinCareOx.com so much, we had to share a piece of it with you! Skin Care Ox curates a seasonal subscription box with non-toxic organic beauty products. Let's get to it!
Why is sunscreen so important?
A good organic sunscreen is a vital part of any complete skin care routine. While sunlight can provide all sorts of health benefits (like aiding in the body’s production of vitamin D), too much exposure can cause serious long-term damage to your skin. This damage can range from mild to life-threatening including premature wrinkling of the skin, age spots, severe skin burns, and even cancer.
A good rule of thumb is to wear a healthy sunscreen product on your face and any other exposed areas every day. This is because sun damage can accumulate over time from short and incidental sun exposure each day.
Ideally, you’ll want to reapply your organic sunscreen every two hours; however, this can be a difficult + inconvenient habit to build. Try using a solid SPF 30 product (longer protection), wearing a hat + sunglasses when outdoors, and making a note to reapply your sunscreen before going outside. Keeping a jar of sunscreen in your bag or car will help to solidify this habit.
Are all sunscreens created equal?
Unfortunately, there are a lot of ineffective sunscreens on the market today. A recent Consumer Reports article found that "one-third of tested sunscreens delivered less than half of labeled SPF protection."
Most sunscreens available today typically offer protection in the form of either a mineral sunscreen or a chemical sunscreen. Mineral sunscreens are made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These minerals sit on the surface of your skin and physically reflect sunlight away from the skin. Chemical sunscreens work a bit differently and have caused concern amongst dermatologists and researchers. Instead of physically deflecting UV light away from the skin, chemical sunscreens absorb the UV radiation into the skin and dissipate the energy via a chemical reaction under the skin.
Additionally, there is concern that chemical sunscreen ingredients can permeate the skin and cause hormone disruption and allergic reactions. Because of this, the Environmental Working Group and many dermatologists recommend using mineral sunscreens instead of chemical sunscreens. Common chemical sunscreen ingredients to avoid include oxybenzone (one of the worst offenders), avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate.
Here's how we selected our top picks...
For this 2018 top list of the best organic sunscreens, we reviewed hundreds of products to bring you the safest and most effective sunscreens we could find. This list is composed of entirely mineral-based organic sunscreens which use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide for active sun protection. Every organic sunscreen product on this list:
- contains organic + natural ingredients
- does not contain chemical sunscreens
- avoids the use of harmful ingredients such as parabens, PEG compounds, phthalates, formaldehydes, ethoxylated ingredients, petrochemicals, triclosan, TEA/DEA, and synthetic fragrances + colors.
Additionally, all ingredients were thoroughly researched and checked against the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database to ensure that they are safe for use.
STREAM2SEA - SUNSCREEN FOR BODY SPF 30
This SPF 30 formula contains non-nano titanium dioxide (8.8%) and a potent antioxidant blend of green tea, tulsi, wakame and olive leaf. It is water resistant for up to 80 minutes. It is a mineral-based sunscreen and if applied correctly it goes on with minimal whitening. If that is a bother to some, it comes in a tint for no whitening. Stream2Sea is non-greasy, coral-safe and great for water-related and other outdoor activities. Worth highlighting, the packaging is made from sugarcane.
KISS MY FACE ORGANICS – KIDS ORGANIC SUNSCREEN SPF 30
A great non-toxic kids sunscreen that is made with 87% organic ingredients and a blend of titanium dioxide (6%) and zinc oxide (6%) for SPF 30 protection. It has a thick consistency which must be rubbed in well to absorb (typical of a water resistant formula). Once absorbed, it provides long-lasting protection from harsh sun conditions. As a bonus, this product is one of EWG's top sunscreens. Made with organic beeswax, sunflower, and sesame oil.
COOLA SUNCARE – UNSCENTED ORGANIC BABY SUNSCREEN SPF 50
Made with 70% organic ingredients and designed to provide maximum SPF 50 protection for delicate baby skin. It is crafted with both titanium dioxide (7.3%) and zinc oxide (4.3%). Due to the higher SPF, this formula has a very thick consistency (keeping the tube warm helps a little with this) and does leave a noticeable white residue. Ideal for babies and kids who need extra sun protection as the white tint may be too much for adult users.
ALL GOOD – ORGANIC SPORT SUNSCREEN BUTTER SPF 50
One of the most impressive things about this organic sunscreen is how light it feels on the skin. Despite its thick consistency, the product rubs in easily and doesn't feel heavy. This is an SPF 50 formula (25% zinc oxide) that is water resistant for up to 80 minutes. A great choice for outdoor activities. With the exception of vitamin E, this sunscreen contains all organic ingredients like coconut oil, beeswax, calendula, and jojoba oil.
JUICE BEAUTY – SPORT ORGANIC SUNSCREEN SPF 30
Even though this is a thick water-resistant sports formula, this organic sunscreen blends so easily without leaving any white residue. It is SPF 30 and made with 20% zinc oxide. Provides strong protection from the sun during outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, or running. Gentle organic ingredients and a high zinc oxide content make this great for sensitive + acne prone skin types. Also moisturizing with aloe, coconut, and jojoba.
BADGER – ORGANIC BABY SUNSCREEN SPF 30
One of the top rated organic baby sunscreens available. If you want to protect your little ones from sunburn without the harmful chemicals, then this sunscreen is your best bet. It's 100% natural and organic, SPF 30, broad spectrum, and is made with 18.75% non-nano zinc oxide. While this sunscreen has a very thick consistency, it absorbs easily. Organic ingredients include sunflower oil, beeswax, chamomile, calendula, and sea buckthorn oil.
GODDESS GARDEN ORGANICS – EVERYDAY ORGANIC SUNSCREEN SPF 30
A water-resistant SPF 30 sport formula made with 6.4% non-nano titanium dioxide and 6% non-nano zinc oxide for superior sun protection. While this sunscreen works well to prevent burns, it has a thin texture which will leave a white residue unless you rub it in very well. Strong enough for a beach or outdoor day, but not the best texture for daily use. Organic ingredients include aloe, shea butter, safflower oil, sunflower oil, and lavender oil.
Want to see the extended list of 2018's top organic sunscreens? View the full post from Skin Care Ox!