Non-toxic, chemical-free sunscreens are significantly healthier for your skin than regular sunscreens. Companies load up their sunscreens with chemicals and questionable ingredients that are recognized as having some level of toxicity. They are not proven to cause cancer, but there are instances of them increasing skin sensitivity and causing allergic reactions.
To avoid the risks of harmful chemicals in sunscreen, try using a non-toxic, chemical-free sunscreen, which has only organic ingredients derived from plants that protect your skin from the sun, and no chemicals, parabens, or fillers.
To save you time, we have put together our favorite non-toxic, chemical-free sunscreens for you in one convenient place with a little bit of information about each.
You should always look for a sunscreen with a low number of ingredients and non-nano Zinc Oxide as the main active ingredient, which is a safe and organic mineral that protects you from the sun’s harmful rays.
You are also being provided with everything you need to know about the harmful ingredients that are in some sunscreens and how to recognize those ingredients by their real name since they are not always obvious when looking at the ingredients of a sunscreen.
It may take some time to find a great non-toxic and chemical-free sunscreen since you will need to look at the ingredients of each one, check out at reviews, and do research; but hopefully, with this guide, it will not take nearly as long since we have done most of the legwork for you.
Our favorite non-toxic, chemical-free sunscreens are:
- Thrive Natural Care Daily Defense Sunscreen Balm SPF 30
- Badger Broad Spectrum SPF 35 Natural Mineral Sunscreen Cream
- Sky Organics Mineral Water-Resistant Sunscreen Unscented SPF 50
- Two Peas Organics Broad Spectrum Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
- Juice Beauty Sport Sunscreen SPF 30
Continue reading to see a more in-depth description of each and a list of their ingredients. All of these are chemical-free, non-toxic, and organic.
You will notice that when you compare these sunscreens to other regular sunscreens, these have more comprehendible ingredients like beeswax and shea butter, there are no complicated names that sound unnatural and toxic.
When sunscreens have mysterious ingredients that you do not know anything about, it makes it incredibly hard to trust or even know how those ingredients are made and what kind of chemicals the manufacturer uses.
Thrive Natural Care Daily Defense Sunscreen Balm SPF 30
Thrive sunscreen does far more than just protect your skin from the sun; it works as a daily facial moisturizer and has ingredients that provide your skin with the antioxidants it needs to stay healthy.
This sunscreen contains Tazman pepper and Wakame brown seaweed, which help strengthen skin, reduce inflammation and redness, relieving itching or burning, and protect against daily skin exposure to air pollution. It has a nice relieving effect for acne-prone, sensitive skin.
Sunscreens such as this use non-nano Zinc Oxide as its main sunblocking ingredient, which is an organic mineral. It does not contain any harmful ingredients or chemicals.
You can use Thrive Sunscreen Balm every day to protect against the sun. You can choose to either wear it underneath makeup or just on bare skin, and it comes out as a matte, smooth cream so that it does not leave a greasy feeling on your face.
Juanilama, Fierrillo, Non-Nano Zinc Oxide, Tazman Pepper, Wakame Brown Seaweed, Arabica Coffee Oil.
Badger Broad Spectrum SPF 35 Natural Mineral Sunscreen Cream
Badger Broad Spectrum Mineral Sunscreen has no added scent and is fantastic for sensitive skin.
It has only five ingredients that are all organic and natural. It effectively protects your skin from the sun’s UV rays using non-nano Zinc Oxide.
The sunscreen and the bottle itself are both safe for the environment since it’s chemical-free, and the squeeze bottle is BPA and phthalate-free and completely recyclable and bio-degradable.
This is one of the best mineral sunscreens for swimming in the ocean because the ingredients are safe for underwater reefs when it comes off your skin in the water. With any sunscreen, it is unavoidable to have some sunscreen come off in the water, so you want to be sure it does not harm any living creatures.
Badger has other options of sunscreen as well that are lower or higher SPF and sunscreen for active swimmers and surfers.
Uncoated Clear Zinc Oxide 22.5%, Sunflower Seed Oil, Beeswax, Jojoba Seed Oil, And Sunflower Vitamin E.
Sky Organics Mineral Water-Resistant Sunscreen Unscented SPF 50
This small tube packs in tons of nutrients from NSF certified organic ingredients.
SPF 50 is higher than most mineral sunscreens since the non-nano Zinc Oxide is 25%, which is higher than usual. It offers great UV protection; there is no need to buy a chemical-loaded sunscreen that will harm your skin when an all-natural mineral sunscreen can provide the same level of protection at no risk to you.
Once you apply the sunscreen, it is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, and you may need to reapply it after a few hours to ensure complete protection.
This sunscreen is safe for infants, kids, and adults because it is organic, cruelty-free, fragrance-free, and paraben-free.
Non-Nano Zinc Oxide 25%, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Red Raspberry Seed Oil, Shea Butter, Apricot Kernel Oil, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Rosehip Fruit Oil, Vitamin E
Two Peas Organics Broad Spectrum Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
Two Peas Organic Sunscreen does not harm coral reefs when you swim in the ocean.
Sometimes with other sunscreens, they may not be super harmful to your skin health, but when it dissolves in the ocean water, it absorbs into coral and is toxic to it. With the currently decreasing population of coral, it is important that we, as humans, do our part to reduce any type of toxic material that enters the ocean and harms the environment.
This sunscreen is safe for all ages and is waterproof. The bottle is only 3oz, but it takes only a light application to protect you.
This is an excellent option for sensitive skin problems since it has all-natural ingredients and is unscented. There are no chemicals or toxic substances in the sunscreen, and it is hypoallergenic. It leaves your skin feeling hydrated and smooth, and it is sweat-proof, so you don’t have to worry about it running off when you are outside under the hot sun.
Non-nano Zinc Oxide 20%, Castor Oil, Beeswax, Coconut Oil, Olive Fruit Oil, Jojoba Oil, Shea Butter, Sunflower Seed Oil, Vitamin E
Contains NO PABA, parabens, phthalates, BPA, oxybenzone, avobenzone, petrolatum, or 1,4-dioxane.
Juice Beauty Sport Sunscreen SPF 30
Juice Beauty Sport Sunscreen goes on thick and stays on well for any water sport.
It has many more ingredients than the other non-toxic, chemical-free sunscreens we have talked about today, but they are all still completely organic and are safe for your skin and underwater reefs.
This sunscreen is vegan and cruelty-free.
If you want, you can use it daily. Apply one generous layer to your body and face and reapply as needed.
One of the best ingredients in Juice Beauty Sport Sunscreen is Aloe. Most sunscreens do not have aloe, but it is a well-known plant that repairs skin; so if it is in the sunscreen, it repairs your skin at the same time as protecting it from UV rays.
(Non-toxic, Chemical-free, Cruelty-free, Vegan, Organic)
Zinc Oxide 20%, Aloe, Coconut Oil, Organic Apple Juice, Organic White Grape Juice, Castor Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Methyl Abietate, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Magnesium Sulfate, Organic Sunflower Seed Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Lemon Extract, Iron Oxides, Phenethyl Alcohol, Plant-Derived Ethylhexylglycerin, Mandarin Oil, Petitgrain Oil
What Makes Sunscreen Unsafe?
Some of the ingredients and the toxicity of those ingredients and chemicals that are in sunscreen are what make them undesirable.
Although they are available in the store and seem completely harmless, there are some repercussions of using regular sunscreen, especially for people who have sensitive skin. It also never seems like a good idea to constantly apply a cream that has toxic ingredients in it.
One thing you can do to find a good non-toxic sunscreen is to look out for a few of the most common harmful ingredients in sunscreen. Below, we have listed them for you and how they are harmful.
Harmful Ingredients in Sunscreen
- Oxybenzone – a form of synthetic estrogen that can disrupt your hormones. According to The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Oxybenzone can induce adverse reactions such as skin irritation, phototoxicity, and allergic contact dermatitis that may or may not require exposure of light to develop. (Click here to see the original testing information)
- Octinoxate – causes skin allergies, and can possibly have a negative effect on the reproductive system and thyroid (this is based on animal studies composed by the FDA, and there is no significant evidence to prove it has a negative effect on humans).
- Avobenzone – An unstable chemical that, when added to sunscreens, needs to be added alongside another substance called Octisalate, making it safe; however, the Octisalate has toxic components.
- Retinyl Palmitate – Vitamin A, which is an antioxidant. Vitamin A is not usually harmful, but in this form, when exposed to the sun, can be.
If you see any of these ingredients in sunscreen, which some of them, especially Avobenzone, are highly prevalent in common sunscreens, you should not buy that sunscreen because it will be harmful and possibly irritating to your skin; and although some of those sunscreens may last longer than organic ones, it may come at the cost of skin irritation and other uncomfortable symptoms.
Chemical-Free Sunscreen for Kids
Many of the people who want a non-toxic, chemical-free sunscreen are looking to protect not just themselves, but their entire family.
UV protection for infants and kids is critical because their skin is more sensitive and vulnerable than adults’. It may not seem like a big deal while they are young, but if they do not have protection now, they can develop skin complications and sunspots early in life and become more susceptible to skin cancer.
And with the increasingly bad condition of our planet and the ozone layer, more UV rays come through and harm your skin.
Best Non-Toxic, Chemical-Free Sunscreens for Kids
- Badger Baby Sunscreen Cream SPF 30
- Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen
- Baby Bum Fragrance-Free Mineral Sunscreen Stick SPF 50
- Earth Mama Kids Uber Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 40
- TruBaby Water & Play Truly Natural Broad Sunscreen SPF 30
What Level of SPF Should You Use?
If you are not sure what level of SPF is best for you to use, the go-to level you should choose is SPF 30; it blocks 97% of UV rays. SPF 50 provides a little more protection but is not always needed.
Higher levels of SPF are not necessary unless you have a special medical condition that makes you more at risk for skin cancers than other people.
Overview of Our Favorite Non-Toxic, Chemical-Free Sunscreens
It is easy to avoid chemically-comprised sunscreens if you know the warning signs. The quickest and easiest way to tell if a sunscreen is organic or not is to look at the active and inactive ingredients on the back of the tube.
Harmful ingredients include Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Avobenzone, and Retinyl Palmitate. Look for any of these in the section of inactive ingredients, and then make sure that the main active ingredient of the sunscreen is Zinc Oxide, which is a natural mineral that protects from sun rays.
For kids, the best non-toxic, chemical-free sunscreen is Badger Baby Sunscreen Cream (see the link above).
For adults, the best non-toxic, chemical-free sunscreens are Thrive Natural Care Daily Defense Sunscreen Balm SPF 30 and Badger Broad Spectrum SPF 35 Natural Mineral Sunscreen Cream.
In this reading, we provided you with information about the ingredients on both of these sunscreens, plus three other non-toxic sunscreens. Any of the five we have discussed are organic, and should be good for most skin types.