Your Guide to Non-Toxic Sunscreen

Non-Toxic Sunscreen Guide

We all have been told that you need to wear sunscreen in order to prevent skin cancer. That’s a no-brainer. But did you know that most conventional sunscreens actually contain harmful ingredients that are toxic and can actually cause cancer? How ironic! But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered (like that pun?) when it comes to SPF, ingredients to avoid, and safe sunscreens to use! ☀️

First of all, ALWAYS read the ingredient labels. The front of the sunscreen might say “natural” or “gentle” but definitely make sure you read the actual ingredients. Sunscreen has both active and inactive ingredients, so let’s take a look at those individually.

SPF Active Ingredients to Avoid

    • Benzophenone
    • Homosalate
    • Octinoxate/Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate
    • Oxybenzone
    • Padimate O
    • Para-aminobenzoic Acid (PABA)

These are all active ingredients that are approved by the FDA, but they have major toxicity concerns. These ingredients:

  • Are able to penetrate your skin and leach into your bloodstream and tissues. Not good!
  • Disrupt your hormones and can mimic estrogen
  • Affect your reproductive and thyroid systems, and can majorly alter child development and behavior if exposed to fetuses
  • Can cause skin allergies or irritation if inhaled
  • Are TOXIC!

Check out Environmental Working Group for more info.

Campaign for Safe Cosmetics Sunscreen Red List
Image from Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

SPF Inactive Ingredients to Avoid

The following are inactive ingredients that are common in conventional sunscreens. I would suggest avoiding these because of their connections with hormone disruption, toxicity, carcinogenic properties, and cancer:

  • Fragrance
  • Butane or propane
  • Parabens (butylparaben, ethylparaben, isobutylparaben…etc.)
  • Phenoxyethanol
  • Polyethylene
  • PEGs (polyethylene glycol)
  • Chlorphenesin
  • Retinyl Palmitate which speeds up the development of skin tumors and lesions
  • Styrene Acrylates Copolymer

And if you see some questionable ingredients that aren’t on this list, you can always look up the product on the Think Dirty app to learn more about them!

Non-Toxic Sunscreens I Recommend

To avoid the active ingredients from above and to still make sunscreen effective, most natural sunscreens use non-nano zinc oxide as their active ingredient. Non-nano means that the particles are not small enough to be absorbed into your skin or bloodstream, and therefore some natural sunscreens do make you look a little more “pasty” than conventional sunscreens. Zinc oxide also is available micronized which means it will blend in like conventional sunscreens, but still will not enter your bloodstream because of the nature of zinc oxide. However, when micronized zinc oxide is inhaled, it can be dangerous, so avoid aerosol (spray) sunscreens with it!

Here are some non-toxic sunscreens that I love:

Raw Elements Sunscreen
Raw Elements Sunscreen

Raw Elements products are suuuuper clean! They are rated #1 sunscreen by Environmental Working Group, are biodegradable, and are Leaping Bunny Certified.

The sunscreen pictured here is [$19] and made with 23% non-nano zinc oxide. It’s inactive ingredients are {Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Green Tea, Organic Black Tea, Organic Coffee, Organic Hemp Seed Oil, Organic Cocoa Butter, All Natural Mango Butter, Organic Beeswax, All Natural Rosemary Oil Extract, All Natural Vitamin E}. Very clean!

Raw Elements also has lip balms, SPF sticks, and tinted SPF facial moisturizers. You can get 10% off all of their products with the code ORGANICALLYBECCA at checkout 💰

rawelementsusa.com

Laguna Herbals Face & Body Sunscreen

Laguna Herbals SPF

Laguna Herbals products are very clean as well! I really like their sunscreen tin which is [$13]. It’s not greasy and works really great on your face under foundation! It’s made with {Non-Nano Zinc Oxide, Certified Organic Coconut Oil, Certified Organic Beeswax, Certified Organic Calendula, Certified Organic Jojoba Oil, Non-GMO Tocopherol (Vitamin E)}.

Laguna Herbals also makes SPF sticks and lip balms.

lagunaherbals.com

Juice Beauty Sport waterproof sunscreen

Juice Beauty Sport SPF

This Juice Beauty Sport sunscreen is water resistant and made for being active. It’s not as squeaky clean as the two sunscreens above but still pretty darn clean! (and a lower price point) Made with {non-nano zinc oxide} as the active ingredient and also has {organic aloe, apple, and grape juice} in it. You can buy this for [$12].

juicebeauty.com

100% Pure Yerba Mate Mist

100% Pure Yerba Mate SPFI recommend avoiding aerosol sunscreens because of the flammable ingredients, inhalation risks, and ecotoxicology (bad for the environment!). But if you prefer using a spray, I would choose this one by 100% Pure. They also make SPF lip balm and a bronzer.

100percentpure.com

Organic Foundations & Moisturizers with SPF

Or if you’re looking for a daily facial moisturizer or foundation that has SPF in it, here are some I recommend:

And don’t forget, the sun isn’t our enemy. Our bodies need that beneficial vitamin D. But if you’re going to be out in the sun for an extended period of time, especially during midday, put on that natural sunscreen, wear a hat, or find some relief in the shade! 😎

The best non-toxic sunscreens

 

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I might make a small commission on any purchases made via this post. But rest assured I only partner with brands I love and trust and wholeheartedly recommend. These links help support the blog, so thank you!

4 comments on “Your Guide to Non-Toxic Sunscreen”

  1. I really enjoyed this post. It was very informative. The husband and I have been slowly getting into safer more natural solutions for our family. This is just in time for the summer! I didn’t even think about sunscreen and this is key!

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