I grew up as a pale, freckle-faced kid in a Southern California beach town, so sunscreen has always been a part of my life. Given all of the sunny days that I spent slathering on SPF, you'd think I would know a thing or two about what's actually in a standard bottle. I didn't until now. As it turns out, sunscreen that isn't labeled as organic or natural may contain chemicals that interfere with your hormones and metabolism. In fact, it may even absorb the very rays it's supposed to deflect.
So don't follow in my childhood flip-flops and choose the cheapest sunscreen that's next to the snack aisle at the deli. Instead, take a hint from the adult reviewers at Dermstore and choose one of these natural and organic sunscreens for your summer activities. We found 11 that are paraben-free, mineral-only, natural, and broad-spectrum so that you have all of the protection you need without any of the harmful ingredients.
Here's to slathering on sunscreen that doesn't come with any stressful side effects.
Why It Works: This paraben-free and organic sunscreen has two extracts, cucumber and strawberry, to moisturize and tone skin. It's a good choice for those who are prone to acne or irritations.
Five-Star Review: "This sunscreen does a great job of protecting your face from the sun. In addition, it does not burn when you sweat and leaves your skin feeling soft and silky. Would give it six stars if I could!" — Verified Purchaser from Brea, California
Why It Works: The inclusion of linden flower gives this all-natural sunscreen the added benefit of having antioxidants that make skin smooth and protected. It blocks UVA and UVB rays and is certified cruelty-free.
Five-Star Review: "This is the best body sunscreen I've ever used! I'm a tough customer because I have very dry, fair, and sensitive skin. This product glides on my skin easily with no sticky residue or a whitish hue (due to the zinc ingredient). I must say, usually I get products that are non-scented, but this gentle smell is not overpowering so it's an added benefit. It is very moisturizing and the appropriate SPF coverage for me. I will not use anything else!" — Verified Purchaser from Boca Raton, Florida
Why It Works: The sheer formula of this paraben-free and organic sunscreen makes it ideal for multiple dips in the pool or a run on the beach—it's water-resistant and non-greasy. And as an added bonus, the primrose and linseed oils keep skin soft, smooth, and smelling great.
Five-Star Review: "The fact that this line has ingredients that I can trust should be enough, but it went above and beyond to deliver these amazing scents! I ordered the plumeria scent, and I love, love, love it! It's not overpowering and definitely smells better than standard sunscreens. It glides on easy and sinks in, leaving me feeling moisturized out in the sun. This is a must-try!" — Verified Purchaser from Waikoloa, Hawaii
Why It Works: Not only does this organic sunscreen have aloe vera and antioxidants, but it also contains green tea to reverse sun damage and vitamin C to diminish dark spots.
Five-Star Review: "I love this spray, it feels so lightweight and gives great protection. The fragrance is really nice too! It does not smell like the chemical Coppertone sunscreens of the world… bleh! I'll be wearing it all summer." — Female from Brooklyn, New York
Why It Works: With green tea as its main ingredient, this natural sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays while also shielding the skin from free radicals. Aloe vera and cucumber will also help fight any irritations.
Five-Star Review: "This is the second time I've purchased a tube of Suntegrity body sunscreen because it feels good going on, it's actually good for my dry skin, and the best thing of all is that it is completely natural with no harmful chemicals. Although it initially looks 'white' when I apply it, after a short while it sinks into my skin, while other 'natural' sunscreens do not. The others I've tried to stay very white and pasty." — Verified Purchaser from Frenchtown, Montana
Why It Works: Free radicals are no match to this natural sunscreen since it has green tea extract and vitamin E to protect the skin from that damage. UVA and UVB rays better look out, too, because micronized zinc is also mixed in.
Five-Star Review: "I love this product! I bought this because I was searching for something with a high zinc oxide content. I love that it has 20 percent zinc oxide! I use this as my daily SPF on my neck and décolletage. It's amazing for this purpose. It is moisturizing but not greasy, and doesn't leave a white cast." — Verified Purchaser from Augusta, Georgia
Why It Works: Pomegranate, green tea, and red algae extracts shield the skin with antioxidants, but that's not the only reason why this natural sunscreen should be a summer buy. Its mineral filters have a strong enough shield to protect against harmful rays, but it's still light enough to be used as a foundation.
Five-Star Review: "Finally, after years of trying sunscreens, I have found a product that checks all my boxes. I use this daily. It does not have any whitish cast and it has not clogged my pores. It has 20 percent zinc oxide, it moisturizes, and it does not leave a mask-like layer that I have found with other formulas at this percentage. I have used this as a replacement for liquid foundation on occasion with a dusting of powder on top to set it. All of this and it's cruelty-free! For me, this product is a super A+" — Verified Purchaser from Bluefield, West Virginia
Why It Works: This sunscreen protects skin from those pesky UVB and UVA rays, and it also has the added power to shield against blue and infrared lights, too. Plus, it has diatomaceous earth mixed in to absorb sweat and excess oils.
Five-Star Review: "I love this sunscreen because it provides excellent coverage in a smooth, primer-like foundation. It has a clearer consistency, versus other white formulas that end up leaving a ghost-like veil on your skin, so it's perfect to wear alone or even under makeup. Love that it also doesn't have that traditional SPF smell." — Verified Purchaser from Petaluma, California
Why It Works: This natural sunscreen boosts collagen—thanks to additions of hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and vitamins—and shields from harmful rays and pollutants. It also has green tea and aloe vera to help complexions look smooth and soft.
Five-Star Review: "This is the best sunscreen on the market. I'm always looking for the best, and finding an excellent sunscreen was quite a challenge. This sunscreen has a super-light texture with no greasy residue, it absorbs right into your skin. It blocks 98 percent of UVA rays, which is really impressive to me. It also has a peptide in it, which works to protect the collagen in your skin. On top of all of that, it has a powerhouse of antioxidants. The most impressive quality about this product, though, is that it's certified organic." — Verified Purchaser from Belmont, Massachusetts
Why It Works: The zinc oxide in this natural sunscreen protects the skin from UVA and UVB rays, but it also has bentonite clay and agave leaf extract to keep pores clean. Lastly, there's a subtle tint to it that makes it ideal for summer nights when you don't want to wear much makeup.
Five-Star Review: "This is the best tinted moisturizer/SPF product I have ever purchased. It took me forever to find something without dimethicone, and this product has such a beautiful finish to it. Really great coverage too, no trace of a white cast and it's not oily. As far as I'm concerned, this is my 'foundation' because of how excellent the coverage is." — Verified Purchaser from Oviedo, Florida
Why It Works: A hydra-shield complex is behind this product's UVA and UVB protection, and it also has soy and vitamin E to make skin appear soft and glowing. It's an especially good pick for the neck and face.
Five-Star Review: "I was so impressed with a sample I received that I just had to buy it! This feels so lightweight on my skin, yet completely moisturizes. It has never irritated my skin or made me break out, and it's light enough for the summer months but moisturizing enough for the winter months. I'm a complete convert. My skin looks brighter and more even overall, and I think it even helped tone down some of my redness. You must give it a try." — Verified Purchaser from Portsmouth, New Hampshire