Natural Sunscreen Guide for Face & Body

Natural Sunscreen Guide feature

As Summer and the warmer weather approaches, for most of us, that means more hours spent outside, at the beach and being exposed to the sun’s rays.  While sunscreen is important year round, most of us are more diligent about it in the summer when you are in the sun more often.  Have you looked at the back of your favorite sunscreen lately? Do you know what type you are using?  If you take a look at the ingredients, do you notice a lot of long names that you can’t pronounce?  If you see ingredients like avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, or oxybenzone listed under the active ingredients, you are using a chemical sunscreen.

Chemical sunscreens work by creating a chemical reaction and changing the UV rays into heat then releasing the heat from the skin.  These ingredients are easily absorbed by the skin and can be contaminated with carcinogens as well as being hormone disruptors.  In addition to these potentially harmful active ingredients, often included are other undesirable ingredients such as parabens, PEGs and synthetic fragrance.

A better alternative? 

Physical sunscreens.  These types of sunblock use zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or a combination of both, to deflect the sun’s rays away from the skin.  These sunscreens sit on top of the skin. rather than being absorbed, making them a safer option.  Physical sunscreens apply differently, can sometimes leave a heavy white cast on the skin and usually have a thicker texture in comparison to chemical sunscreens, making it hard for some people to make the switch.

I have been trying different physical sunscreens on myself, my husband and my children for the past few years, and I am happy to report I have found a handful of great ones for both the face and body!  Keep on reading below for my top non toxic mineral sunscreen picks!

Natural Sun Protection for the Face

Sun Protection – Moisturizers for the Face

1. White & Elm: Everyday SPF 15

This super simple moisturizer contains only 10 natural ingredients!  I find this moisturizer to work great for my skin when it is on the more normal side (vs. more dry) making it perfect for the Spring and Summer months. It layers beautifully under makeup as a primer and leaves the skin with a nice matte finish.  It does not leave a white cast on the skin and is a nice simple moisturizer to add to your routine.

2. Josh Rosebrook: Nutrient Day Cream with SPF 30

This luxe hydrating cream is packed full of active herbal extracts and plant oils proven to nourish and protect the skin.  For me, this cream works best when my skin is more on the dry side. It gives wonderful hydration, doesn’t leave my face feeling greasy, and dries down to a perfect satin matte, skin-like finish. While it does also come in a tinted version, I prefer this un-tinted formula as a base for makeup and for everyday wear.

3. Kimberly Sayer: Ultra-Light Facial Moisturizer SPF 30

Of these three, this is almost always the first one I recommend to anyone looking for a lightweight moisturizer with SPF.  The ingredients are all natural and organic and the value is outstanding as this bottle is a whopping 4 oz., which will last you a very long time, even with daily use! Though this is typically recommended for those with more oily or combination skin, I can tell you that my normal/dry skin agreed with this moisturizer very well, and it gave me the perfect amount of hydration in the Summer months.

Natural Sun Protection Tinted Moisturizers and Primers

Sun Protection – Tinted Moisturizers and Primers

1. Graydon Skincare: Face Glow

This product is a perfect primer and moisturizer that provides just a hint of color – enough to even out the skin tone and provide a beautiful base for makeup or to be worn alone for natural glowing skin.  It blends in easily and leaves the skin smooth.  It also mixes wonderfully into foundation or moisturizer to add subtle shimmer and radiance.

2. 14e Cosmetics: Aloe Nourish Skin Tint SPF 10

The Skin Tint is a light coverage tinted moisturizer based in aloe that is both calming and nourishing to the skin.  It is easy to apply quickly with just your fingers, if you prefer, and lasts well throughout the day.  There are eight shades in the range to choose from so it suits many skin tones.  There is a light lavender scent which is noticeable, but not bothersome, in my opinion.  Because the SPF is not high, I wouldn’t rely solely on this product for complete sun protection, but it nicely compliments one of the above mentioned moisturizers, while providing light makeup coverage.  I enjoy layering a loose powder foundation on top of this to achieve slightly more coverage, while still keeping my look very natural.

3. W3ll People: Bio Tint Multi-Action Moisturizer SPF 30

While this is a fairly new find for me, it has quickly become a favorite.  It provides the best coverage of the three listed while also giving great sun protection.  This formula is very thick and can give up to a medium coverage, depending on your application method.  I think it is important to note that if you have skin that is more on the dry side, you will definitely want to exfoliate and/or make sure your skin is very hydrated prior to applying this product.  Because of the heavier texture, it does have a tendency to sit on top of the skin.  My favorite way to use this is to mix in a few drops of this highlighting serum to thin out the texture a bit and give a gorgeous natural glow to the skin.  It is my new go-to ‘no makeup makeup’ look.

Natural Sun Protection for the Body

Sun Protection – Body

1. Babo Botanicals: Sheer Zinc Continuous Spray Sunscreen SPF 30

This sunscreen is a favorite for my entire family! Prior to using natural physical sunscreens, my husband especially, was used to using a spray sunscreen, but a natural formula was hard to come by.  This one leaves very little white cast on the skin and is super lightweight, plus it is water and sweat resistant for up to 80 minutes! I love that it is also fragrance free and hypoallergenic, allowing us to use this on our kids as well!  (especially around children, make sure to first spray this into your hand before applying to reduce the risk of inhaling any of the product)

2. Raw Elements: ECO Formula SPF 30

In addition to the sheer spray sunscreen, this sun cream is also one I use for everyone in the family.  It is my personal favorite as the ingredients are simple, the formula is effective and it actually feels GOOD on the skin!  This sunscreen not only leaves my skin feeling moisturized, but it also doesn’t leave behind the dreaded white cast on the skin.  They offer a tinted formula as well, which I have yet to try, but can bet is equally amazing and a great option for the face!

3. Babo Botanicals: Super Shield Sport Stick SPF 50

Babo Botanicals again?! YES!  I love them that much!  This is truthfully what we use in our home, and what I have found to work the best.  While this stick is great for adults to use on their faces, (my husband and I both use it) the reason I put it under the section for body is because it is great for little bodies!  I get asked a lot which sunscreens I use for my kids, and this one is great for the younger toddlers who don’t like to stay still for too long.  You can easily use this stick to swipe on their arms, legs and face, as it is creamy when warmed on the back of your hand for a second, it rubs in easily, and then those little ones can be on their way!

Natural Sun Protection for the lips

Sun Protection – Lips

1. Hurraw!: Sun Protection Balm SPF 15

With its delicious creamsicle flavor and added SPF, you cannot go wrong with this balm!  It is so smooth and creamy to apply, and does not leave a white cast on the lips.  This little tube lives in my purse during the summer months, as I always need lip balm, and having this one handy keeps my lips super moisturized as well as protected!  Win, win!

2. Badger: Sunscreen Lip Balm SPF 15

This balm is my favorite to toss in my bag when I plan to spend all day outside.  The formula has simple organic ingredients, feels thicker on the lips and seems to stay put longer offering better protection when you are in the sun for several hours.  It does leave my lips looking a bit white, but if you make sure to rub it in a little, it isn’t too bothersome.

3. Suntegrity: Lip C.P.R SPF 30

Nourishing ingredients, beautiful pigment AND sun protection?! This lip product checks all the boxes.  It is perfect for an outdoor summer wedding or just taking a walk outside with your kids – you can look put together and your lips can be protected from harmful rays from the sun.  Plus it comes in a great variety of colors – a must have for your purse this summer!

Tell me your favorite sunscreens in the comments below!  Where will you be taking them with you this summer?  

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