Spring and summer is the time when I really love to spend time outdoors, doing my favourite activities, cycling and hiking. It’s the best time of the year! Do you enjoy it as well? But do you always remember to take your sunscreen with you?
Remember, it’s very important to take all the necessary steps to prevent sunburn as skin cancer rates are on the rise and if you sunburn, this actually doubles your risk of getting skin cancer.
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Natural sunscreens are better because they don’t contain harmful preservatives and toxic substances which your skin could absorb and they are better for the environment too, but which one should you buy?
Over the last few years, I tried quite a few natural and organic sunscreens so I know what’s good and what’s not that good. I must admit though, I am still on the lookout for my perfect natural sunscreen and I will continue testing new brands until I find something which I really really love.
So which natural sunscreens would I recommend and which ones I wouldn’t? Let’s begin..
I remember buying two organic sunscreens from Green People before going abroad one year, one for myself and one for my boyfriend. This was the first time I bought a natural sunscreen and I wasn’t sure what to expect. For myself, I bought a sun lotion with SPF 25 (this was the highest SPF Green People were doing at that time, now they do SPF 30 as well) and for my partner, I bought sunscreen with SPF 15 – this was actually a sun lotion with tan accelerator.
My boyfriend totally loved his sunscreen. It didn’t leave any whiteness behind and it did actually help him to get a nice tan (although the tan is not really good for you as it means that your skin has been damaged by the sun!). This sunscreen spreads easily and is quick to absorb.
Sun Lotion SPF25 (now SPF30)
The sunscreen with SPF25 that I was using was ok but when we were cycling it actually made me sweat more. I remember feeling my arms wet on the surface of the skin and my face was the same. I didn’t really like that but maybe since then, they changed the formula. If you are in the sun but not doing any sports, then this sunscreen should be fine for you. It did protect me well and I didn’t get sunburnt.
You can read a full review of this facial sun cream here. In summary, this sunscreen is non-greasy, easy to apply and does not leave any whiteness on your skin. It’s great for combination skin as it’s not heavy and does not cause breakouts. It’s scent-free which makes it suitable for both women and men.
What’s good about natural sunscreens from Green People
What’s great about natural sunscreens from Green People is that they are of really high quality – they contain over 80% organic ingredients and they are free from synthetic fragrances, mineral oils, alcohol and parabens. Green People’s aim is to bring you the purest sunscreen that nature can offer.
Not so good?
Just to mention that Green People use nanoparticles in their organic sun lotions, but if you are worried about that they explained their reasoning in detail here.
I really liked the sun milk from Annemarie Borlind which I bought in Slovenia actually. You can also buy it in the UK – I managed to find it on Amazon. I actually wrote a full review of this sunscreen here.
In summary, the Annemarie Borlind sun milk is easy to apply (it’s not too thick), it’s quick to absorb and does not leave any white residue behind. It doesn’t contain parabens, mineral oils, silicones, PEG, synthetic colours and animal extracts and it protects you from both, UVA and UVB sun rays. Also to mention, the sun milk does not contain nanoparticles and the brand does not test on animals.
This sunscreen is pretty rich, feeling slightly greasy. It also leaves a shine on the skin which diminishes a bit over time. It does contain alcohol but I didn’t find it drying as it’s rich in moisturising oils.
It also contains phenoxyethanol, a preservative which some people find controversial. However, there is no evidence to say that phenoxyethanol is harmful, in fact, lots of natural brands choose to use it. I learnt about this preservative after using this sun milk and now I’d rather not buy products which contain it, just because I want to use products which are more natural. You should not be put off though. This sunscreen is a great alternative to conventional sun creams and I have recommended it to my sister who went ahead and bought it.
Biosolis Extreme Fluid SPF50
Biosolis SPF50 sunscreen is amazing for the following reasons:
- 99% natural with 25.70% of ingredients from organic farming
- it offers UVA + UVB protection (not all-natural sunscreens come with this)
- it contains no citrus oils (these make your skin photosensitive)
- prevents brown spots
- good for the face too (does not cause any breakouts)
- extremely waterproof!
One major negative is that it leaves a white cast on the skin so it’s not suitable for people with darker complexions.
It takes a bit of time to apply it everywhere as you have to massage it into the skin really well.
This is a really good sunscreen but I would recommend it only to people who are naturally pretty pale. If you are not pale, sorry this sunscreen is definitely not for you!
UVBIO Sunscreen SPF 50
Another high SPF sunscreen which I tried, UVBIO Sunscreen SPF50 is a water-resistant sun cream which protects against UVA and UVB rays. Its formula is based on naturally derived ingredients with 22.18% ingredients from organic farming.
It contains no nanoparticles, no palm oil derivatives and no preservatives from synthetic chemistry (no parabens). It holds the following certificates: Cosmébio, ECOCERT and UK Vegan Society.
Comparing to Biosolis, UVBIO sunscreen is easier to distribute onto the skin (due to the oils it contains). In terms of whiteness that cream leaves behind, it’s better than Biosolis Extreme Fluid sunscreen. You just need to massage it really well and whiteness almost totally disappears and blends with the skin colour (it’s good for fair tones but may not be suitable for darker-toned skin types as it does make your skin paler ). This sunscreen is also suitable for children.
Odylique Natural Sun Screen is a relatively new sunscreen on the market (came out in 2016) and it’s one of my favourite natural sunscreens. There are so many good things about it. To start with, it doesn’t leave any whiteness on your skin, yay!! That’s a really positive thing as so many natural sunscreens leave your skin feeling slightly white.
The sun cream has a yellowish colour and feels slightly greasy but that feeling disappears after it gets absorbed into the skin. It feels really nourishing as well and I don’t think I would be comfortable applying it onto my face as it’s so rich.
While testing this sun cream I only used it on my body and it protected me well in hot Slovenian sun. It didn’t give me any sunburns and for this reason, I am really happy to recommend it.
Some other goods points about Odylique’s Natural Sun Screen:
- It offers protection from UVA and UVB rays
- It’s the first ever sun screen that is both approved by the Fairtrade Foundation and organically certified
- Suitable for sensitive skin and all the family
- No nanoparticles
- Suitable for vegans
If you like the sound of Odylique Natural Sun Screen and you want to buy it you can get 15% off on LoveLula’s website, just click here and wait for the pop up to appear (first-time customers only).
EQ is a lovely brand well worth considering. Their products are certified by ECOCERT® and COSMEBIO® accredited. They are never tested on animals. Furthermore, all their sunscreens are non-toxic to coral reefs and the marine environment.
EQ EVOA SPF30 sunscreen is great – it doesn’t leave a white cast behind and 99.2% of its ingredients are from natural origin. It doesn’t contain parabens, PEG and any allergens, which makes it suitable for sensitive skin as well. You can also use it on your face. The cream offers protection from both UVA and UVB sun rays. I would recommend this organic sunscreen to anybody, regardless of their skin colour.
Read more about organic sunscreens from EQ here.
I bought a couple of Jason natural sunscreens quite a few years back, one for me and one for my boyfriend. They were OK but I wouldn’t buy them again. I found their scent a bit weird and creams quite thick. However, in terms of sun protection, I didn’t get sunburnt when using them. EDIT: Since then, Jason have changed the look of their sunscreens and it’s quite possible that the formula changed as well.
I chose Jason Sport Natural Sunscreen SPF 45 for a clear reason. I wanted to use it for cycling and hiking and I didn’t want my skin to get wet after being active for a few minutes. This sunscreen is sweat and water-resistant and I can confirm this is true, it worked very well when I was active.
The SPF 30 sunscreen did a good job at protecting from sunburn but my boyfriend didn’t love it. He wanted the sunscreen from Green People instead!
Unfortunately, Jason use Phenoxyethanol in their sunscreens which some people may react to. They also use chemical UV filters such as Homosalate and Octocrylene which have moderate toxicity concerns (this is something I learnt later on and for this reason, I wouldn’t recommend them although they are an affordable brand and don’t use nanoparticles in their sunscreens).
Kimberly Sayer Ultra Light Facial Moisturizer SPF30
Finally, I wanted to mention Kimberly Sayer facial moisturiser which has SPF30 and is suitable for acne-prone skin. This is another sunscreen which I wouldn’t recommend. I tried a few samples of this sunscreen and it didn’t really protect my face very well as my skin got red. I am not the only one which had this problem. You can read more reviews here. It also contains lemon oil which makes skin more sensitive to light, therefore causing brown spots. Avoid! (although I love how light it is and everything else but not a great sunscreen otherwise)
More natural sunscreens that I have tested
In addition to the above sunscreens I have also tested the following:
- Lavera SPF30 Sun Cream – great for sensitive skin, offers reliable sun protection. Slightly drying but worth considering. Full review here.
- Madara Age-Protecting Natural Sunscreen SPF30 – great sunscreen if you want to prevent ageing, no white cast! Full review here.
- Green People Sun Lotion SPF30 Scent-Free – great for sensitive skin, it moisturises the skin and protects it well from the sun. Full review here.
- Green People Organic Children Sun Lotion SPF30 – designed especially for children, won a Mama & Baby award from the Beauty Shortlist. Full review here.
Sunscreens worth considering which I haven’t tried
I read some good reviews about the following sunscreens:
- MyChelle Dermaceuticals, Sun Shield, SPF28, Unscented (review on Mademoiselle Nature blog)
- Badger Sunscreen Unscented SPF30
- Anthyllis Sun Protection Cream SPF 50 (no nanoparticles)
- Alteya Certified Organic Sunscreen Whole Body SPF30
So there you have it, a good selection of natural and organic sunscreens to consider buying and those to avoid.
What’s the best natural sunscreen you ever tried?