17 Best Organic and Natural Face and Body Sunscreens of 2022


sunscreen

Okay, let’s discuss something first: Terms like “organic” and “natural” are not regulated by the FDA, which means that big ol’ “organic” stamp on your sunscreen label is pretty much meaningless. (YUP, clean beauty has a misinformation problem!) So how do you know what’s actually organic or natural when it comes to sunscreen? You need to flip the bottle over and read the ingredients. But because I know you don’t have time to be scouring different ingredient lists while standing in the skincare aisle at the drugstore, I did all the work for you. I found the best organic, natural, and clean beauty sunscreens to take the guesswork out and spoiler! They are all mineral sunscreen formulas.

And do you know what else I did? I spoke to a board-certified dermatologist and plastic surgeon—hi, Mona Gohara, MD, and Alexis Parcells, MD—to explain exactly what organic sunscreen is and how to find one. Interest piqued? Here’s a sneak peek…

Our top picks for the best natural sunscreens in 2022:

Okay, cool. Now find your new formula below and get slathering—but don’t forget to keep reading for all of the *science* brought to you by the experts and yours truly.

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Best Anti-Aging Natural Sunscreen

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30

  • Broad spectrum protection
  • Can leave a white cast on darker skin tones

This cult-favorite natural sunscreen is infused with raspberry seed and marula oils, which deeply moisturize your skin and help reduce the appearance of fine lines over time. And since there are no synthetic silicones in this formula, your skin won’t be left with that filmy feeling—only lightweight moisture, as it should be.

THE REVIEW: “This gives me an instant glow and makes my skin even—even if I try other sunscreens, I always go back to this,” writes one reviewer.

Best Organic Sunscreen That Blocks Pollution

Coola Mineral Sun Silk Crème SPF 30

  • Takes a bit longer to absorb into the skin

I use a ton of organic skincare, so when I came across this 70 percent organic sunscreen, I had to try it. Not only does it shield skin from harmful UV rays, but it also protects you from damaging blue light (the rays emitted from your phone or laptop) and pollution too.

THE REVIEW: “I have spent YEARS trying to find a lightweight and non-white cast-forming mineral sunscreen that doesn’t break me out,” writes one reviewer, adding, “this product actually makes my skin tone and texture look better while protecting my skin from UV rays AND blue light.”

Best Nourishing Organic Sunscreen

Mad Hippie Daily Protective Serum SPF 30+

  • Can feel tacky upon application

Not only does this organic sunscreen protect your face from sun damage with zinc oxide, but it also nourishes skin with vegan squalane, buriti oil, and hyaluronic acid, while vitamins C and E may help minimize oxidative stress on the skin.

THE REVIEW: “I’ve been trying to find a lightweight facial sunscreen that wasn’t also a moisturizer so I could wear it on top of my moisturizer without being too much—this is perfectly light,” reads one customer’s review.

Best Gentle Organic Sunscreen

Two Peas Organics Mineral Sunscreens SPF 30

This gentle organic sunscreen is ideal for easily irritated or sensitive skin. It’s made with 20 percent zinc oxide to shield your face and body from the sun along with certified-organic plant oils (like coconut oil, jojoba oil, and sunflower seed oil) to moisturize and soothe skin.

THE REVIEW: “This is the only sunscreen I buy—no nasty ingredients, and it goes on thick so you know it’s there,” writes one reviewer.

Best Natural Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin

Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen

  • Takes a minute or two longer to rub in

Sensitive skin types, this is THE natural sunscreen for you. The zinc and titanium-based SPF 30 lotion is made without irritating chemicals (like synthetic fragrance, dyes, or parabens), so you don’t have to worry about it making your face red or blotchy.

THE REVIEW: “I was very delighted with the performance of this sunscreen. It took a few more minutes to get it rubbed completely into my skin than the chemical sunscreen I typically use, but I didn’t get a sunburn, it didn’t turn my skin pasty white, and no coral was killed!” writes one reviewer.

Best Natural Sunscreen for Acne-Prone Skin

Kinship Self Reflect

  • Can become oily throughout humid days

This is truly the perfect natural sunscreen for anyone with acne-prone skin (and it happens to be a 2020 Cosmo beauty award winner too). The formula is lightweight, won’t clog your pores, and is made with probiotics to potentially help balance the bacteria on your skin and, in turn, keep your skin clear.

THE REVIEW: “I’ve been on an endless hunt for a daily SPF that doesn’t irritate my skin and this is an excellent SPF choice for sensitive and acne-prone skin,” reads one customer’s review.

Best Organic Sunscreen Spray

Goddess Garden Sport SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen Spray

  • Mist may have to be rubbed in upon spraying

Fast facts: Ingredients found in traditional non-mineral sunscreens, such as octinoxate and oxybenzone, are proven to damage the ocean’s coral reef (sad!). But this non-aerosol natural sunscreen spray relies on reef-friendly zinc oxide to protect both your skin and the coral when you frolic in the ocean. Think of this as Mother Earth’s number one choice.

THE REVIEW: “With sensitive skin, we’ve had trouble finding a sunscreen that won’t give us rashes or make us sunburnt—that is, until I found this brand,” writes one customer.

Best Organic Sunscreen for Oily Skin

Ren Clean Screen Mattifying Face Sunscreen SPF 30

  • Great for sensitive skin that typically breaks out

Sunscreen is notorious for making skin look super shiny—which might be fine on your body, but on your face? Not so much. So try this mattifying natural sunscreen, which has oil-absorbing rice starch to keep the shine in check all day long.

THE REVIEW: “I have hypersensitive, acne-prone, oily skin and have tried countless brands and formulations in search of ones that don’t break me out,” writes one customer, adding, “this does have limited spreadability, but mattifies and does not break me out, which far outweigh the cons for someone that breaks out from most products.

Best Everyday Natural Sunscreen

Saie Sunvisor Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF 35

  • May not be the best choice for oily skin

I can’t stop talking about this natural sunscreen from Saie—like, I’m genuinely obsessed. It has a silky texture that’s ultra-moisturizing and easy to blend (thank you, aloe vera and grapeseed oil) and a super-sheer tint that blurs redness and dark marks without feeling overly makeup-y.

THE REVIEW: “Just tried this sunscreen and somehow I love it even more than the tinted moisturizer—not only does it give color, but it provides such a dewy luminous finish!” writes one customer.

Best Natural Sunscreen for All Skin Types

Cocokind Daily SPF

Lightweight and non-greasy yet totally moisturizing, this natural sunscreen lotion works on all skin types—from dry and sensitive to oily and acne-prone. Even better: The packaging is sustainably made and the formula is vegan and cruelty-free too.

THE REVIEW: “As someone with brown, but also sensitive, skin who wanted to start wearing SPF regularly, I was on the hunt for a good mineral sunscreen that didn’t leave a white cast,” writes one customer who loves this sunscreen.

Best Organic Sunscreen Stick

Babo Botanicals Super Shield Sport Stick SPF 50

PSA: If you’re outside, you 100 percent need to reapply your SPF every two hours—and this natural sunscreen stick makes it insanely easy to touch up fast. Just swipe it right on your skin (it’s safe for your face and body), then toss it back in your bag. The solid formula means it’ll never leak or spill.

THE REVIEW: “I love this stick! It goes on smoothly and dries mostly sheer,” reads one customer’s review.

Best Tinted Natural Sunscreen

Unsun Mineral Tinted Sunscreen SPF 30

The downside to some mineral sunscreens is the filmy white layer they leave behind. To avoid the ghostly look, choose a tinted sunscreen formula instead, which blends much more seamlessly into darker skin. This natural sunscreen from Unsun also has an added moisturizing boost from shea butter and coconut oil to further combat the look of dry, ashy-looking skin.

THE REVIEW: “The tint works for me and my caramel skin tone, and any sign of a white cast is gone after letting it settle for about 15 to 20 minutes,” writes one customer.

Best Organic Sunscreen Serum

Eleven by Venus Unrivaled Sun Serum

This organic sunscreen from Venus Williams’s SPF line feels ridiculously lightweight on the skin. The liquid-y face serum texture is infused with sheer zinc to protect from UVA and UVB rays and naturally-derived prickly pear extract to deeply hydrate skin.

THE REVIEW: “I had no idea that sunscreen serums existed, and I love both the concept and this particular one—it goes on smooth and velvety and doesn’t leave a white cast,” reads one customer’s review.

Best Natural Powder Sunscreen

Tarte Sea Set & Protect Mineral Sunscreen Powder Broad Spectrum SPF 30

  • Applicator can be finicky at times

TBH, there’s nothing more convenient than powder sunscreen. Just brush it on throughout the day to shield your skin from UV damage—no dirty hands, no spills, no messing up your makeup. This natural one from Tarte uses chemical-free SPF 30 to protect your skin while setting your makeup for up to 12 hours.

THE REVIEW: “I actually wore it by itself one day to run a quick errand, and it made my face look so polished as if I had makeup on,” reads one customer’s review.

Best Natural Sunscreen for Dark Skin Tones

Black Girl Sunscreen Make It Matte Sunscreen SPF 45

  • Great for sensitive and acne-prone skin
  • Not great for skin on the dry side

This is the only non-mineral SPF on the list, but it’s made with plant-based ingredients (like aloe vera and coconut oil) and without synthetic fragrances, dyes, or parabens, so it’s considered natural. The sheer, gel-like formula is perf for anyone with darker skin looking for a clean SPF option that won’t leave a white, chalky cast on their face.

THE REVIEW: “First sunscreen to not make me break out or itch, and I’ve tried seemingly every sunscreen out there!” reads one customer’s review.

Best Organic Sunscreen for Workouts

Juice Beauty SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen

  • May take a little scrubbing in the shower to fully rinse off

This is one of my favorite sunscreens for outdoor workouts. The water and sweat-resistant SPF 30 formula relies on organic, plant-derived ingredients, like aloe vera and jojoba oil, to keep skin hydrated, along with 20 percent zinc oxide to protect against cancer-causing UV rays.

THE REVIEW: “I’ve been using this sunscreen for several years now—since I was diagnosed with melanoma about four years back—and it’s kept my skin protected!” reads one customer’s review.

Best Organic Sunscreen Gel

Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen Face Gel Face-Lotion

  • Dry skin won’t love this product

Thanks to its lightweight gel texture, this natural SPF 30 sunscreen is a solid choice for anyone who hates the feeling of thick lotions or cream on their skin. And even though it’s a mineral formula made with zinc oxide, it’s super sheer, soaks into skin fast, and leaves behind zero white cast, so it’s suitable for all skin tones.

THE REVIEW: “This spreads evenly on my skin without making it greasy or leaving me looking pasty white!” writes one customer.

What is organic sunscreen?

“Technically, organic means that carbon is a key component of the filter. That said, this term is often used interchangeably with mineral or natural sunscreens, and the implication is that no chemicals are added,” says Dr. Gohara. A natural sunscreen—which Gohara says is often used synonymously with the term ‘organic’—has titanium dioxide and zinc oxide as the UV filters, which are the active ingredients that make up mineral sunscreens. In fewer ~scientific~ words, organic sunscreens are technically mineral sunscreens.

Can sunscreen actually be organic or natural?

Yes, sunscreen can actually be organic or, in other words, natural. “Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are naturally occurring minerals, so if a sunscreen is pure titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, then it is indeed natural,” says Dr. Gohara. However, if the “products have titanium dioxide and zinc oxide in addition to a fragrance, preservatives, sensory modifiers, thickeners, etc., the marketing claims get a little murky,” she says.

It is essential to distinguish between a natural SPF filter and a natural SPF product, explains Gohara. “A product may have titanium dioxide and zinc oxide as its active SPF filter, which is natural, but then have preservatives, thickeners, and other chemicals that make the product in its entirety not natural,” she says, explaining that this can be deceiving and confusing to consumers looking to avoid chemical sunscreen. So, again, it all comes down to reading the ingredients.

How to choose the best natural or organic sunscreen:

Your skin type

The most important factor when choosing which products to incorporate into your skincare routine is your skin type. Oily? Opt for a mattifying, lightweight formula. Dry? A moisturizing, dewy sunscreen should be your go-to. If you have sensitive skin, avoid fragrances and opt for a mineral formulation.

SPF 30 or higher

The absolute bare minimum SPF you need is SPF 30, Dr. Gohara says. Any SPF less than that? Consider it a no-go. “Your skin’s color or tone and photosensitivity will determine the length of time that SPF, or sun protective factor, can protect you from UV rays and skin damage,” says Dr. Parcells. If you know you will be outside for longer periods of time, consider a higher SPF and reapply frequently—every two hours or whenever you get out of the water and dry off, she explains.

Siena Gagliano is a contributing beauty editor at Cosmopolitan and has three years of experience writing about beauty, fashion, and lifestyle news. She’s an expert at researching and writing skincare stories, like the differences between mineral vs. chemical sunscreen and the best clear sunscreens, and feels especially knowledgeable in organic sunscreen thanks to being a beauty editor and therefore an advocate for SPF. She regularly tests and analyzes organic and natural sunscreen on her own skin for efficacy, while working with the industry’s top dermatologists to assess new formulas and products.

Lauren Balsamo is the deputy beauty director at Cosmopolitan with almost 10 years of experience researching, writing, and editing skin, makeup, hair, and nail stories across print and digital, including reef-safe sunscreens and the best sunscreens for sensitive skin. Her organic and natural sunscreen picks were based on product reviews, ratings, and personal testing, along with information from experts.

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