Not all natural sunscreens are created equally: some will leave you looking like a ghost while others sink into the skin and provide a mega dose of free-radical fighting antioxidants! After trying oh so many different options over the years, here are the absolute best natural sunscreens I’ve tried…
No, no I’m not a big fan of the 70s lifeguard look either.
That’s why you’re here right?
You’re looking for the best natural sunscreen (as promised!) — a safe sunscreen made with natural ingredients AND won’t make you look like a ghost or feel like you’ve just rubbed spackle all over your body?
My friend, I’ve got you covered!
In all honesty, for years I sacrificed aesthetics for safety when it came to sunscreen. In other words: I was totally rocking the 70s lifeguard look. (Though “rocking” is probably the wrong word here… few can pull that off.)
Because while non-nano zinc oxide is the gold standard when it comes to natural sun protection — since it provides broad-spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays, is totally safe and non-toxic, and even soothes chapped skin — it’s also to blame for this chalky white residue on your skin.
Luckily, totally safe, natural sunscreens have come a long way in recent years!
In other words, we no longer have to sacrifice beauty in the name of safety, or vice versa.
The following are the absolute best natural sunscreens I’ve tried for body and face — each made with non-nano zinc oxide (OK, one exception!) and perform like a dream!
The list is short because in my opinion, they really are the best of the best. Why weigh the list down with other options that just don’t stand up? I’ve personally spent way too much time and money on products that don’t perform and I don’t want to put you through that!
The Best Natural Sunscreens: Body
I made a little video showing how each of these options perform — so you can see for yourself and won’t just have to take my word for it! — below!
I mean, I could really just stop the list right here — this is the absolute best natural sunscreen I’ve ever tried. And as a mist, it’s incredibly easy to apply (especially convenient to apply to kids!).
It sprays on white which helps ensure you’re not missing any spots, but with a little rub quickly sinks into skin without leaving any whiteness. None. At all. AND it’s made with non-nano zinc oxide. Yes: perfection!
In case you’re concerned about the spray mechanism: it uses a non-aerosol, bag-on-valve actuator system. So it’s actually air-powered. So there are no potentially harmful — for you or the environment — propellant chemicals used at all!
The formula also contains a good dose of antioxidants to help further protect the skin from UV damage since antioxidants neutralize free-radicals, and UV exposure creates free-radicals in the skin.
The Countersun collection is definitely a little bit of a splurge but absolutely, 100% worth it for the protection and performance provided.
If you prefer a classic lotion over a spray, the Countersun mineral lotion is the way to go.
Like its mist counterpart, the formula is made with non-nano zinc oxide yet quickly disappears into the skin — leaving no white whatsoever! It also includes antioxidants to further protect skin and leaves skin feeling hydrated and dewy, but not sticky or heavy.
Again, all around perfection!
Again, this formula is made with non-nano zinc, doesn’t contain any other unhealthy ingredients, and it rubs into skin very easily (not quite as easily as Countersun but much more easily than every other brand I’ve tried) without leaving a white residue. It also smells delicious!
If comparing it to Countersun, it’s much more utilitarian: doesn’t come with any of the added skin-loving goodies like antioxidants but it gets the job done and well, too. It also doesn’t sink into the skin quite as much and can get a little gooey feeling if you’re working up a sweat while wearing it. For this reason, my big sweaty man of a husband 🙂 (love ya, sweetie!) much prefers Countersun, though I don’t mind it as much.
The Best Natural Sunscreens: Face
This is my go-to daily moisturizer these days. Like its ThinkBaby Safe Sunscreen counterpart discussed above, it’s pretty utilitarian. But it gets the job done and does it well: provides great protection, has a super clean ingredient list, and doesn’t leave skin looking white thanks to a slight tint. In fact, I actually love how it makes my skin look and feel: really dewy, moisturized, and glowy.
I don’t mind that it doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles because I apply it on top of a vitamin C serum, which gives my skin those other goodies. But if you’re a 1-step kind of gal/guy, I’d go with the Beautycounter Dew Skin (next up below!).
Also unlike the Beautycounter Dew Skin, this comes in just 1 shade only and so may not work for all skin shades.
Not only does it provide great color coverage and protect skin from UV rays with non-nano zinc oxide, but it also contains a bunch of other goodies — free-radical fighting and anti-aging antioxidants thanks to vitamin C and firming hyaluronate.
This definitely provides greater coverage than ThinkSport Everyday Face AND comes in a variety of shades!
The only option on the list made with micronized zinc oxide (as opposed to non-nano), but I really just love it too much to not include it. It’s the best non-tinted option I’ve found that offers great protection without leaving you white.
My husband uses this face lotion on a daily basis, and it’s my go-to when I don’t want a tint (such as when I’m going to be working up a sweat and so don’t want the tint running down my face or rubbing off on my hat or shirt!).
It also provides a bunch of other skin-loving, anti-aging goodies like red algae extract, kukui oil, and macadamia nut oil.
It’s not tinted and provides a nice matte finish though a good dose of moisture.
It protects skin with non-nano zinc oxide and contains other skin-loving goodies like plumping hyaluronic acid and the powerhouse antioxidant astaxanthin.