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What’s the Best Vegan Sunscreen?
Cruelty-Free, Natural Sunblocks

Last Updated on

My own experience switching to a plant-based lifestyle was enjoyable yet challenging. One of those I found to be quite tricky was replacing all the personal hygiene and skincare products.

Good thing I didn't have to worry about vegan makeup, but I spend a lot of time outdoors, especially in the summer. Protecting my skin from harmful UV rays is something I take seriously, but the problem was identifying sunscreen options that are vegan.

Some might say cruelty-free but still contain animal ingredients, while others are perfectly vegan-friendly, but they don't advertise it.

So, over the last summer, I set out to research and test over 50 products to bring you the best options available.

Our Top Vegan Sunscreens (2020 Updated)

PRODUCT

PRODUCT DETAILS

OUR #1 RATED

Tarte Tarteguard 20 Vegan Sunscreen Product

Tarte Tarteguard 20 

(Editor's Choice)

  • Provides SPF 20
  • Works as a tinted moisturizer
  • Many positive reviews that it's hydrating and feels light
  • check
    The water-based formula doesn't leave you with oily skin

OUR #2 RATED

Kiss My Face Cool Sport Spray Sunscreen

Kiss My Face 

  • Maximum SPF 50 protection
  • The convenient air-powered spray makes applying it very easy
  • Claims to be water-resistant for 80 minutes
  • check
    Feels light on the skin with no greasy effect

OUR #3 RATED

Goddess Garden Sport SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen Lotion Product

Goddess Garden 

  • Very high SPF 50
  • Based on zinc oxide for natural protection
  • Family-friendly product for aquatic sports lovers
  • check
    Uses no chemicals, only environmentally friendly minerals

OUR #4 RATED

Avalon Organics Intense Defense Sheer Moisture SPF Product

Avalon Organics

  • Provides factor 10 protection
  • Based on titanium and zinc oxide
  • Formula designed with added vitamin C to improve skin health
  • check
    Has a nice fresh smell to it

OUR #5 RATED

Jason Natural Products SPF 45 Family Sunblock Product

Jason Natural Products

  • Broad-spectrum SPF 45
  • Water-resistant makes it ideal for swimming
  • Includes green tea extract that can help protect skin from toxin damage
  • check
    Suitable for the whole family

1 - Tarte Tarteguard 20 Vegan Sunscreen (Editor's Choice)

If it's still early in the summer season and you want to get a bit of a healthy tint added to your skin, then Tarteguard is a very popular choice.

Many users like that it works well as a light and non-clogging moisturizer, as well.

Just keep in mind that it's only factor 20, which may not be enough for intense rays.

Tarte Tarteguard 20 Vegan Sunscreen Product

PROS

  • Provides SPF 20
  • Works as a tinted moisturizer
  • Many positive reviews that it's hydrating and feels light
  • check
    The water-based formula doesn't leave you with oily skin

CONS

  • SPF is a bit low for high-intensity UVA and UVB rays

2 - Kiss My Face Cool Sport Spray Sunscreen

This is another water-resistant vegan product that is ideal for sporty people.

With an SPF of 50, it comes in a convenient spray bottle that makes it easier to apply.

If you're a parent, you'll know all about how much that convenience is worth.

While it claims to be fast-drying, I did find that you need to wait about 20 minutes for it to soak in thoroughly. Hint: avoid the sand at that time.

Kiss My Face Cool Sport Spray Sunscreen Product

PROS

  • Maximum SPF 50 protection
  • The convenient air-powered spray makes applying it very easy
  • Claims to be water-resistant for 80 minutes
  • check
    Feels light on the skin with no greasy effect

CONS

  • Not as quick-drying as it claims to be

3 - Goddess Garden Sport SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen Lotion

This is another favorite for families, as it comes in a large enough tube at a reasonable price. You can easily stock up on a few of these for your summer vacation.

It's made with the environment in mind while still maintaining maximum protection.

The main thing we didn't like about it is that you will notice some residue for quite a while after applying it.

Goddess Garden Sport SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen Lotion Product

PROS

  • Very high SPF 50
  • Based on zinc oxide for natural protection
  • Family-friendly product for aquatic sports lovers
  • check
    Uses no chemicals, only environmentally friendly minerals

CONS

  • Leaves a noticeable residue

4 - Avalon Organics Intense Defense Sheer Moisture SPF

This convenient mineral-based protection is an excellent choice for a busy urban life.

It is only SPF10, but unless you're spending a lot of time out in the sunshine, it can be enough for a quick shopping trip or outdoor work lunch.

On the downside, it's a bit thicker than other choices, which can make it difficult to pump out. The consistency can also feel heavy.

Avalon Organics Intense Defense Sheer Moisture SPF Product

PROS

  • Provides factor 10 protection
  • Based on titanium and zinc oxide
  • Formula designed with added vitamin C to improve skin health
  • check
    Has a nice fresh smell to it

CONS

  • It can be a bit difficult to pump out the cream

5 - Jason Natural Products SPF 45 Family Sunblock

This is one of the best-reviewed family products, possibly because of its factor 45 protection.

It will keep kids and adults stay safe, whether you're just out for a walk, or enjoying a swim in the pool.

One thing to keep in mind is that a few people have noted that it can take a while to dry.

Jason Natural Products SPF 45 Family Sunblock Product

PROS

  • Broad-spectrum SPF 45
  • Water-resistant makes it ideal for swimming
  • Includes green tea extract that can help protect skin from toxin damage
  • check
    Suitable for the whole family

CONS

  • Can take a while to soak into your skin fully

6 - Sun Bum Mineral Sunscreen

If you like to go for a splash on a hot day, then you'll need a water-resistant product, and this zinc-based [1] one is one of the best to protect your face.

Yup, I was attracted to the name as it stood out so much from other brands, but it also has very positive reviews, so I was easily sold.

Sadly, this doesn't come bigger than 0.45 oz. It can be a good thing because it's travel-friendly. But price-wise, I feel like it's a bit on the expensive side for its net weight.

Sun Bum Mineral Sunscreen Product

PROS

  • Provides SPF 50 for maximum protection
  • Zinc-based and all vegan ingredients
  • Works as a moisturizer without the use of oils
  • check
    Claims to be hypoallergenic

CONS

  • Only available in tiny 0.45 oz package

7 - Alba Botanica Sport Sunscreen

This is another one of the more popular brands available, and I found a lot of positive reviews that it works very well as a moisturizer.

That's very helpful on very hot days, especially if you have dry skin.

One thing I would point out, though, is that while it is suitable for vegans, it's not entirely chemical-free.

Alba Botanica Sport Sunscreen Product

PROS

  • Provides SPF 45 protection
  • Works well in moisturizing your skin
  • Suitable for dry and sensitive skin

CONS

  • It's not chemical-free

8 - HydroPeptide Solar Defense Body Sunscreen

HydroPeptide comes in another very convenient spray bottle that makes it easier to spread out evenly.

It's entirely mineral-based, which is especially important if your skin is sensitive to chemicals.

From all the reviews, it seems to work very well, but it does come at quite a steep price.

HydroPeptide Solar Defense Body Sunscreen Product

PROS

  • Provides SPF 40
  • The spray works well to spread on your body evenly
  • Many users comment that it has a subtle smell
  • check
    Doesn't use harmful chemicals for protection

CONS

  • One of the more expensive brands

9 - COOLA Full Spectrum 360 Mineral Sun Silk Sunscreen

While this is, by far, not the cheapest brand, keep in mind that this product is not meant to be used on your whole body.

The broad spectrum sunscreen is meant for sensitive skin on your face, where it will shield you from dangerous UV rays.

It does soak in very quickly, but some people reported that it can leave a white cast. Most sunscreens do that, so it's not a significant concern for me.

coola full spectrum 360 mineral sun silk sunscreen Product

PROS

  • Provides SPF 30
  • Based on zinc oxide for natural sun protection
  • Many positive reports that the cream absorbs fast
  • check
    Oil-free so that you don't end up with that greasy look

CONS

  • Leaves a bit of a white cast

10 - Block Island Organics Natural Mineral Sunscreen

The final product on this list is popular because it's listed as using organic compounds.

For the less intense UV exposure, the SPF30 will be enough, but make sure you have a stronger one for sensitive areas like your nose and ears.

What we didn't like so much is that it can take quite a long time to soak in fully, and it does leave a slightly oily residue.

Block Island Organics Natural Mineral Sunscreen Product

PROS

  • Provides SPF 30
  • Uses absolutely no chemicals that can cause harm
  • Organic elements that are ideal for everyday use

CONS

  • Takes a long time to soak in
  • ban
    Does feel a bit oily

What Is Vegan Sunscreen?

Vegan sunscreens are products that are free from animal ingredients and have not been tested on animals either. It's important that you clearly understand this dual ethical impact, as it's something that I had not thought of when I first turned vegan.

These days, I also take it one step further in making sure that the ingredients themselves are mineral-based.

 Zinc and titanium oxide are the most common ones that are safe and best suited to minimize the impact on coral reefs.

So, to summarize the 3 most important aspects:

  • 1
    No animal ingredients
  • 2
    No Animal testing
  • 3
    No environmentally harmful ingredients

Cruelty-Free Vs. Vegan Sunscreen

Cruelty-Free Vs. Vegan Sunscreen Logos

The beauty and makeup industry are slowly waking up to the demands for certified vegan choices, and there has also been a big change in UV protection as well.

The annoying thing is that you can find products that have not been tested on animals, but they contain beeswax.

On the other hand, there are natural sunscreens that contain no animal ingredients, but they have been tested on animals.

Personally, I would like to see a lot more vegan and cruelty-free sunscreen certifications on labels so that it becomes a lot easier to make a truly informed decision of the impact the product has [2].

Environmental Impacts Of Sunscreen

This is something that was relatively new to me, but once I looked into it in more detail, I was quite shocked at how much damage your sunscreen can actually be doing.

Many of the products you find filling shelves are packed full of chemicals like parabens, oxybenzone, octisalate, and nano-titanium, to name just a few.

These don't only wash off swimmers in the oceans, but waste that is pumped into rivers ultimately brings these chemicals into contact with coral reefs [3].

And this is where a lot of damage is done.

THE WORLD'S CORAL reefs are suffering, and chemicals commonly found in sunscreen contribute to the problem. By the numbers, the problem is daunting: 14,000 tons of sunscreen are thought to wash into the oceans each year.

Elaina Zachos

Writer at National Geographic

Favor Natural Sunscreen Ingredients

Zinc and titanium dioxide are the best ingredients to look out for on labels. These are completely natural ingredients, and people are very rarely allergic to them. More importantly, they are not sourced from animals, don't need to be tested for safety, and they don't cause problems for marine life.

For the past 3 years, I have switched exclusively to mineral-based creams, and while they are a bit more expensive, the protection they provide is excellent. I tend to burn easily, so I was concerned about safety, but so far, I haven't had any burned skin at all.

FAQ

Best Vegan Sunscreen FAQ Banner

How do you make vegan sunscreen?

What is the best natural sunscreen?

Is coconut oil a natural sunscreen?

Is aloe vera a natural sunscreen?

Which Product Should You Choose?

Based on hours of research into hundreds of customer reviews, feedback from a dermatologist, and our own experience with more than 50 products over an entire summer, we have all concluded that the best option is the one from Tarte.

It’s lightweight and moisturizing. Since it has a subtle tint to it, you can skip your foundation and still get an even skin tone and a nice makeup base. Best of all, it's vegan, cruelty-free, and won't harm the environment. And, of course, you won't end up looking like a lobster.

If you have some other recommendations, feel free to reach out to us on social media.

Want more vegan care products? Check out our article on best vegan shampoos.

Tarte Tarteguard 20 Vegan Sunscreen Product

Tarte Tarteguard 20 Vegan Sunscreen Product

#1 Vegan Sunscreen

  • Provides SPF 20
  • Works as a tinted moisturizer
  • Many positive reviews that it's hydrating and feels light
  • check
    The water-based formula doesn't leave you with oily skin
Rafid Nassir is a health and fitness fanatic, with the main aim of maximising muscle mass and minimising body fat, with as little time investment as possible.