Sunscreen. Your mum tells you to wear it. Your doctor tells you to wear it. Even the people at the beauty counter tell you to wear it... but what’s all the fuss about?
The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proven by scientists (over and over and over again!). Sunscreen protects your skin from the sun's powerful UV rays and helps to prevent sunburn and the risk of skin cancer.
However, sadly for us vegans, not all sunscreen is vegan. That’s why PlantX has stocked up on the best vegan natural sunscreen the internet has to offer, from organic sunscreens to mineral sunscreens and natural sunscreens, we’ve got you covered.
Contrary to popular opinion, the sun's UV rays are dangerous everywhere, so, wherever on our beautiful planet you are saying hello from, stick around and have a browse. With natural sunscreen, you protect the skin you are in and the skin our fellow earthlings are in at the same time.
What Does Vegan and Natural Sunscreen Even Mean?
Many mainstream sunscreen brands are not vegan or cruelty-free. Sunscreens often contain a number of common animal-derived ingredients including beeswax, elastin, lanolin, chitin, or stearic acid. Any sunscreens containing these types of ingredients are not vegan-friendly, so always check the ingredients label. However, there are many brands that produce 100% vegan sunscreen.
The ingredients label is only half of the story. Even if the ingredients label is entirely plant-based, you may also want to check to make sure that your natural sunscreen has not been tested on animals. After all, animal welfare is often one of the reasons why many of us choose a vegan lifestyle in the first place.
Finally, let’s not forget the world around us. By choosing an ethical and natural sunscreen, we can do our bit to reduce our impact on Planet Earth. Over time, we have come to realise that some of the ingredients in sunscreen, such as oxybenzone and parabens, can have a detrimental impact on marine life. By taking time to consider the natural sunscreen options available to us, we can make informed choices to protect the world around us. Our choice of natural sunscreen matters.
At PlantX we only stock the best vegan and natural sunscreen, meaning that whether you are searching for plant-based sunscreen, organic sunscreen, or mineral sunscreen, you can shop natural sunscreen safe in the knowledge that it is 100% vegan friendly!
Why Is Natural Sunscreen Better?
With their plant-based ingredients, natural vegan sunscreens are generally better than their chemical sunscreen counterparts because they contain no animal byproducts, whatsoever. However, delve a little deeper and you’ll realise that not all natural sunscreens are equal.
While sunscreen is very important to keep our skin safe, scientists have found sunscreen can threaten the health of coral reefs. Sunscreen does not only stay on the skin. When we swim or shower it can wash off and end up in our waterways. Choosing a reef-friendly sunscreen, like Green People's Organic Sun Lotion SPF 30, Scent Free is a great way to make sure you get adequate sun protection with a natural sunscreen that literally doesn’t cost the earth.
Not only do you have a better chance of knowing what you’re rubbing into your skin with a plant-based sunscreen, but natural sunscreens also offer you protection immediately. Contrast this with the typical 15-20 minute recommended wait before going outside that’s associated with chemically-derived sunscreens.
Natural sunscreens are mineral-based and reflect the sun’s rays away from your skin. However, chemically-derived sunscreens absorb the sun’s rays before they have a chance to burn your skin. On the surface, you may not think it matters which type of sunscreen you choose to slather on your skin, but consider this: do you really want a huge amount of strong chemicals all over you, all day long? If not, natural sunscreen is the way to go.
Does Natural Sunscreen Work?
Absolutely! There are two main types of vegan sunscreen, containing different active ingredients that give your skin protection in different ways.
Physical/Mineral: Often described as natural sunscreens or mineral sunscreens, these sunscreens include minerals, such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, that block and scatter UV rays before they can penetrate your skin.
Chemical: These sunscreens are made from chemical ingredients that are designed to absorb the sun’s UV rays before they can damage the skin.
Just like their non-vegan counterparts, how effective your vegan sunscreen is in real life depends on a number of factors, such as:
- SPF: Choose the right SPF for the activities you’ll be doing or how long you’ll be in the sun. SPF 15 is perfect for everyday occasional exposure, like going for a dog walk or driving to the shops. For lengthy outdoor activities, like running, hiking, or swimming, opt for a natural sunscreen with at least SPF 30.
- Broad Spectrum Protection: Broad spectrum protection shields your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Make sure you’re getting the best out of your natural sunscreen bottle.
- Water Resistance: If you’re planning on swimming with your sunscreen on, you’ll want a water-resistant natural sunscreen. These fabulous inventions have the advantage of remaining effective between 40-80 minutes in the water.
Top Natural Sunscreen Products
We all know that good sunscreen is an important part of our daily skincare regime, but just how do you choose the best vegan sunscreen that ticks all the boxes for you? Natural or chemical? Cruelty-free? Better for the environment?
To give you a helping hand, we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite plant-based natural sunscreens.
Green People – Organic Sun Lotion SPF 30, Scent Free
Specially formulated to protect even the most sensitive skin, Green People’s Organic Sun Lotion is a great all-rounder. It’s reef-safe and protects from both UVA and UVB rays. With certified organic ingredients, this natural sunscreen also includes high levels of antioxidants.
SOS Serum Skincare – SPF 50 Sun Cream
Suited to all skin types, SOS Serum Skincare’s Sun Cream offers high levels of SPF protection. Its mineral-derived formula protects from both UVA and UVB radiation and is infused with antioxidants to help fight free-radical skin damage. This natural sunscreen comes as a light cream that is absorbed quickly by the skin, leaving it feeling soothed and refreshed.
Green People – Organic Sun Lotion for Children, SPF 30, Scent Free
If you’re looking to protect your kids’ precious skin, then look no further than Green People’s Organic Sun Lotion for Children. This natural sunscreen offers SPF 30 protection, is completely scent-free, and is gentle on your children’s skin. This natural sunscreen contains aloe vera to soothe your child’s skin. Best of all, it’s water repellent, making it a good choice for swimming.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is There Any Alcohol in Sunscreen?
Sunscreens can contain alcohol in an effort to make less greasy, more easily absorbed formulations. Alcohol may also be used to preserve sunscreens and make them last longer.
There are two main types of alcohol that may be contained within sunscreen. Fatty alcohols such as Cetyl and Cetearyl may be added to thicken the sunscreen, and are typically not irritating to the skin. Simple or denatured alcohol such as ethanol is added to improve the sunscreen’s absorptive properties. However, this type of alcohol can have a drying effect on your skin. Check the label of your natural sunscreen to be on the safe side.
Is Sunscreen Good for Skin Whitening?
Sunscreen is not designed to lighten or bleach the skin. The main aim of sunscreen is to protect your skin from harmful UV radiation.
By blocking the sun’s rays, sunscreens simply allow you to spend longer in the sun before the skin begins to redden and burn. By reducing the tanning effect of the sun, the skin may appear to be paler than if no sun protection had been used. However, sunscreen does not allow you to spend an unlimited amount of time in the sun, completely protected.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to tan your skin without exposing it to the sun’s harsh rays, then grab a bottle of Green People’s Organic Face & Body Self Tan Lotion. Your skin will be looking sun-kissed in no time, all year round.
Is Sun Tan Lotion Waterproof?
No sun tan lotion is 100% waterproof. A natural sunscreen labelled as “waterproof” simply means that the sunscreen clings better to the skin when in water, than a non-waterproof sunscreen. As a result, you don’t need to reapply your natural sunscreen quite as often. In that sense, it is better to think of “waterproof” sunscreen as water-resistant.
When using a waterproof or water-resistant natural sunscreen, you should still reapply the lotion regularly (at least every 2 hours) and after towel-drying, if you have been swimming.
Why is Sunscreen Important in Skincare?
Sunscreen should be an important part of our skincare regime to protect us from the sun’s rays throughout our daily lives. Our skin even needs protection on cloudy days, as up to 80% of the sun’s UV radiation can reach the earth through the clouds.
When used regularly and correctly, sunscreen may reduce the risk of skin cancers and skin precancers. Sunscreen also helps to prevent premature skin ageing, such as sagging, age spots, and wrinkles caused by the sun. A great option is to include a moisturiser with added SPF protection as part of your daily routine, like Green People’s Facial Day Cream SPF 15.