Safe Sunscreen Guide

Summer is well upon us, and I’m not sure about you, but I’m trying to soak up as much of this “hot girl summer” as humanly possible. It’s exciting to see people out and about, basking in the sun on roof decks, beer gardens, and the beach. With record temperatures hitting cities all over the country, it’s important to wear your sunscreen, especially since we have been cooped up inside for over a year.

Choosing a sunscreen may not be as easy as you think, however. More and more research is being done on the toxic chemicals that are found in many sunscreens. They are harming both our skin and the planet. In addition to these toxic ingredients, scientists are finding even more detrimental effects that sunscreen is having on our oceans: killing animals, plant-life, and aquatic biodiversity alike. It’s easy to choose the cheap spray-on sunscreen from the pharmacy, but we hope you will reconsider the next time you reach for it.

Check out the following sunscreens that are good for your skin, the planet, and its animals.

1. The Organic Pharmacy

The Organic Pharmacy is an awesome company because they are doing their part to take care of our bodies and the planet at the same time. Their sunscreen is free from all chemicals and carcinogens and they only use environmentally friendly, natural ingredients that are reef safe. Their packaging is 100% recyclable and they have partnered with 4Ocean, a charity organization that removes one pound of trash from the ocean for every bracelet (made of recyclable materials) sold.

2. Baby Bum

I personally love Baby Bum sunscreen. Their products score a 2 on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database, a resource that analyzes products based on their toxicity levels and rates them on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the cleanest and safest. Baby Bum products are dermatologist tested, vegan, cruelty-free, reef-safe, paraben-free, and safe to use on babies and children… obviously!

3. Supergoop!

I recently learned about Supergoop! sunscreen from one of my friends. I used some on my face during a day at the beach, and I immediately went home and ordered my own bottle. Itt blends into your skin seamlessly, making those white sunscreen streaks a thing of the past. It is also unscented for those with more sensitive skin, and uses only clean, environmentally friendly ingredients. It is vegan, cruelty-free, and reef safe as well.

4. Blue Lizard

Blue Lizard Sunscreen is a company based in Australia, but you can find their products in stores like Target or Walmart all over the world. Blue Lizard is serious about their sunscreen since sun protection is a must living down under. They have different products for kids, your face, those with sensitive skin, active lifestyles, and more. Their sunscreens are reef safe and their bottles turn blue once they have been exposed to UV light for too long, a gentle reminder for you to reapply.

5. SUR Clean Skincare

All SUR Clean Skincare products are created with clean ingredients that are free from parabens, toxins, and artificial fragrances. They are cruelty-free, gluten-free, and vegan as well. Their Mineral Defence Tinted Zinc Sunscreen is made specifically for your face and neck. You only need a small amount for 2 hours of sun protection, as this is a very concentrated formula. Bonus: this sunscreen has ingredients to help with anti-aging.


Maggie Blehar is a Philadelphia based writer/educator with a Bachelor’s in English and a Master’s in Education. She has been plant-based since 2011 and is always in search of ethical companies to support. She loves traveling, walking her dog, painting, meditation, working for social justice, digging deeper into her zodiac sign, and exploring the Philly vegan scene with friends. Some of her favorite organizations are: Don’t Eat the Homies, Farm Sanctuary, CHNGE, Gentle Barn, and the Equal Justice Initiative. You can find out more about her at