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Save Your Skin With These 8 Vegan and Cruelty-Free Sunscreens

Though the summer season is reminiscent of beach days, picnic lunches, and bike outings, it also means being a lot more careful about protecting your precious skin while spending more time outdoors. Sunscreen has never been more important.

Luckily, finding vegan and cruelty-free sunscreen options is getting easier as brands commit to offering more vegan-friendly skincare products and being transparent about the ingredients and practices they use. But choosing a formula that fits the criteria and doesn’t leave your skin chalky or greasy is no easy feat. We’ve sifted through hundreds of products on the market to find formulations that are kinder to the environment and the animals while also being kind to your skin (let's please avoid skin cancer!). Here are our favorites.

1. All Good SPF 30 Sport Mineral Sunscreen Lotion

This broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection goes the extra mail with a commitment to reef-safe ingredients—meaning it doesn’t contain toxic chemicals that harm coral reefs when the sunscreen lotion washes off your body and into the oceans.

In that way, this cruelty-free lotion is good for your body and the environment (hence the reef-safe), as it uses mineral-based zinc oxide as the active ingredient, which sits on top of your skin and won’t be absorbed into your body. Now that's a UVA/UVB sunscreen formula worth getting excited about (UVA and UVB rays have nothing on you anymore with this full-body sunscreen).

2. Alba Botanica SPF 30 Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen

A cruelty-free mineral sunscreen made with botanicals such as aloe vera and chamomile extract to nourish and soothe the skin, this Alba Botanica formula was created specifically for sensitive skin.

If you find other skincare formulas don’t agree with your skin, this sunscreen is for you. The non-greasy yet moisturizing lotion is also water-resistant for up to 80 minutes and melts into your skin without making you look like a ghost. It's a perfect face sunscreen and is also terrific for your whole body.

3. COOLA Makeup Setting Spray Organic Sunscreen SPF 30

This multi-tasking, makeup-friendly sunscreen formula is a perfect solution to applying SPF protection on your face without ruining your makeup (and COOLA is one of our favorite sunscreen brands). 

The setting spray allows you to spritz on a sheer cruelty-free sunscreen while keeping your morning makeup fresh all day long. Infused with soothing aloe vera and cooling cucumber, as well as hyaluronic acid to bind moisture and help soften, this matte-finish mist also hydrates while protecting the sensitive skin on your beautiful face. Sunscreen never felt so amazing.

4. Cocokind Daily SPF 32

A bonus about this brand is that they fully explain why they choose every ingredient going into their products.

Better still, the brand’s website shows the product on multiple skin tones, so that customers know it works for tanned and darker tones without leaving a white hue. In addition to non-nano zinc oxide, ingredients such as blue phytoplankton and microalgae work to protect your skin against everyday stressors like pollution and blue light from your computer and phone screen.

5. Sun Bum Original SPF 30 Sunscreen Lip Balm 

When adding a layer of cruelty-free sun protection, we often forget about protecting our lips. But our lips need sunscreen, too.

Thanks to Sun Bum, this travel-friendly lip balm will keep your kissers safe on sun-centric days. And the banana scent makes it smell and taste more like a snack, so you’ll want to glide it on your lips frequently. Formulated with aloe vera and Vitamin E to protect and moisturize, this mineral balm is the ultimate pocket essential and can be used under your favorite lip color for added protection. Those UV rays won't feel quite so daunting with this on your side (and on your lips).

6. Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30

Made by women of color for people of color, Black Girl Sunscreen is specifically crafted for everyday use on darker skin tones and it also doubles as a moisturizer.

Ingredients such as avocado moisturizes and provides antioxidants, while jojoba soothes and hydrates skin, helping to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Cacao also provides a dose of antioxidants to fight free radicals and carrots juice contains Vitamin C, which promotes healing and boosts the level of melanin in the skin. And because the formula dries clear, this sunscreen can be used before outdoor activities and under makeup. 

7. Goddess Garden Daily SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen Continuous Spray

This 100-percent biodegradable formula is filled with nourishing organic ingredients such as aloe vera and sunflower oil and was created for those who prefer a spray formula instead of a thick lotion.

This gentle and effective fragrance-free spray is safe for sensitive skin (basically, all skin types) and is sheer and dry to the touch when applied, providing water-resistant protection for up to 80 minutes. Plus it’s scented with lavender essential oil, so you’ll smell good, too.

8. Juice Beauty SPF 30 Tinted Mineral Moisturizer

For those who love multitask products, this tinted, cruelty-free moisturizer blends reef-friendly mineral zinc broad-spectrum SPF 30 with a light tinted foundation coverage while hydrating your face with coconut, sunflower, and jojoba oils and plant-derived hyaluronic acid.

Especially beneficial for normal, dry, or mature skin, this broad-spectrum BB cream is available in four shades (sheer, ivory, sand, and tan) to provide a radiant, even-toned complexion that is also protected from the sun’s harsh rays. 

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Nicole Axworthy is a Toronto-based writer and author of the vegan cookbook DIY Vegan.

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