Eco-Friendly Sunscreen That Should Be in Your Bag This Summer

The best environmentally friendly sunscreen that you should be using this year to help protect the planet.

As we’re beginning the month of April, many people are starting to get excited about summer being right around the corner. We have officially been living amid a pandemic for over a year and the idea of being able to go to a beach unmasked, soaking in the sun’s rays sounds so amazing.

Since a lot of people are still most likely going to be cautious of indoor gatherings, outdoor activities will likely continue to be extremely popular this summer. As we appreciate the natural beauty of our environment this summer, it is important to show gratitude by using products that do not harm our ecosystem.

With something as common as sunscreen, it can be easy to run to the store and pick-up whatever is cheapest or is on the top shelf. However, it would be worth it to take the extra steps to consider ordering an eco-friendly product ahead of time.

Whether you are planning a beach vacation, going on bike rides, or are simply interested in relaxing in a hammock, consider this list of ten eco-friendly sunscreens we have compiled. These are not listed in any particular order but they all have their own benefits.

Raw Elements Eco Formula Sunscreen Tin

Buying Zero Waste Store products helps to support US based stores. Image courtesy Zero Waste Store.

  • SPF 30
  • 3.0 oz
  • $19.99

This Zero Waste Store brand sunscreen is reef safe + plastic-free sunscreen! It can be applied to your face or body and is packaged in a 100% recyclable tin. It is made from certified all-natural, sustainably sourced ingredients. It is also packed with biologically active antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and extracts.

This product is reef-safe and biodegradable. It is also soy, gluten, and nut-free. It is non-GMO, certified 1% for the Planet, as well as made sustainably in the USA. This product is certified animal cruelty-free. The active ingredients in this product include sunflower oil, green tea, black tea, coffee bean, hemp seed oil, cocoa butter, mango butter, beeswax, rosemary oil extract, and vitamin E.

You can purchase this product on zerowastestore.com or on sustainabletravelandliving.com.

Ocean Ramsey - World Reef Day Stick *Zero Waste*

Raw Elements Mineral Sunscreen Stick
Buying a Raw Elements product will benefit your skin, the turtles, and even sharks. Image courtesy of Raw Elements.
  • SPF 30
  • 1.0 oz
  • $18.99

This sunscreen is from the company Raw Elements. In making this product, they partnered with marine biologists, environmentalists, and conservationists, Ocean Ramsey to launch this Zero Waste product. The Ocean Ramsey Stick provides 25% non-nano zinc oxide along with gentle ingredients - organic coconut oil, organic chamomile, organic calendula, and organic sunflower seed oil. Delivered in a compostable push-up stick, the reef-safe formula delivers ultimate performance supported with Ocean’s favorite ingredients for the skin. The stick applicator is plastic-free, fully recyclable, and compostable encouraging safe sun practices and the awareness of making sustainable choices.

The other great thing about this product is that 10% of the proceeds go towards Save the Turtles International, a non-profit organization that focuses on making the maximum positive effort for sea life and the international community.  Proceeds will also go towards One Ocean Conservation who advocates for a global perception change for sharks and inspire marine conservation efforts globally.

You can purchase on their website, shop-eat-surf.com, or at Macy’s.

Daily SPF

Although this product is on the expensive side, customers appreciate its lightweight formula and reef-safe ingredients. Image courtesy of cocokind.
  • SPF 32
  • 1.7 oz
  • $24

This sunscreen by Cocokind is lightweight, mineral-based SPF 32 uses reef-safe zinc oxide, blue phytoplankton, and microalgae to protect skin against UVA and UVB rays, blue light, and pollution damage. This product includes zinc oxide, blue phytoplankton, microalgae, and rich starch.

You can purchase it on their website at cocokind.com or at Target.

Hawaiian Green Tea Sunscreen Lotion


Vegans and vegetarians will appreciate that this product is made with 100% vegetarian ingredients. Image courtesy of albabotanica.
  • SPF 45
  • 4 oz.
  • $8.99

This Alba Botanica sunscreen is a lightweight sunscreen that is made with antioxidant-rich green tea and soothing aloe vera for broad-spectrum protection and a smooth, soothing finish.

Their reef-friendly formula is made with 100% vegetarian ingredients, and it does not contain any oxybenzone, octinoxate, gluten, or synthetic fragrances. It's also biodegradable and not tested on animals. They are dedicated to making high-quality, 100% vegetarian products that overflow with botanical ingredients.

You can purchase it at Target, Amazon, or on their website albabotanica.com.

Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50

Not only will Sun Bum protect your skin from sun damage but it will also protect the environment while simultaneously leaving an appealing, exotic scent. Image courtesy of Sun Bum.

  • SPF 50
  • 30oz
  • $10.00

This Sun Bum sunscreen is made with an antioxidant that helps to neutralize free radicals, which are the main cause of premature skin aging. The Sun Bum sunscreen is hypoallergenic, reef-friendly, cruelty-free, vegan, oil-free, paraben-free, gluten-free, and PABA-free. This moisturizing sunscreen even has its own unique scent specific to the Sun Bum brand.

You can purchase at Ulta, sunbum.com, Target, or Amazon.

Mineral Sunscreen

If you are someone who is price conscious, this product is a great option at only $8.78. Image courtesy of Hello Bello.

  • SPF 50
  • 3 oz
  • $8.78


This Hello Bello sunscreen contains mineral and plant-based ingredients. The product is reef-friendly, water-resistant, cruelty-free, vegan, and hypoallergenic. It has broad-spectrum protection using zinc oxide. Hello Bello sunscreen protects against the three types of UV rays: UVB, UVA2, and UVA1. The product contains cocoa seed butter, avocado, cucumber, and chamomile along with other ingredients. This product is also dermatologist-tested and contains no parabens.

This product can be purchased at Walmart or on their website hellobello.com

Sunscreen - Reef-friendly Mineral Sunscreen

TropicSport products are known for their long-lasting wear. Image courtesy of  TropicSport.
  • SPF 30
  • 5 oz
  • $19.99

This TropicSport sunscreen is an eco-friendly sunscreen inside of an eco-friendly aluminum tube. TropicSport reef-friendly sunscreen is designed by surfers to provide ultimate sun protection, without compromising the environment. TropicSports' formula uses Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, and other natural ingredients which are safe for people. TropicSport does not contain Oxybenzone or Octinoxate, which are proven to cause coral bleaching and it doesn't contain Avobenzone, Octisalate, Octocrylene, or Homosalate which are ingredients the US FDA is actively investigating for being toxic to people.

There are a variety of bottle sizes you can purchase from a travel-sized 3 oz for $15 to a large 32 oz bottle for $89.99.

You can purchase this product on tropicsport.com, Walmart, or Amazon.

PLAY Everyday Lotion with Sunflower Extract

Supergoop was the first company to create an SPF without oxybenzone. Image courtesy of supergoop.
  • SPF 50
  • 2.4 oz
  • $22.00

This sunscreen from supergoop is reef-safe, cruelty-free, and in the most environmentally-friendly packaging possible.

This hydrating, fast-absorbing formula provides high-performance protection from UVA, UVB, and IRA rays, while also helping prevent photoaging and dehydration. They have also formulated it to be water- and sweat-resistant for 80 minutes, so it's perfect for a day of play (i.e. things like running or going to the beach). It also smells amazing. Since 2007, they have been the leader in developing feel-good clean sunscreen, and they were the first to create an SPF without oxybenzone.
You can purchase from their website, Sephora, or Amazon. You can also purchase a 5.5 oz bottle for $32 or a small 1 oz bottle for $10.

Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion

This physical SPF 30 formulation provides an effective shield from UVA and UVB, while being gentle and pleasant feeling on the skin. Image courtesy of Beauty Counter.
  • SPF 30
  • 3.4 oz
  • $25.00

This reef-friendly Beauty Counter sunscreen guards against the sun's damaging rays with water-resistant sunscreen lotion. Formulated with non-nano zinc and California Poppy, this physical SPF 30 formulation provides an effective shield from UVA and UVB, while being a gentle and pleasant feeling on the skin. The smooth, nourishing formula blends evenly onto skin with limited white residue Their sunscreen has been formulated with non-nano zinc oxide, a physical, mineral sun protection technology that bounces the sun’s rays away from the skin. The bottle is also made of recyclable material.

You can purchase from their website beautycounter.com, Amazon, or goop.com.

SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen

Water Resistant, mineral zinc SPF 30 organic ingredients sunscreen made especially for an active outdoor lifestyle. Image courtesy of Juice Beauty.
  • SPF 30
  • 3 oz
  • $18.00


This sunscreen is from Juice Beauty, an organic company, and provides broad-spectrum sun protection with rich organic jojoba and soothing aloe, antioxidants, and vitamins for the ultimate daily protection. They use certified organic ingredients to protect humans, animals, and the planet.

Juice Beauty reef-safe sunscreens are formulated without chemical SPF ingredients such as oxybenzone, which have been banned in Hawaii and Florida for harming coral reefs. Rest assured that you’re safeguarding your skin and our environment with Juice Beauty’s reef-friendly mineral zinc SPFs offering broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection.

Formulated without potentially harmful ingredients such as parabens, petroleum, propylene or butylene glycols, silicones, talc, carbon black, phthalates, sulfates, PEGs, TEA, DEA, GMO, artificial dyes, or synthetic fragrances. Their products are never tested on animals.

You can purchase this on juicebeauty.com, Amazon, or dermstore.


Most of the products are not necessarily more or less expensive than the popular sunscreens that can be harmful to the environment, so deciding on an eco-friendly product is not a tough option. With many sunscreen options, it may be beneficial to do a little research before making a final purchase. When choosing which of those eco-friendly products to choose from, however, pay attention to ingredients to make sure you are deciding on a product that will be good for your skin as well as the environment.

It is also important to double-check the size of the bottle since some companies will sell smaller-sized amounts than others which can be a reason for the large differentiation in price. Treat yourself and the environment to some new sunscreen this summer!

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Sarah Parry

Sarah is an entrepreneur based in Pittsburgh, PA.
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