Unfortunately, not all sunscreen is vegan or environmentally friendly. Some actually damages reefs and has a devastating impact on marine life. This guide takes a look at 3 of the best vegan, cruelty-free and reef-safe sunscreens and explains why not all sunscreen is good.
Top 3 Vegan Sunscreen Products
|Brand||SPF Ratings||Reef Safe?||Hypoallergenic?||Water Resistant?||Check Price|
|Best For Most People||Sun Bum||15, 30, 50, 70||Yes||Yes||Yes||Amazon|
|Best For Sensitive Skin||Alba Botanica||30||Yes||No||Yes||Amazon|
|Best For Tanning||Green People||15||Yes||No||Yes||Amazon|
Is Sunscreen Vegan?
Not all sunscreen is vegan, many contains animal-derived ingredients or is tested on animals. In addition to this, some sunscreen actually damages the environment. For example, the compound oxybenzone (often used in sunscreen) has been found to have a devastating effect on reef corals and marine life.
When looking for a vegan sunscreen you want one that is cruelty-free, reef-safe and does not contain animal-derived ingredients. Don’t worry, there are many sunscreen products available that match this criteria. We’ve rounded up 3 of our favourites so you can enjoy sunny days safely.
What Does Reef-Safe Mean?
A study found that chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate cause bleaching of coral reefs. The term reef-safe allows us to easily identify which sunscreens don’t have these damaging chemicals in so we can buy with confidence.
Save The Reef recommends you check the label before buying. Make sure your sunscreen does not contain the following harmful substances on the HEL list:
- 4-methylbenzylidene camphor
- Any nanoparticles or “nano-sized” zinc or titanium (if it doesn’t explicitly say “micro-sized” or “non-nano” and it can rub in, it’s probably nano-sized)
- Any form of microplastic, such as “exfoliating beads”
3 Great Vegan, Reef-Safe Sunscreens
Sun Bum Sunscreen
This is the sunscreen I use at the moment. It smells amazing, rubs in easily and doesn’t leave my skin feeling greasy. I’ve tried a few different vegan suncreams and Sun Bum is one of my favourites.
What makes it good?
- Cruelty Free
- Reef Friendly
- Paraben Free
- Gluten Free
- Oil Free
- Water Resistant
The Original Lotion is available in SPF 15, 30, 50 or 70. It is a moisturising formula that will protect your skin from UVA/UVB rays. The formula contains Vitamin E which helps neutralise free radicals and enrich your skin.
Plant-based, affordable and suitable for use on sensitive skin. The Alba Botanica sensitive mineral sunscreen is:
- Water resistant (80 minutes)
- Free from harsh sulfates, artificial colours, parabens or phthalates, synthetic Fragrances
- Gluten free
- Not tested on animals
This suncream has a fairly thick consistency that spreads well and is not sticky. The one thing we will say is that this probably isn’t the best option to choose if your skin is oily as the cream can be a little greasy.
If you are looking for a vegan sunscreen that will protect your skin while helping you tan this is the one to choose. One of the unique features of this suncream is that it includes a natural tan accelerator that can help you tan faster while still protecting your skin from UV damage.
Not only is the Green People suncream vegan, the packaging is also plant-based and fully recyclable.
The mix contains certified organic ingredients includiong; Aloe Vera, Edelweiss, Inositol, Green Tea & Avocado. It is clean, reef-safe and kind to sensitive skin. This suncream is easy to apply but it does have a relatively strong fragrance which we love but may not appeal to everyone.
Note: Not all of the Green People suncreams are vegan so if you decide on a different version check it has a “vegan friendly” label before buying.
Thank you for choosing to have a cruelty free summer. Every switch we make helps to contribute to a brighter future.