The 12 Best Natural Sunscreens of 2020

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The Rundown

Best Overall: CeraVe Mineral Sunscreen Lotion at Amazon

"It's free from chemicals and offers broad-spectrum protection and long-lasting moisture."

Best Budget: Aveeno Baby Zinc Oxide Mineral Sunscreen Lotion at Amazon

"Sensitive enough for babies’ delicate skin, but it works for everybody in the family."

Best Splurge: Solara Suncare Time Traveler at Neiman Marcus

"Easy to spread and rubs in completely without leaving a white discoloration on the skin."

Best Spray: Coola Classic Body Organic Sunscreen Spray at Sephora

"Able to get to all those harder to reach bits because it's lightweight and non-greasy."

Best Powder: Colorscience Sunforgettable Total Protection in SPF 50 at Amazon

"You can re-cap the soft applicator brush and toss it in your bag when you're on the go."

Best Liquid: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Sunscreen at Target

"It has a fluid, lightweight texture that dries matte on the face and body."

Best for Face: Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Formulation with SPF 50 at Amazon

"Its non-greasy formula makes it a great option for layering invisibly under makeup."

Best for Sensitive Skin: EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 at Amazon

"This oil-free option is dermatologist recommended for sensitive or acne-prone skin."

Best for Lips: Supergoop! Fusion Lip Balm at Walmart

"The non-shiny finish makes this lip balm a great unisex option."

Best for Kids: Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen Lotion at Amazon

"Easy to apply and also blends without aggressive rubbing that tends to rile up kiddos."

Our Top Picks

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Best Overall: CeraVe Mineral Sunscreen Lotion

CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen

Courtesy of Amazon

First, a word about natural sunscreens as a category. “The term natural is not actually an FDA-regulated term, and the definition may vary from company to company,” notes New York dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner. “Generally speaking, natural products are those free of fragrances, dyes, parabens, and phthalates.” Among the best overall in the bunch is CeraVe Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, a 100 percent mineral sunscreen option for your face with SPF 50 that earns our pick for its efficacy, versatility, reef-safe formulation, and moisturizing properties. It’s free from chemicals, fragrances, parabens, and oil. It has zinc oxide for broad-spectrum protection, and hyaluronic acid plus three ceramides for long-lasting moisture. Wear this confidently while swimming or snorkeling in reef environments: it’s also free from oxybenzone, which is known to be toxic to coral and other marine life.

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Best Budget: Aveeno Baby Zinc Oxide Mineral Sunscreen Lotion

Aveeno Baby's Continuous Protection Zinc Oxide Mineral Sunscreen Lotion is sensitive enough for babies’ delicate skin—but it works for everybody in the family, and at an excellent price point. The broad-spectrum SPF 50 option is non greasy, water resistant up to 80 minutes, and contains naturally sourced 100 percent zinc oxide as an active ingredient. Get it in a popular two-pack option for an even better value.

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Best Splurge: Solara Suncare Time Traveler

Solara

Courtesy of Neiman Marcus 

Dr. Zeichner cites the luxurious product Solara Suncare Time Traveler as a personal favorite. “This broad-spectrum sunscreen uses zinc oxide only as its UV blocker,” he notes. "Unlike many other mineral blockers, this sunscreen is easy to spread and rubs in completely, without leaving behind a white discoloration on the skin.” The mineral-only, antioxidant- and vitamin-rich formula is naturally quick-absorbing, and has no silicones, drying alcohols, nylons, or other potentially irritating ingredients commonly found in sunscreens. This moisturizing product also claims to plump lines. Wear it alone, or layer it easily under makeup.

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Best Spray: Coola Classic Body Organic Sunscreen Spray

Coola Body Organic Sunscreen Spray SPF 50

 Courtesy of Sephora

Coola’s continuous spray sunscreen with broad-spectrum SPF 50 is water and sweat resistant up to 80 minutes. The hydrating spray includes 70 percent organic ingredients like cucumber, algae, and strawberry extracts. Plus, it’s oxybenzone free, so it’s reef safe, and it’s hypoallergenic, vegan, and cruelty free. The formulation has many fans for being lightweight and non-greasy, so it's able to get to all those harder to reach bits and gives full coverage. But remember this tip from New York dermatologist Dendy Engelman when administering: “Sprays are easy and convenient, but you have to apply significantly more than you think to get anywhere close to the SPF on the bottle.”

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Best Powder: Colorscience Sunforgettable Total Protection in SPF 50

“I like powder sunscreens for easy re-application throughout the day,” Dr. Engelman says. Her picks include Colorscience Sunforgettable Total Protection in SPF 50, a 100 percent mineral sunscreen that feels super lightweight with a finish that helps to conceal discoloration like hyperpigmentation or rosacea. And this formula doesn't just protect against UV rays—it also shields against other environmental aggressors like blue light and infrared radiation. This goes on with a soft applicator brush, allowing you to re-cap it with one hand and toss it in your bag while on the go. Sunforgettable is also oil free and calming for sensitive skin.

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Best Liquid: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Sunscreen

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Face Sunscreen

Courtesy of Target 

Dr. Engelman recommends La Roche-Posay Anthelios for a liquid sunscreen, which has a gentle formula with broad-spectrum SPF 50. “I like that this one can be used on the face and body,” Engelman notes. “Look for non-comedogenic and fragrance-free sunscreens like this one, which is great for sensitive skin.” The 100 percent mineral face sunscreen absorbs fast and is non-whitening and oxybenzone free. It has a fluid, lightweight texture that dries matte. If you like liquid sunscreens in general, note Dr. Engelman’s tips for use: “Liquid sunscreen is best for initial application. Apply before makeup. It should provide even, sufficient coverage.”

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Best for Face: Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Formulation with SPF 50

Neutrogena Sheer Zinc formulation with SPF 50 is a personal favorite of Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali, a New York dermatologist—in fact he calls this a “derm favorite” product overall among the community. The water-resistant face sunscreen is made with naturally-sourced 100 percent zinc oxide and has a distinctly non-greasy formulation. It’s sheer, and free from fragrance, parabens, phthalates, and other potential irritants, so it’s gentle on skin and doesn’t sting if it gets in your eyes. This is a great option for layering invisibly under makeup.

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Best for Sensitive Skin: EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46

EltaMD UV’s clear facial sunscreen with SPF 46 is among the favorites of Dr. Bhanusali. The broad-spectrum, oil-free option is dermatologist recommended for sensitive or acne-prone skin. Its mineral-based zinc oxide formula goes on silky smooth with a lightweight feel. In fact, this option, “goes on and absorbs better than most,” Dr. Bhanusali notes. All EltaMD sunscreens are formulated with zinc oxide, a natural mineral compound; none of them use oxybenzone.

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Best for Lips: Supergoop! Fusion Lip Balm

Supergoop! Fusion Acai Lip Balm

 Courtesy of Walmart

Supergoop!’s Fusion Lip Balm includes natural ingredients like shea butter, honey, and sunflower seed oil, so its texture is luxurious and gentle. But it’s also got SPF 30 to protect your lips, which are one of the most delicate areas of your body exposed to the sun—though they’re often forgotten during the sunscreen application process. Reviewers praise it for its favorable comparison against other popular lip balms—noting it’s neither greasy nor waxy—and appreciate that its non-shiny finish makes it unisex as well. Plus, it uses a reef-safe formula, so you can swim in the Caribbean or Hawaii guilt-free knowing you're not threatening the marine life.

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Best for Kids: Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen Lotion

Bare Republic’s mineral sunscreen lotion has broad-spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 50 without any chemical sunscreens or synthetic fragrances, so it’s just right for babies over six months old. It’s easy to apply and also blends without aggressive rubbing that riles up kiddos—a battle most parents know all too well. The non-nano zinc oxide formula shields the sun physically, not chemically. Natural ingredients include coconut oil, meadowfoam oil, shea butter, and chamomile extract. The brand’s whole line is biodegradable and reef friendly.

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Best Tinted: Suntegrity 5 in 1 Sunscreen

Suntegrity 5 in 1

 Courtesy of Suntegrity

Suntegrity’s 5 in 1 sunscreen does triple duty as a high-performing moisturizer, sunscreen with SPF 30, and foundation. Natural ingredients include aloe vera, jojoba, sunflower, pomegranate, cucumber, and green tea for sun protection and hydration. The active ingredient is 20 percent non-nano size zinc oxide, an important ingredient to Dr. Bhanusali. “Natural sunscreens generally refer to physical or mineral sunscreens,” he notes. “For these, I like to look for ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.” Suntegrity’s product is also vegan and made in America. Color options come in fair, light, golden light, and medium tones.

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Best Invisible: Supergoop! Unseen SPF 40 Sunscreen

Sugargoop! Unseen Sunscreen

Courtesy of Dermstore 

Supergoop!’s Unseen SPF 40 sunscreen has developed a cult following for being as truly invisible on the skin as it claims. The formula for its everyday face sunscreen is lightweight, non-greasy, and scent- and oil-free, with an ultra-soft finish. It also works well as a makeup primer. Natural ingredients here include red algae (which it claims helps protect against the blue light emitted by tech); frankincense (for soothing the skin); and a complex derived from meadowfoam seed (to increase hydration).

Why You Should Trust Us

Alesandra Dubin has fair skin and her favorite travel destinations include all the world’s tropical beaches and islands. Plus, she has young twins with whom she's traveled since they were babies. So she's pretty much experimented with every product (literally) under the sun to find what works best.

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