Eating a plant-centric diet is a good start in protecting you from the sun’s damaging rays. Studies show that eating certain fruit and vegetables—strawberries and tomatoes, for instance—can build your sun protection defenses from the inside out. Yet if you want to ward off skin cancer, and even prevent aging of the skin, you should make it a habit to slather on sunscreen when you’re outside—even inside, too, as you get ultraviolet (UV) exposure through windows. UV rays, after all, are the cause of most skin cancers and an estimated 90 percent of skin aging, according to the American Cancer Society. By applying sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, the Skin Cancer Foundation estimates that you can reduce your risk of squamous cell carcinoma by about 40 percent and melanoma by about 50 percent. Trouble is, though, not all sunscreens are vegan, as some may be tested on animals or contain animal byproducts. So just as you do your due diligence to find vegan skincare products, elicit the same care with sunscreen. Luckily, we’re here to help with these nine vegan sunscreens you can find at major grocery and convenience stores.
1. Sun Bum Mineral Sunscreen Face Stick SPF 50
Reapplying sunscreen—especially on your face—is a strategy every dermatologist recommends. Yet rather than carting a bottle of lotion with you, this zinc-based mineral face stick is compact enough that it can go with you anywhere, even in your purse or backpack. The smooth, easy glide makes it a cinch to apply to your face, lips, nose, and ears.
Kiss My Face
2. Kiss My Face Organics Purely Mineral Air Powered Sunscreen SPF 30
When you need to get hard-to-reach places on your body or just want a more convenient sunscreen, pick this reef-safe option, which features aloe vera and green tea and is fragrance-free. Just note that to get the right coverage with any spray sunscreen, you need to hold the nozzle close to your skin, spray on a healthy dose and rub it in thoroughly, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. And if applying outside, avoid using these sprays on windy days.
3. Alba Botanica Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30
This reef-friendly sunscreen features ingredients such as aloe vera and chamomile in its biodegradable formula. And it doesn’t contain synthetic fragrances, making this perfect for sensitive skin. It’s also certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization.
4. Goddess Garden Sport Mineral Sunscreen Face Stick SPF 50
If you’re an outdoor fitness enthusiast, stash this biodegradable zinc face stick in your back pocket or backpack. Its compact nature makes it easy to pull out whenever you want to slather on some sunscreen. Better still, it’s water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, and it contains no fragrances, which is critical if you have sensitive skin.
5. Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30
How can you not love a company named after a stuffed bunny (a companion of the founder’s son) named Babo? This zinc-based mineral sunscreen is unique in that it goes on clear—instead of giving you a white ghost-like appearance like other mineral sunscreens. Slather this on your skin knowing that it does good simultaneously, as the company donates a portion of the proceeds to educating children on gardening and nutrition as well as developing urban gardens for kids.
6. Pacifica Sea & C Sheer Suncreen Spray SPF 30
Planning to spend some time at the pool? Be sure your sunscreen is water-proof to prevent wrinkles, sun spots, and of course, skin cancer even while playing in the water. Pacifica is a 100-percent vegan and cruelty-free brand, utilizing good-for-you ingredients such as Vitamin C and marine plant extracts to revitalize your skin. Plus, this non-aerosol, water-resistant body spray sunscreen is oh-so-easy to use and it applies sheer.
7. COOLA Classic Body Organic Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30
Organic fans, this one’s for you. This lotion contains at least 70 percent certified organic ingredients, including what COOLA calls its Plant Protection Complex, which includes red raspberry seed oil, buriti oil, meadowfoam seed oil, and prickly pear extract. This lightweight formula hydrates and nourishes your skin, too.
8. The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow-Protect Lotion SPF 30
Vitamin C gives this moisturizing sunscreen a unique appeal because it can brighten up dull skin. It blends beautifully into the skin and even has a citrus scent to it, thanks to the camu camu berry. Keep this by your toothbrush so you remember to slather it on your face—and all the other exposed parts of your body—every morning before you put on your makeup.
Salt & Stone
9. Salt & Stone Natural Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30
You’ll love slathering this lightweight natural mineral sunscreen onto your skin, especially if you’re about to work out. It’s not only sweat resistant but also doesn’t leave any white residue on your skin. The non-greasy formula contains hyaluronic acid, ashwagandha, and green tea. As an added benefit, Salt & Stone works hard to create products that are sustainable and don’t leave behind any traces in the environment.
Karen Asp is the author of Anti-Aging Hacks and award-winning journalist, as well as a fitness pro certified in plant-based nutrition, world record-holding athlete (in Nordic walking), and a vegan mentor with PETA.