Best Vegan Sunscreens To Buy in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide

best vegan sunscreen

Choosing a good vegan sunscreen nowadays can be a bit of a challenge because of the numerous products out there. That’s why we’ve listed down below some of the best vegan sunscreens to spare you the trouble of finding one by yourself through trial and error. So, let’s take a look, shall we?


The Short Answer

TintedFragrance-freeSPF
Supergoop! GlowScreen Sunscreen×40
Sun Bum Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen Face Stick×50
Alba Botanica Kids Sunscreen Lotion××45
COOLA Full Spectrum 360° Sun Silk Drops××30
Goddess Garden Sport SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen Stick ×50
Bare Republic Mineral Face Sunscreen ×30
Kiss My Face Sport Sunscreen ×30

The 7 Best Vegan Sunscreens in 2021

1. Supergoop! GlowScreen Sunscreen: For the Best Natural Glow

Supergoop! Glowscreen SPF 40 PA+++, 1.7 fl oz - Primer + Broad Spectrum Sunscreen with Blue-Light Protection - Adds Instant Glow & Hydration - Contains Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin B5 & Niacinamide

The Supergoop! GlowScreen is the answer to all of us who want to have a beautiful, radiant glow to our skin without actually damaging it in the sun. Due to its slightly tinted, pearlescent formula, you get the dewy, sunkissed look without the dreaded white-grey ashy cast that most sunscreens are known for. 

Moreover, it contains hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 to help your skin maintain its softness and youthful look. If that wasn’t enough, it also has sea lavender, which acts as an antioxidant to help your skin fight against oxidative damage and boost your skin’s hydration and moisture levels.

One more thing that’s great about this sunscreen is that its lotion consistency enables it to act as an excellent makeup primer, allowing your makeup to glide smoothly on the skin and last all day. Furthermore, it protects your complexion from blue-light damage and free radicals due to its cocoa peptides content. 

> Read more: best vegan face wash.

Nevertheless, the best thing about the Supergoop! cruelty-free sunscreen is that it’s free of all potentially harmful ingredients that cause damage to humans and the environment, such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, and triclosan. As such, when you buy this sunscreen, you know that you’ll be getting a clean product that won’t have any adverse effects, unintended or otherwise.   

Pros

Reef-safe
Gluten-free
Hydrates and nourishes the skin
Broad-spectrum and blue-light protection
Can act as a make-up primer
Clean product
Suitable for all skin tones

Cons

Won’t be ideal for those who prefer a matte look as they may think it makes them look oily
A bit pricey

Final Verdict

The Supergoop! GlowScreen tinted sunscreen is an excellent pick for anyone who wants a sunscreen that doesn’t leave you ashy. Not only that, but it can double as a makeup primer that leaves you with dewy, glass skin.

2. Sun Bum Mineral SPF 50 Face Stick: Best for Sensitive Skin

Baby Bum Mineral Sunscreen Face Stick - SPF 50 - UVA,UVB Face and Body Protection - Fragrance Free Safe for Sensitive Skin- Travel Size 0.45 Ounce (Pack of 2)

If you don’t want your face smelling of weird things, then the Sun Bum mineral face stick will be great for you. This fragrance-free sunscreen is perfect for sensitive skin issues, such as irritation or being prone to break out. Moreover, its main job of physically protecting your skin from the sun is done quite well due to its almost 20% zinc-oxide content.

Additionally, this Sun Bum cruelty-free sunscreen comes in a compact size that allows you to bring it anywhere you go, and its stick-like appearance makes it easy to apply to those hard-to-reach areas without causing a mess.

Furthermore, unlike other sunscreens, this product prevents its wearer from looking greasy and shiny. Consequently, its matte finish makes it perfect for those with oily and combination skin.  

Pros

Gluten, paraben, and phthalate-free
Matte finish
Unscented and hypoallergenic, so perfect for those with sensitive skin

Cons

Unsuitable for daily use, as the small size will only last you so long before you run out and need to buy more
The stick is slightly hard/dry, which makes it a bit challenging to apply unless you warm it up a little
May leave a faint white cast

Final Verdict

This Sun Bum sunscreen face stick is terrific for those instances when you might need sunscreen on the go. Just stick it in your bag, and you’re good to go at any time, whether you’ve got sensitive skin or not.

3. Alba Botanica Kids Sunscreen Lotion: Best for Kids

Alba Botanica Kids Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 45, Tropical Fruit, 4 Oz (Packaging May Vary)

Every parent knows how hard it can be to convince kids to stay put and wear sunscreen before getting into the pool. Generally, many kids hate sunscreen because of its smell and how it burns if it gets into their eyes. However, this product from Alba Botanica will put all your worries to rest.

That’s because it has a no-tear formula that doesn’t make your kids dread putting on sunscreen but can still provide them with the necessary protection. Moreover, its tropical fruit scent is enjoyable and masks the typical unpleasant smell of sunscreen without being overpowering. 

It’s not just the kids that can enjoy this sunscreen. Adults can also wear it, and their skin will thank them because of the aloe leaf juice and chamomile present in its formula. All in all, this is a great sunscreen that does what it promises, all while being vegan, cruelty-free, and inexpensive. 

Pros

Water-resistant up to 80 minutes
Leaping Bunny-certified
Reef-friendly
Gluten, sulfate, and phthalate-free
Reasonably-priced
No-tear formula
Has a good, subtle scent

Cons

Doesn’t glide on easily, but nothing major

Final Verdict

This Alba Botanica product is great for kids and adults because of its sufficient protection, no-tear formula, and pleasing smell. Moreover, it’s free of any potentially harmful ingredients that may harm the environment and your family. 

4. COOLA Full Spectrum 360° Sun Silk Drops: Best Protection

COOLA Organic Sunscreen Sun Silk Drops, Full Spectrum Skin Care for Digital UV Protection, Broad Spectrum SPF 30, 1 Fl Oz

The Full Spectrum 360° silk drops from COOLA is our top pick for a sunscreen that offers the most protection against all harmful light waves, both visible and invisible. 

Not only does this product protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays, but it also helps lessen any harmful effects of infrared, blue light (aka HEV from electronic devices), and pollutants. This overall protection is why this sunscreen is called Full Spectrum 360°.

In addition, this product is non-comedogenic and has a light, fast-absorbing, serum-like consistency that provides a natural look to your skin and allows it to be easily layered underneath your makeup. 

Moreover, it contains hyaluronic acid, by which your skin can remain hydrated and elastic. It also contains neroli flower extract, to help calm and balance the skin, and various antioxidants. 

People with dry and normal skin would benefit the most from this sunscreen, while people with oily skin will tend to find it a bit greasy. However, the plus is that it’ll go with every skin tone and blend seamlessly because of its sheer finish.

Pros

Easy to spread and apply
Pleasant smell
Reef-friendly product without any harmful chemicals and ingredients
Protects from various dangerous light types
Hydrating
Applies sheer without leaving a cast

Cons

The dropper application can be slightly inconvenient if you’re not used to it

Final Verdict

The Sun Silk Drops sunscreen from COOLA offers an extensive range of protection, mitigating the effects of ultraviolet, infrared, and blue light waves. All in all, it’s a great sunscreen that’s suitable for all skin tones but not all skin types.

5. Goddess Garden Sport SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen Stick: Best Water-Resistant Sunscreen

Goddess Garden - Sport SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen Stick - 1 Unit

If you’re a swimmer, you know how easy it is to lose your sunscreen in the water and see it wash off. However, Goddess Garden has managed to solve that problem by giving you this sweat- and water-resistant mineral sunscreen stick. It provides an easily applied layer of protection that doesn’t wear off with sweat and lasts for up to 80 minutes in the water.

Furthermore, this product contains nourishing and antioxidative ingredients, like coconut oil and shea butter, so that your skin can get the love it deserves. 

Better yet, this sunscreen contains a high concentration of non-nano zinc oxide (the safest form of zinc oxide), coming up to 21%, thus providing you with the ultimate mineral protection against UVA and UVB rays. And to top it off, the whole formula is biodegradable, and the packaging is environmentally friendly and recyclable.

Still, it doesn’t end there. Fortunately, this sunscreen is unscented, which makes it perfect for anyone with sensitive and easily irritated skin. As such, all athletes and adventure seekers can protect themselves from the sun, knowing that their skin won’t pay the price in some other way. 

Pros

Water-resistant, so suitable for water sports and other sweat-generating activities
21% zinc oxide
Reef-safe, with no harsh chemicals
Leaping Bunny-certified
Contain no fragrances, making it ideal for people with sensitive skin
Easy to apply
Compact and lightweight

Cons

May take some rubbing to get rid of any white streaks completely
It’s water-resistance make it a bit difficult to wash off

Final Verdict

The Goddess Garden mineral sunscreen stick is the ultimate sunscreen for people who sweat their sunscreen off or are constantly in the water. Not only is it water-resistant, but it’s fragrance-free, making it a good fit for people with skin conditions.

6. Bare Republic Mineral Face Sunscreen: Best for Everyday Use

Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen & Sunblock Gel Body Lotion with Zinc Oxide and Calendula Oil, Broad Spectrum SPF 30, 4 Fl Oz

If you’re looking for a sunscreen that’ll be your everyday go-to, choose the Bare Republic mineral face sunscreen. Other than being vegan and cruelty-free, it’s also reef-safe, mineral-oil-free, and fragrance-free. Moreover, it doesn’t contain any ingredients that may harm your skin in the long run.  

Since it’s rich in antioxidants as it contains grape, raspberry, and carrot seed oils, it helps protect your skin from wrinkle-inducing damage and keeps your skin smooth and youthful-looking. Moreover, it contains algae extract to help repair the skin, and its active ingredients are non-nano. 

The best thing is that this sunscreen is widely available at almost all drugstores for a very affordable price. Additionally, its formula enables the sunscreen to achieve a powder-like finish on the skin, leaving it looking matte and not greasy in the least.

Pros

Non-GMO
Fragrance-free
Contains no harmful chemicals
Not greasy and provides a powdery, matte finish
Easy to apply and remove

Cons

Low concentration of active ingredients (titanium dioxide: 5.2%; zinc oxide: 2.5%)

Final Verdict

This sunscreen will fulfill your everyday needs. It’s good under makeup and on its own and won’t leave you looking greasy like other sunscreens do.

7. Kiss My Face Sport Sunscreen: Most Versatile Sunscreen

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If you’d like a sunscreen that’s good for everyday activities as well as more intense, sweat-producing moments, the Kiss My Face Sport sunscreen will be all that and more. It’s water-resistant but still light enough to allow your skin to breathe. 

It also contains wholesome, natural ingredients, such as aloe, cucumber, and green tea, to help soothe your skin and keep it fresh. Moreover, it’s Leaping-Bunny-certified, so you know this product hasn’t harmed any animals in it

Pros

Suitable for any instance
Water-resistant
Not scented, and contains zero parabens, phthalates, and gluten
Not greasy
Excellent cun protection
Leaping Bunny-certified

Cons

Not considered reef-safe as it contains octinoxate 
Leave a slight white cast

Final Verdict

Whatever you may have planned for the day, be it a typical day in the office, a hike through the mountains, or a day at the beach, this sunscreen will have you covered. It would’ve been an overall perfect sunscreen if not for the fact that it contains octinoxate.


Buyer’s Guide for Vegan Sunscreen

When it comes to sunscreen, we’ve all heard that we should get something with high SPF. However, what is SPF? More importantly, what other features should you look at when you’re buying sunscreen, especially vegan ones? 

So, here are some of the most critical factors you should consider when choosing a vegan sunscreen.

UVA and UVB Protection

The ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun cause damage to our skin and can even cause malignant types of skin cancer, like carcinoma and melanoma. There are two main types responsible for this, known as UVA and UVB. 

The first causes DNA damage with the consequent appearance of wrinkles and loss of elasticity. Meanwhile, the latter is the culprit that makes your skin burn and blister in the summer and eventually leads to sunspots’ formation after repetitive exposure.

That’s why sunscreens must protect against both UV rays. The ones that do that are labelled broad-spectrum, and that’s the most important term that you should look for when choosing a vegan sunscreen.  

SPF 

SPF stands for sun protection factor, which indicates how long you can stay in the sun without suffering from UVB sun damage when wearing sun protection, as opposed to when not wearing one. So, for example, an SPF rating of 15 allows you to stay in the sun 15 times longer than you normally would, and SPF 50 is 50 times longer, and so forth.

Now, you’d think that the higher the vegan SPF, the longer you’ll be protected from the sun and the less you’ll need to reapply the sunscreen, right?

Nope. It doesn’t work quite like this in real life. In general, all sunscreens lose their effectiveness after a few hours, regardless of their SPF rating. This happens even faster if the product is compromised by sweat, water, or extremely harsh sunlight. 

Moreover, the difference in UVB protection between the SPF ratings from 30 to 100 is minimal. For instance, a 30 SPF sunscreen will give you 97% protection, a 50 will give you 98%, while a 100 will give you 99%.

As you can see, just because the SPF is much higher, it doesn’t mean that the sunscreen is necessarily a lot better. So, it’d be best if you don’t base your sunscreen on SPF rating and pick any number starting from 30 to be in the clear, as the ones below 30 don’t offer as much protection.

Active Ingredients

Sunscreens work in one of two ways: they either absorb the harmful rays or insulate your skin and stop the UV rays from reaching it altogether. The first method is how chemical sunscreens work, while the latter is the action mechanism of physical/mineral sunscreens.

The active ingredients in physical sunscreens are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These ingredients can be used in combination or each on its own, but zinc oxide is generally preferred because it can protect more evenly against UVA and UVB. Nevertheless, both are immediately effective upon application and safe for your skin and body even after numerous applications. 

Their only flaw is that they leave a white cast as they sit atop the skin. Accordingly, manufacturers tried to use nanotechnology to eliminate that white cast. However, it was later shown that these particles can damage marine life.

On the other hand, chemical sunscreens are way less noticeable, but they take time to become effective until your skin absorbs the product. Moreover, their active ingredients, like avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, and oxybenzone, may cause certain skin conditions with repetitive use, like rosacea and eczema.

So, try to stay away from chemical sunscreens if you’ve got sensitive skin, especially ones with oxybenzone as their active ingredient, as it’s been shown to disturb your hormones as well as damage the coral reefs.

Other Considerations

Sunscreen isn’t all about providing sun protection. It’d be best to consider other aspects so that your sunscreen can go perfectly with your skin and lifestyle. 

For example, if you’re an active person who spends a lot of time in the water, you’ll need a sunscreen with water resistance. Alternatively, if you’re a makeup lover, you’ll need a sunscreen that can be layered underneath it without ruining your look.

Moreover, depending on your skin tone, you may be better off with a tinted sunscreen if you’re on the darker side or at the very one that blends seamlessly into your skin. You may also need different formulas and consistencies to suit your skin type better, be it normal, oily, or dry. 

To put a long story short, think about what you and your skin need before picking out a sunscreen, but always remember to get one with good sun protection.


FAQs

vegan sunscreen

Is Higher SPF Better?

It depends. If you’re talking about 10 SPF vs. 50 SPF, then yes, 50 SPF is better. However, starting from 30 SPF, it’s all pretty much the same. So, don’t go below 30, and you’ll be okay.

What Is Vegan Sunscreen? 

For a sunscreen to be considered genuinely vegan, it has to fulfill two requirements. One, it has to be free of any animal-derived products. Two, it shouldn’t involve animals or their by-products through the whole process of manufacturing and testing. If a product can fulfill these two requirements, it’ll be labeled as vegan.

Should I Pick a Mineral Sunscreen? 

Generally, yes. Mineral sunscreens are great because they are immediately effective upon application, and they won’t cause skin conditions like melasma and eczema with repetitive use, unlike chemical sunscreens. 

What’s an Eco-Friendly Sunscreen? 

In short, an eco-friendly sunscreen does not have any toxic ingredients, like parabens, that may harm the environment, especially marine life. So, always try to get a biodegradable sunscreen labeled as reef- or ocean-safe to help save lives under the sea.

Why Does Cruelty-Free Sunscreen Matter?

Cruelty-free sunscreen is essential because it means that no animals were harmed in the making and testing of this product. So, when you choose to buy from cruelty-free companies, you end up protecting and saving numerous animals from horrible fates.


Conclusion

If you’re looking for an excellent vegan sunscreen, no worries, you can find one by browsing our top picks. For example, if you want a tinted sunscreen, choose the Supergoop! GlowScreen Sunscreen

However, you should go with the Goddess Garden Sport mineral sunscreen stick if you’re looking for an excellent water-resistant sunscreen. 

Lastly, for those who seek a good, daily sunscreen that won’t leave them looking like a greasy ghost, the Bare Republic mineral face sunscreen will be the answer to their prayers. 

And please remember to protect your eyes as well with a nice pair of vegan sunglasses.