Why natural sunscreen is better for you and the planet

natural suncream benefits

Thinking about switching to a more natural sun cream?  Whether you’re looking for the safest natural sunscreen for babies and children, need a sun cream that won’t irritate your skin, or just want to know what all the fuss is about, we have the answers… 








What makes a natural sun cream natural?

So, the short answer is that they use naturally-sourced sunscreens, instead of synthetic chemicals. Rather than chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinoxate, they’ll use zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or another natural sunscreen. Natural brands also tend to avoid parabens, phthalates and harsh preservatives.


Is natural suntan lotion safer?

All sunscreens in the UK have to adhere to strict safety standards. However, concerns have been raised about some of the chemical ingredients that are used in non-natural sun care products. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recommends avoiding ingredients such as oxybenzone, which is a known-allergen and may affect hormone levels. Octinoxate is also an endocrine disruptor (it mimics oestrogen) and is believed to have other potentially unpleasant side-effects. These types of synthetic ingredients are easily absorbed and can make their way into breast milk. They can also irritate skin. So you might want to go natural if you have sensitive skin, are pregnant or are buying sunscreen for babies or children.


Can I use natural sun cream if I have eczema or sensitive skin?

Natural sun care products are usually much less likely to aggravate eczema and other skin conditions. If you have sensitive skin, or suffer from prickly heat, sun rash or another skin complaint, look for a fragrance-free natural sunscreen. Green People’s Scent Free Sun Lotion has an SPF of 30, is super gentle and packed with antioxidants and skin-friendly ingredients, such as olive oil and green tea extract.


Is natural sunscreen as effective?

Yes! Do look for a broad spectrum sunscreen though, to make sure you’re protected from both UVA and UVB rays.


Is natural suntan cream more environmentally friendly?

On the whole, yes. Natural, non-toxic sunscreen brands tend to avoid ingredients that damage coral and harm marine-life (such as oxybenzone). They’re also usually cruelty-free and vegetarian.

All brands sold by Big Green Smile have to pass strict ethical and environmental criteria, such as being cruelty-free and not using unsustainably-sourced palm oil. Some brands have particularly high environmental standards. Check out our guide to reef-safe natural sunscreen if you want recommendations for marine-friendly sun care lotions.


Which is the best natural sun care lotion?

Ah now that depends on what kind of protection you’re after…


Natural sun protection for babies and children

If you’re looking for a high-SPF natural sunscreen for the whole family, try Jason Sunbrellas Family Sun Block. It’s SPF 45 and, as a broad spectrum sunscreen, protects from both UVA and UVB. It’s non-greasy, non-toxic and is free from nano-particles, parabens and harsh chemicals. It’s a great choice if you want a safe natural sunscreen for babies and children.


Natural sunscreen for everyday use

Want a non-toxic natural sunscreen with SPF 15? Try Green People’s Natural Edelweiss Sun Lotion SPF 15 with Tan Accelerator. It offers broad spectrum protection, moisturises skin and is packed with antioxidants. It also helps to give you a deeper, longer-lasting tan. In fact, it was voted ‘Best Sun Protection’ by Natural Health & Beauty magazine.


Natural after-sun

After-sun isn’t just for treating sunburn. It helps to keep skin moisturised, soothe inflammation and prolong your tan. Lavera After Sun Lotion contains nourishing natural ingredients, such as aloe vera and jojoba oil, along with coffee and green tea to fight free radicals.


Natural fake tan

Want a sun-free tan? Lavera Self-Tanning Lotion can give you a natural-looking, streak-free tan in just a few hours. It’s also organic and full of ingredients your skin will love, such as shea butter and macadamia oil. Our most recent review said,

‘Best tanning product ever. So soft and gentle. Gives a beautiful natural tan. No streaks. Would recommend this product for sensitive skin.’


Ready to find your favourite natural sunscreen or fake tan? You’ll find all our sun care products here.