It’s that time of year – the birds are chirping, flowers and gardens are in full bloom, school is out, and the sun is too! Summer is here, and with it, increased and frequent exposure to the sun’s glorious beams.
Make sure to keep your skin protected and nourished this summer, whether you’re vacationing across the world or right in your own backyard. And don’t forget to be sure to stay cruelty-free while doing so!!
Many common suncare products contain a host of not-so-awesome ingredients that run the gamut from rendered cow fat to hormone disruptors. Unfortunately, a lot of them are also tested on cute little bunnies locked up in laboratories.
To get the lowdown on what’s what in sunscreens, check out the Environmental Working Group’s 2013 Guide to Sunscreens, and in the meantime, why not hit the sand carefree with one of the following cruelty-free and vegan sunscreens from around the world.
You might also enjoy these related articles:
- Why Your Cruelty-Free Cosmetic Purchase May Still Support Animal-Testing and Exploitation
- Are Fish Spas Vegan?
- Is My Shampoo Vegan? A Guide to Vegan Hair Products
In the US
Alba Botanica Natural Very Emollient Sunscreen: This particular sunscreen line from Alba is nice and rich, making for a luxurious sunscreen experience, while also not breaking the bank! Providing skin-nourishing ingredients such as green tea, grapeseed oil, aloe vera, and chamomile, it is available in SPF 30 and 45, fragrance-free or lavender scented (which smells divine!), as well as in facial and sports formulas. Alba also offers a variety of sunscreen sprays and an entire Hawaiian sunscreen line.
Kiss My Face Kids Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30: For the little ones in your life. I’ve never used this one personally, but it gets rave reviews and I’ve used a number of other KMF products over the years and loved them. It contains aloe, vitamin E, sunflower and coconut oils, along with carrot and mango- all of which get enthusiastic thumbs up in my world!
Nature’s Gate: I am a big fan of this company. They offer a large variety of natural products at very affordable prices, and their sunscreens are not to be missed! They have a handful to choose from, including a really nice Sport version (SPF 50) that is great for fun summer activities like kayaking and paddle boarding. This one is also oxybenzone-free and has sea buckthorn, lavender, and cucumber to moisturize and refresh sun-exposed skin. Ahhhhh….
Lovea Organic Sunscreen SPF 50 Daily Face Cream: Certified organic, suitable for vegans, AND exceeding the toughest EU rules on SPF protection, this sunscreen is loaded with anti-aging ingredients to boot- including the ever-so-popular Moroccan argan oil. They even state on their website that they go so far as to ensure that they use no chemicals that may cause damage to fragile coral reef ecosystems. Clearly this company knows what’s up!
Les Douces Angevines Après le Soleil: Organic Restorative Fluid: Say “au revoir!” to after-sun discomfort when you’ve sat on the shores of the Mediterranean a wee bit too long with this French gem of an after-sun product. With moisturizing sweet almond oil, inflammation-reducing St. John’s Wort, and calming chamomile (all organic!), you can assure your sun spent skin will return to normal faster than you can say croissant!
Arbonne Baby Care ABC Sunscreen SPF 30: While this company isn’t the most inexpensive on the list, ALL of their products are formulated without animal products/byproducts, parabens, petroleum-based ingredients, or artificial colors. This gentle sunscreen for the little ones in your life is tested and approved by both dermatologists and pediatricians.
UV Natural Sport Sunscreen: This cruelty-free brand boasts an assortment of good-for-your-skin ingredients, including green tea extract, macadamia and grape seed oils, and natural vitamin E and is even water resistant for up to 3 hours. With an SPF of 30+ and the subtle aromas of Australian sandalwood, patchouli, and lavender, this one has it all!
Mukti Tinted Moisturiser with Sunscreen SPF 15: While this product isn’t classified under sunscreens, it’s essential to remember that whether it’s summer or winter, we’re always subject to the sun’s rays. This daily sunscreen is perfect for wearing under makeup to filter both UVA and UVB rays to keep your skin looking and feeling optimal. Readily absorbed and non-greasy, this lightweight lotion contains zinc oxide, rosehip, green tea and is vegan, as well as gluten-, wheat-, and palm oil-free.
Graham’s Natural Alternatives SunClear SPF 30+: Another reef-friendly sunscreen, this product moisturizes with grape seed and sesame seed oils, and protects the skin with zinc oxide, along with antioxidant vitamins A and E. I’m not crazy about the fact that it contains a preservative, but the one in question does rank low on the Environmental Working Group’s list.
Don’t forget some direct sun!
It is important to remember that while protecting your skin from the sun is important, some direct sun exposure is important too!
Studies have shown that vitamin D plays an important part in maintaining healthy bones, as it helps our bodies absorb Calcium better. According to The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, while there are many vitamin-fortified foods on the market, the most available vitamin D source could be the natural one:
“individuals often drink milk in order to obtain vitamin D in their diet, unaware that they can receive vitamin D through other sources. The natural source of vitamin D is sunlight. Five to 15 minutes of sun exposure to the arms and legs or the hands, face, and arms can be enough to meet the body’s requirements for vitamin D, depending on the individual’s skin tone”.
So this summer, whether you are into tanning or just spending some time outdoors, make sure to get some sun and protect yourself with vegan sunscreens, vegan style.