Zero Waste Sunscreen

Updated: Jun 4

Summer is near which means we are hopefully outside more but we must not forget to protect our skin against the damaging effects of UV light. Sunscreen with a sufficient PSF does not only protect your skin from aging, but it could also reduce the chance of skin cancer when the skin is exposed to intense sunlight too often. So, it is important to protect our skin but we don’t want to ignore the effects sunscreen can have on the environment. So here is a list of sunscreens that are reef safe, cruelty-free and as sustainable as possible.

Note: Be careful with homemade sunscreen. Sunscreen needs to be thoroughly tested to ensure your skin is indeed protected from the sun. As I have a very fair skin-tone, I need to be sure to protect my skin as I could get sunburns within 5 minutes. Therefore I don’t make my own and you should be cautious as well.

Raw Elements

Raw Elements have sunscreens in metal containers which I absolutely love. They have a stick version and a cream version in a jar (I prefer the latter). It is 100% vegan and reef safe (no nano-particles affecting sea life). The sunscreen is easy to apply and might be a bit greasy on the face right after applying (for me it was). I don’t use their tinted products (because I don’t like tinted products in general) but I do like that they also have a kids range that is suitable for more sensitive skin and is water-resistant.

zero waste sunscreen


This sunscreen comes in adorable rustic bamboo containers. This sunscreen is ocean-friendly as it is made completely chemical-free. This also means it is safe to use when you have very sensitive skin. It is certified organic sunscreen that is also water-resistant making it great for (you guessed it…) surfing (and other beach activities of course).

I have very dry skin so I need to apply this sunscreen very generously leaving me a little white for the first 15 minutes when using it.

It is not completely vegan, unfortunately. They use sustainably produced beeswax from local farmers in their sunscreen. Whether or not you are ok with this is up to you.

Sun Bum

Sun Bum was the first more sustainable sunscreen I used so I am a bit nostalgic here. It is a broad-spectrum sunscreen reef-friendly, cruelty-free and hypoallergenic. It is also water-resistant making it great for a day at the beach. It is a bit less greasy compared to Raw Elements so it is great when you have oily skin.

Unfortunately, the container might look like bamboo but it is recycled plastic.

These are 3 different types of sunscreen that I have used over the years. I love them all but which one I use depends on the status of my skin at the moment. If it is on the dry side I often use Raw Elements, if my skin is oily I often choose SurfDurt. I hope this gives you a better inside into a more sustainable alternative to sunscreen.

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Meet Valinda

Hi there, I am the founder of the green and happy mom blog and green and happy shop. After battling severe depression, I am determined to make the world a little better and I want to take you along that journey with me. 

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