Best Cruelty Free Sunscreens

When it comes to sunscreen, it’s important to make sure that you’re using a product that provides broad spectrum UVA / VUB protection. I’ve got some important sunscreen facts to share with you. If you haven’t already, you need to visit my friend Christine’s blog at 15 Minute Beauty and download her awesome SPF Ingredient Chart to help you shop for the right sunscreen. I downloaded her cheat sheet to my cell phone for easy future shopping reference.

You want to make sure that your SPF has been FDA approved and comes with a Drug Fact Label. Check that label to see the ingredients used and their percentage. Ingredients that protect from UVB are many and they vary greatly. Ingredients that protect from UVA are ecamsule, avobenzone, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, sulisobenzone and zinc oxide.

I personally feel better with physical sunblocks such as Zinc Oxide and Ititanium Dioxide, but both physical and chemical sunscreens can protect your skin. I also think it’s better to have SPF products with antioxidants included, since they increase the effectiveness of the SPF and they help to neutralize free radicals.

Since my rosacea diagnosis, I get my entire body checked once a year by my dermatologist. I have several moles and freckles that I keep an eye on to make sure that they don’t change color or shape. If you have moles, you need to keep an eye on them and if they change in any way, they need to be looked at by a doctor.

The reason I’m adamant about wearing sunscreen is that skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the USA. It’s the second fastest growing cancer in women, so it’s very important to do everything possible to prevent it. Additionally, I never tan. I always burn and peel. So I do my best to make sure that I never burn by applying sunblock and then reapplying as necessary.

All skin types need sunscreen, from the lightest to the darkest. UV rays can come in through windows, so even if you’re not outdoors, you need SPF if you’re near a window. Tanning – whether from a tanning bed or outdoors in the real sun – puts you at risk for cancer and it is best to avoid it. If you want to be tan, check out Beautisol sunless tanner. It’s the only self-tanner I’ve ever used. It didn’t turn me orange, it didn’t stink, and it worked exactly as it claimed.

Reapplying sunscreen is one of those mysteries to most people. If you’re outdoors, in the water or sweating you should probably reapply every hour (though check to see if your SPF is water resistant). If you’re not sweating, you can reapply every 2 hours. To apply enough sunscreen to your body you need at least one ounce. Everyone always says about one shotglass, and if you look at that amount in your hands it’s a LOT of product. You should apply SPF 15 minutes before you head outdoors so that it can take effect.

About the Numbers

  • SPF 15 – protects against 93% of UVB rays
  • SPf 30 – protects against 96% of UVB rays
  • SPF 50 – protects against 98% of UVB rays

Even with SPF, you should be careful of the sun between 10 am and 4pm, which is the hottest part of the day. If you’re in a hot, humid climate like I am here in Florida, you have to be very careful of the sun, especially during the summer. Make sure you’re protecting your eyes with 100% UVA / UVB blocking sunglasses, and don’t forget about SPF for your lips.

You should never rely on just your makeup to provide you with enough SPF protection. You should apply your moisturizer with SPF liberally, and then apply your makeup as needed. Most likely you will not apply enough makeup to be adequate protection on its own, but it is nice to have the additional layer of protection from the sun.

Paula’s Choice Resist Cellular Defense Daily Moisturizer with SPF 25 & Antioxidants

  • Titanium Dioxide 8%

Paula’s Choice offers so many different sunscreens to suit everyone’s different skin needs. I just chose my favorite sunscreen by Paula’s Choice which is for normal to dry / very dry skin. I also like the RESIST Super Light SPF 30, but it is tinted and I have to mix it to make it match my skintone. It’s meant for oily skin.

PCA Skin Active Broad Spectrum SPF 45

  • Zinc Oxide 8.0%, Octinoxate 7.5%, Octisalate 3.0%

PCA Skin is the line that my aesthetician recommends more than any other brand. I’ve tried their Weightless SPF 45, which was great when my skin was on the oily side.

LaVanilla The Healthy Face SPF 40

  • Zinc Oxide 5.0%, Titanium Dioxide 7.5%

I’ve used this moisturizer with SPF on and off for years. It’s soothing to my skin.

Supergoop! Skin Smoothing Mineral Sunscreen with Olive Polyphenols SPF 40

  • Octinoxate 7.5%, Zinc Oxide 10.1%

This is a new sunscreen from Supergoop.

The Honest Company Sunscreen SPF 30

  • Zinc 20%

Alba Botanica Very Emollient Suncreen SPF 30 Fragrance Free

  • Zinc Oxide 14.5 %, Titanium Dioxide 2.0 %

Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47

  • Zinc Oxide 6.4%, Titanium Dioxide 5.1%

Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen SPF 30

  • Octinoxate 5.5% , Zinc Oxide 8%

Yes to Blueberries SPF 30

  • Zinc Oxide 6%), Titanium Dioxide 4.9%

What are your picks for the best cruelty free sunscreens? Do you prefer physical or chemical SPF?