The Best Non-Toxic Sunscreens of 2019

You already know that sunscreen is our top beauty secret and pool-side accessory (sun protection is chic, ladies!). Even if you’re one of the lucky ones who do not burn like a literal lobster after 25 minutes outside (guilty!), sun exposure can cause wrinkles and premature aging, but most importantly, skin cancer. We depend on our trusty SPF to protect our skin and our health from harmful sun rays. But unfortunately, all sunscreens are not created equal.

A recent study found that chemicals in certain sunscreens are absorbed by the body in levels high enough it could prompt a government investigation… sounds like an episode of CSI, doesn’t it? Many of the sunscreens you might be using (and using on a regular basis if you’re doing it right) might contain ingredients that have a damaging effect on your body, or could even fail to protect against all forms of sun rays. While the FDA is currently undertaking new SPF regulations (the future is promising!), our current sunscreen options for this season can be laced with harmful chemicals, and might not fully protect from all the sun’s rays.


Why should you chose mineral-based sunscreen?

Mineral sunscreen, as opposed to chemical sunscreen, is exactly what it sounds like — sunscreen that uses minerals (most commonly zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) to protect from the sun. The minerals sit on top of your skin and reflect UV rays so they don’t reach you (think: a bunch of tiny mirrors reflecting the light). Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the rays through a chemical reaction. While this process protects rays from burning your skin, your body still absorbs the chemicals, and the chemicals can even seep into your bloodstream.

Since mineral sunscreen is not being absorbed as much as chemical formulas, and may even offer better sun protection, it’s considered the more non-toxic option (plus, it’s better for the environment). However, just because a sunscreen says it’s mineral does not always mean it does not also contain chemicals. Look for options that claim 100 percent mineral-based active ingredients, and research the ingredients of any sunscreen you’re unsure about.

For more information on healthy sunscreen practices and harmful ingredients, check out the EWG’s 2019 sunscreen report, and shop our picks below for the very best non-toxic, mineral-based, and natural sunscreens that 2019 has to offer:


The Best Non-Toxic Sunscreens of 2019


For the Face


For the Body


For Sport


For Children

  • Can we please stop with the fearmongering? Chemical sunscreens arenot toxic and often times provide much better UVA + UVB protection than mineral sunscreens. The news about sunscreens getting into bloodstreams is nothing new, this study simply quantified the amount of sunscreen in the blood. Also if the accompanying editorial to this study specifically states that avoiding the filters in the study can actually lead to negative health outcomes. Labmuffin has a great breakdown here:

    There are reasons for using mineral sunscreens, but chemical filters being toxic is definitely not one of them, especially since some of the ones listed don’t even provide adequate UVA protection.

  • jbk

    I’m disappointed to see TEG promoting Beautycouter, an MLM. No matter the quality of their products, MLMs prey on people–usually women–in vulnerable financial situations. In an MLM, you make money by recruiting others with the promise of quick cash, thus continuing the vicious cycle. I hope that TEG does a better job ensuring that the brands they promote are ethical for everyone, not just the people at the top.