9 Cruelty-Free & Vegan Sunscreen Brands For A More Ethical Tan
Sun’s out, buns out.
But you don’t want burnt buns, do you?
While conventional sunscreen may protect our skin (sort of), the same can’t be said for animals or our planet—hence why we set out on a summer search of cruelty-free and vegan sunscreen.
But with animal testing being the norm among conventional beauty, can sunscreen be cruelty-free?
It sure can! Thanks to brands like these keeping sunscreen cruelty-free and protecting your face and our furry friends.
Everything we recommend to you on Sustainable Jungle is independently researched and we ask all brands to confirm their claims. To avoid waste, we test products on an as needed basis. This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission. Learn more about why we do this here.
The Best Plant-Based Sunscreen Keeping Skin & Animals Safe
Palm & Pine vegan suncream is one that’s glued to the palm of our hands. The vegan, cruelty-free, reef safe sunscreen checks all our boxes with its natural ingredients like non-nano zinc oxide.
ATTITUDE’s best vegan sunscreens include numerous sunscreen sticks, lotions, and creams to choose from, each of which are uniquely formulated to cater to specific skincare needs, like oily and sensitive skin.
For a vegan reef-safe sunscreen, Stream2Sea uses all natural ingredients packaged in bioplastic and recycled plastic tubes that are fully recyclable.
1. By Robin Creations
By Robin Creations’ Vegan Mineral Sunscreen
Based on stellar reviews, By Robin Creations makes probably the best vegan waterproof sunscreen around.
It’s SPF 30 and one application lasts for hours—even while taking a dip in the pool or sea.
Non-nano zinc oxide is formulated with organic ingredients like organic shea butter, organic cocoa butter, myrrh, carrot seed, and sandalwood.
It’s 100% cruelty-free, vegan friendly, and reef safe.
About By Robin Creations
The Etsy shop hails from New Mexico, USA.
Robin, the founder (who loves creating) started out with vegan zero waste lip balm and deodorant. Fast-forward a few years and she now has a range of options from haircare to nail serum to toothpaste.
She uses mostly organic oils, plant butters, and essential oils.
Other than her shea butter (which comes from Ghana) she sources her ingredients and containers from local US companies and even grows many of the herbs herself.
The whole range is cruelty-free, vegan-friendly, palm oil-free, and thoughtfully packaged, with many refill pouch options for liquids and creams.
2. Palm & Pine
Palm & Pine’s Cruelty-Free Mineral Sunscreen
Palm & Pine has vegan, reef-safe sunscreen worth pining over.
And by reef safe, we mean really, really reef safe.
While other sunscreen companies limit ocean-friendly to being about what’s inside the product, Palm & Pine also thinks about what’s outside: plastic. Considering it’s the number one threat to the ocean, it’s a no-brainer that their cruelty-free sunscreens are also zero waste sunscreen.
If you’re wondering, “What is the best cruelty-free sunscreen without white cast?” you’ve found the right one.
They worked hard to find a manufacturer that could develop a solution to the issues of traditional mineral based sunscreens: thick, greasy, and whitening.
That solution is now available in SPF 30 and SPF 50 formulas made from sustainably sourced, plant-based materials. We’re talking moisturizing shea butter, antioxidant echinacea, and antibacterial lemon balm.
Don’t let their name fool you; no palm-oil or fragrances in sight!
About Palm & Pine
This couple-owned business had humble beginnings as a crowdfunded project.
What started as a simple batch of homemade sunscreen sizzled into a full-blown plant and mineral-based sunscreen business.
Inspired by both the beach and mountains, their products are designed for premium daily UV protection. Suitable for lazing about on your sustainable beach towel, ski trips (yes, you still need sunscreen in the winter), and all seasons in between.
About ATTITUDE’s Best Vegan Sunscreen for Face & Body
Just when you’re feeling fussy wondering, “Are there vegan sunscreens?” ATTITUDE changes your mood.
Their award-winning vegan sunscreen sticks are dermatologically tested, reef-safe, and easy to apply thanks to a biodegradable cardboard tube.
Looking for a reef-safe vegan sunscreen for sensitive skin?
Attitude has you covered (literally) with their sensitive skin sun routine duo. A non-nano zinc oxide mineral face and body sunscreen combo enriched with oat extract that helps soothe dry skin.
How about a vegan tinted sunscreen?
They’ve got that, too. Their Tinted Mineral cruelty-free sunscreen stick is unscented and designed to blend into all skin tones. It’s an eco-friendly travel product that gives you a healthy glow on the go.
Other vegan SPF options include Baby & Kid mineral sunscreen and a mineral sunscreen all-rounder. Along with a number of other tubed sunscreen variations.
We’ve got nothing but a positive attitude about this brand’s comprehensive collection of personal care products and zero waste baby products designed by parents themselves.
Many of their products come in plastic-free packaging, though as their cardboard sunscreen sticks demonstrate, not all of them. Some are refillable, too.
All formulas are developed with the highest standards of quality and transparency, with natural ingredients that are clean, EWG Verified, PETA vegan, and cruelty-free.
4. Herbal Chest
Note: All sunscreens are vegan, but some of their products contain beeswax.
Herbal Chest’s Cruelty-Free Sunblock
Herbal Chest’s natural vegan sunscreen will help you get all your sunscreen problems off your chest.
Their handmade Matcha or Chamomile Sun Butters are made with clean ingredients like shea butter, non-nano zinc oxide, and red raspberry seed oil, all which have natural SPF.
Instead of beeswax for a little moisture resistance, they contain vegan candelilla wax.
Their natural formulas are free from coconut oil, parabens, synthetic colors, fragrances, and chemicals.
About Herbal Chest
Herbal Chest is a treasure chest for all things holistic, natural, plant-based, cruelty-free, and eco-friendly.
Herbal skin salves, botanical lip balms, and natural face serums are just a few of the treasures you’ll find.
The shop is owned by Tina, a maker, mom, wife, and herbalist who personally believes in the power of her products for the whole family (hers included).
Everything comes in compostable tubes or reusable tins.
5. 100% Pure
100% Pure’s Plant-Based Sunscreen For Faces
100% Pure keeps it 100% simple with their cruelty-free facial sunscreens.
The dual purpose Green Tea SPF 30 is just about the best cruelty-free face sunscreen, shielding skin from harmful UV rays while simultaneously rehydrating it. Along with SPF-rich green tea, some other ingredients in this hydrating formula include cucumber, raspberry seed oil, and aloe juice.
The Yerba Mate Mist SPF 30 vegan sunscreen spray is likewise the best sunscreen mist you’ll find, swapping out harmful aerosol chemicals for all natural liquids.
Yerba mate tea-leaf fortifies the skin with antioxidants to help protect from environmental pollution. Mess-free, ultra light sun protection is just a spray away.
While we haven’t tested out their sunscreens, if they’re anything like the other gamut of skincare and pregnancy-safe makeup products we have tested, we’re certain they’re just as nourishing and effective.
These sunscreens are made with natural and organic ingredients but do appear to include palm oil derivatives (we’ll be reaching out to confirm).
About 100% Pure
This sustainable makeup brand is well known in the natural beauty world, and it’s easy to see why.
All of their natural ingredients are completely cruelty-free and stick to strict purity standards—no harsh or toxic ingredients.
Instead, products are dyed with natural pigments rather than artificial dyes. We’re talking about nature’s rainbow: fruits, vegetables, tea, and cacao.
Many of their products come in recycled plastic, glass, and tin, and are recyclable through their own recycling program.
They’re shipped in recyclable/compostable materials, too.
For every purchase, they donate a bowl of vegan dog food to a dog shelter in China, or plant a tree through their partner, Trees for the Future.
Note: All sunscreens are vegan, but other products contain keratin and beeswax. We are confirming policies directly with this brand.
Stream2Sea Vegan & Cruelty-Free Sunscreen
Plant-based sunscreen, high SPF, and healthy waters are just a few of the things Stream2Sea cares about.
Their broad-spectrum, mineral-based sunscreens for face and body have been tested and proven safe for you, your family, and our waters.
In their sea of products, you’ll find sunscreen balms, sticks, and lotions of all kinds.
One of the best plant-based sunscreens to wash ashore is the Tinted Mineral Sunscreen, available in either regular tubes or plastic-reducing bulk sizes.
The non-greasy formula is made with an antioxidant blend of seaweed, green tea leaf, and tulsi leaf and topped with a sprinkle of anti-inflammatory turmeric.
The natural tint of the cream reduces the whitening effect of mineral sunscreen, meaning you can leave your days of looking like Casper the friendly ghost behind.
All formulas are free from SLS, parabens,preservatives, and artificial fragrances, in other words, the must-have vegan sunscreen for sensitive skin.
About Stream 2 Sea
Stream 2 Sea was developed for active adventurers, whether that be serious surfers or casual backyard explorers.
The performance-based line features the only mineral based sunscreen that has been tested and proven safe for saltwater and freshwater fish and coral larvae (hence their name.)
Shark-free squalane, plant-based chemical free sanitizers, and mask defoggers are amongst the other fully biodegradable goodies you’ll find.
All formulas are enriched with an antioxidant blend of wakame seaweed, aloe vera, holy basil, green tea, and olive leaf.
A potent mixture that comes wrapped up in either a recyclable sugar cane resin packaging or PCR plastic made from recycled milk jugs. We still recommend buying the bulk sizes to reduce plastic consumption.
7. Seed Phytonutrients
Note: All products are vegan except for their Dry Patch Balms.
Seed Phytonutrients Vegan Face Sunscreen
Seed Phytonutrients make some of the best vegan face sunscreen with their main ingredient…well… seed phytonutrients.
Coconut alkanes, aloe vera, and lavender leaf do a great job at keeping the skin moisturized while zinc and titanium oxides provide UV protection. Due to the light-colored minerals in the formula, it has slight visibility on darker skin tones.
A gluten-free, fragrance-free, and paraben-free sunscreen chock-full of anti-inflammatory botanicals, the daily vegan SPF moisturizer is also one of the best vegan sunscreens for acne-prone skin.
The vegan face sunscreen comes packaged in a recyclable aluminum tube with a plastic cap.
About Seed Phytonutrients
When it comes to sustainability, nothing is seedy about the family-run clean beauty brand.
Their mission is to craft formulas that are more trusted than trendy, with minimal impact to the planet.
Which is why they offset their carbon footprint, use recyclable packaging, and partner with Pact collective to recycle those difficult to recycle bits.
They support their organic farmers by paying 100% of their crop upfront, regardless of the yield.
In addition to Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free sunscreen, they also offer lip balm, hair care, and body soap.
Acure’s SPF Day Creams
Acure is truly a cure for all your vegan and cruelty-free SPF needs.
Their Radically Rejuvenating Day Cream provides SPF30 sun protection while soothing and, well, rejuvenating skin.
Their reef-safe sun protection uses botanicals and antioxidants to support normal and sensitive skin.
We’re talking turmeric, ferulic acid, and vitamin C.
While the sunscreen itself isn’t free, there’s a lot it’s free of. Like parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, petroleum, formaldehyde, and animal testing.
Washing up with their eco-friendly shampoo or getting ready for fun in the sun with their cruelty-free sunscreen, Acure is a cure to the chemical-laden beauty product woes.
But is Acure cruelty-free?
They sure are, as verified by both Leaping Bunny and PETA.
9. Juice Beauty
*Note: Juice Beauty uses RSPO-certified palm oil.
Juice Beauty’s Vegan Organic Sunscreen
Want to protect your skin and the planet?
Have a glass of Juice Beauty’s organic vegan sunscreen (but don’t drink it!).
Though you probably could, given it’s made with mineral broad-spectrum zinc and certified organic ingredients, which delays premature aging and hyperpigmentation, while also safeguarding our planet.
Several different versions are available—from tinted mineral sunscreen moisturizer and lip moisturizer to sport sunscreen.
About Juice Beauty
More than 30 freshly-squeezed (juiced, if you will) USDA-certified organic botanical ingredients go into all of Juice Beauty’s products—they even own their own organic farm!
This means everything is rich in vitamins, phytonutrients, and antioxidants that help prevent the visible signs of aging.
All products are Leaping Bunny certified as cruelty-free and American Vegetarian Association certified as vegan. They only sell in China via online, which does NOT require animal testing.
They do, however, use RSPO-certified palm oil and plastic containers (so try to recycle).
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Why Choose Cruelty-Free & Vegan Sunscreens?
So, what sunscreen is not vegan?
Hawaiian Tropics, Banana Boat, and Aveeno are a few non-vegan sunscreens that come to the top of our heads and there are tons of reasons not to use them, besides the fact that they may include animal ingredients or test on them.
The U.S. National Park Service estimates 4,000 to 6,000 tons of sunscreen enter the ocean (specifical reefs) every.single.year.
That’s a lot of toxic ingredients. Not to mention the synthetic organic molecules which have been found in a variety of marine animals including fish, dolphins, and birds.
There’s also evidence that the common ingredient known as oxybenzone may cause endocrine disruption, DNA damage, and exacerbate devastating coral bleaching.
A truly ethical vegan face sunscreen is that which doesn’t damage coral reefs—the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the world.
Besides oxybenzone, we need to be concerned with nanoparticles.
Zinc-oxide and titanium dioxide have been used for decades to reflect or absorb UV light. You can tell by that white shade that never seems to absorb into your skin.
But is titanium dioxide vegan?
Yes. It, along with zinc oxide are minerals and thus are absent animal byproducts.
Nowadays, these ingredients are manufactured on a “nano-scale”, which means they absorb and scatter visible light making them transparent. The jury is still out on what happens when these nanoparticles actually enter our bodies, but they are dangerous to ingest or inhale.
While the likelihood of harm with nanoparticles is low, it safest to seek non-nano zinc oxide until further research is done.
Research suggests that certain forms of titanium dioxide (anatase) may be associated with free radicals, ultimately increasing the risk of skin cancer and premature aging.
Free radicals are produced by both our bodies and UV radiation.
One study found that several varieties of sunscreen increased the amount of free radicals found in the dermis.
How We Chose The Best Cruelty-Free Sunscreen & Vegan Sunscreen
How do we screen our favorite cruelty-free facial sunscreen?
Just like we screen all of our other favorite vegan beauty products—like vegan toothpaste.
Our approach to ethical and sustainable beauty (and therefore vegan-friendly sunscreen) is to look for sun protection that is:
- Non-toxic: Causes no harm both for you and the planet, in this case meaning “reef-safe” and biodegradable sunscreen. We want natural plants and minerals instead of ingredients to avoid in skincare.
- Vegan: For obvious reasons, be ruled out any animal-based sunscreen for this article, beeswax included.
- Cruelty-free: We believe in beauty without cruelty, sunscreen included. This simply means sunscreen not tested on animals. Just remember, vegan does not imply cruelty-free and vice versa, so it’s important to seek both vegan and cruelty-free sunscreen.
- Palm oil free: The more trees in the world, the more trees we can hide from the sun under.
- Ethical ingredient sourcing: Made with ethical ingredient sourcing policies, including fair trade
- Thoughtful Packing: Thoughtfully packaged (ideally zero waste, meaning it’s compostable to reusable). But since cruelty-free was the focus here, we accepted products with recyclable plastic packaging.
Other Considerations For Plant & Mineral Sunscreen
When we started researching vegan sunscreens we soon came across a bunch of jargon we didn’t fully understand.
Let’s learn the lingo together so we know what we’re buying.
UVA and UVB:
Both UVA and UVB have different wavelengths, are not visible to the naked eye, and damage unprotected skin.
UVA is responsible for about 95% of the UV radiation that our skin is exposed to, and is the greater contributor to free radicals. You also can’t escape it, even on cloudy days or through glass. While you won’t necessarily feel this as it gives you a slow tan, don’t be fooled. It’s the leading cause of all types of skin cancer and wrinkles.
UVB is a powerful UV light responsible for sunburns, as it tends to damage the superficial epidermal layers. It’s also responsible for other skin abnormalities like discoloration. UVB is more present in sunnier conditions and is reflected by water, sand, and snow.
Broad spectrum simply means that the product protects against both types of ultraviolet light that reaches our skin—UVA and UVB.
To avoid free radical generation, sunscreen with the best UVA protection is recommended, but you can’t go wrong with one rated to protect from both.
Most people are familiar with SPF or “sun protection factor”. It’s the measurement of how long a sunscreen or sunblock will protect your skin against ultraviolet light for.
In conventional or plant-based sunscreen, high SPF means you can stay in the sun longer—but how long that exactly is depends on your skin’s natural proclivity to burn.
Plus, because the strength of UVA and UVB rays change throughout the day, it’s impossible to know how long an SPF will last for.
Darker Skin Tones:
Sun protection is particularly important for those with darker skin tones. Even if you never notice a sunburn, you’re not much better off than those with pale skin when it comes to the risks of skin cancer, hence why vegan sunscreen for black skin is just as important.
Final Thoughts On Cruelty-Free & Vegan Sunscreen
Directions: Apply liberally. Save some animals. Have fun!
Fortunately, everyone and everything can be protected from the sun’s rays and harsh practices common in the beauty industry.
Natural skincare products are better for you and our planet, so feel free to chuck that vegan face sunscreen in your vegan handbag and spread the word to all the heliophiles in your life.