Best Organic Sunscreen for Face
Protecting your skin when outdoors is absolutely essential for 2 key reasons. First, you want to avoid skin cancer, which annually outpaces the number of breast, prostrate, lung and colon cancer cases combined. Yes, that’s a lot of skin cancer. And, second, you want to keep your skin looking fresh and young. Getting the best organic sunscreen for face is one of the best things you can do to win on both fronts.
Walk into any drugstore and you’ll soon realize that the sunscreen options are overwhelming and almost innumerable. Where should you start?
Well, knowing that you want sunscreen for your face is a good spot. And it’s a smart place to start, too, as your face, ears and neck are some of the places most susceptible to sunburn. To help you identify the best organic sunscreen for face, we’ve reviewed 5 that stand out — and we’ve made a recommendation for our top choice.
Check out our review below, and be sure to use the comments section to let us know what your favorite organic sunscreen for face is.
|Goddess Garden Organics Face the Day Sunscreen (Our Top Pick!)||30|
|COOLA Cucumber Face Sunscreen||30|
|Beauty by Earth Facial Sunscreen||20|
|Alba Botanica Soothing Sunscreen||45|
|Jason Natural Facial Sunscreen||20|
1. Goddess Garden Organics Face the Day Sunscreen — Our Top Pick!
There are a surprising amount of factors to consider when choosing a sunscreen. What is the active ingredient? What is the SPF level? What is the price? And on and on and on. But when you ask these questions of Goddess Garden Organics Face the Day Sunscreen, almost all of the questions find happy answers.
For that reason, this product from Goddess Garden Organics is our top pick for best organic sunscreen for face. As you’ll see below, this product includes the best FDA-approved sunscreen filter, it provides the optimal SPF level, and it also blocks both UVA and UVB rays. As with any product, it has its shortcomings. But those shortcomings aren’t enough to outweigh the many benefits of choosing Goddess Garden Organics Face the Day Sunscreen.
Firming Effect That Fights Lines and Wrinkles
The best organic sunscreen for face options are the ones that add extra benefits. That’s exactly what you’ll find with the Goddess Garden Organics Face the Day Sunscreen, which includes a firming effect that helps reduce lines and wrinkles. As with most products that promise to reduce lines and wrinkles, the impact is modest and cumulative. That is, you can’t just wear it for a week and expect to see results. But, if you use this product over time, you will experience improvement in how your skin looks — not to mention the primary sun-blocking effect.
The Best Ingredients and Performance
Zinc oxide is the sunscreen filter to look for. It is a mineral sunscreen filter rather than a chemical sunscreen filter. That means it’s a little thicker and more difficult to apply, but it’s more effective than the alternatives and it lasts longer, too. Zinc oxide is also the only “broad spectrum” sunscreen filter that blocks both UVA and UVB rays — at least among those approved by the FDA. Other sunscreens must rely on multiple filters to achieve broad spectrum status.
When you choose the Goddess Garden Organics Face the Day Sunscreen, you’re also getting SPF 30 performance, which is optimal. SPF 15 is too low and misses too many of the sun’s rays, and you only get negligible benefit by jumping up to SPF 50+. All told, it’s this combination of ingredients and performance that truly makes this Goddess Garden Organics product our top pick for best organic sunscreen for face.
Let’s be honest: You can find less expensive products. But more than price, it’s value that matters when shopping for sunscreen. You can find a chemical-laden product that only blocks UVB rays for just a few dollars, but you’re not searching for the cheapest option. You want the best. And when you’re interested in finding an organic product that gets the job done at a reasonable price, your best option is Goddess Garden Organics Face the Day Sunscreen.
Pros and Cons of Goddess Garden Organics Face the Day Sunscreen
Pros of Goddess Garden Organics Face the Day Sunscreen:
- Contains the sunscreen super ingredient zinc oxide
- Firming effect that reduces lines and wrinkles over time
- Optimal SPF level and blocks both UVA and UVB rays
Cons of Goddess Garden Organics Face the Day Sunscreen:
- Mineral sunscreens are more difficult to apply
- Container is small, shipping time can be long
- You can find lower prices
You should look for several things when shopping for an organic sunscreen for face. First, anything less than SPF 30 should be viewed with great skepticism. Second, you always want a “broad spectrum” sunscreen that blocks both UVB and UVA rays. And, lastly, you’ll want a sunscreen that is water-resistant. Sunscreens in the United States can no longer claim to be waterproof or sweatproof, so the resistance label is the height of protection.
The COOLA Cucumber Face Sunscreen checks all of these boxes and then some, which is why it is one of our top choices when searching for the best organic sunscreen for face. This COOLA product offers both protection against the sun, as well as moisturizing performance.
But one of the best aspects of using this product is its scent. The cucumber is modest but pleasant, whereas some other products have overly sweet or strong scents. This one finds the perfect balance.
SPF 30 and Broad Spectrum
You should never choose a sunscreen that is not marked as “broad spectrum.” Why? Because broad spectrum means that a sunscreen product blocks both burning rays (UVB rays) and aging rays (UVA rays). Also, SPF 30 marks the best value for a sun protection factor. Drop down to SPF 15, and you block only 93% of UVB rays — the only type of rays SPF measures performance against. Jump up to SPF 50+, and you’ll get performance that blocks 98% of UVB rays. SPF 30 blocks 97%. This COOLA product delivers both the optimal SPF and broad spectrum performance.
Where’s the Zinc Oxide?
Only 2 sunscreen filters approved by the FDA block UVA rays. For that reason, many sunscreens rely on more than 1 filter to ensure that both UVA and UVB rays are blocked — which allows the manufacturer to mark a sunscreen as “broad spectrum.” Zinc oxide is the only filter that blocks both UVA rays and UVB rays, and it’s also a mineral (rather than chemical) filter.
This COOLA product uses avobenzone to block UVA rays and octinoxate to block UVB rays — both are chemical filters. There’s nothing necessarily wrong or harmful about using these types of filters, but many who are searching for organic sunscreen for face prefer to have a single mineral filter do all the heavy lifting.
You Can Find Better Value
This sunscreen from COOLA does check a lot of boxes, but it’s not the only product that delivers a comprehensive set of features. Unfortunately, it’s one of the more expensive products you’ll encounter when searching for the best organic sunscreen for face. You can choose this product, and it’s going to get the job done — blocking both UVA and UVB rays effectively. But you won’t get the same value out of it that you’ll find with other products.
Pros and Cons of COOLA Cucumber Face Sunscreen
Pros of COOLA Cucumber Face Sunscreen:
- Strong SPF level
- Blocks both UVA and UVB rays
- Incredible cucumber scent
Cons of COOLA Cucumber Face Sunscreen:
- Chemical rather than mineral sunscreen filters
- Leaves skin oily and shiny (as do most chemical filters)
- Doesn’t last as long as mineral options
The No. 1 complaint about Beauty by Earth is actually one of the reasons why you should be using it. The active sunscreen filtering ingredient in this Beauty by Earth product is zinc oxide, which is mineral rather than chemical — sounds great, right? But mineral sunscreens like those that use zinc oxide are a little thicker and a little more difficult to run in.
Some people hate this, but that’s the tradeoff when you choose a mineral filter like zinc oxide. It’s just about your most effective, longest lasting option when choosing sunscreen. But, because it acts as an actual shield against both UVA and UVB rays (which most sunscreen ingredients do not), it takes a little more effort to rub in.
This Beauty by Earth sunscreen is imperfect for reasons listed below. But don’t knock it for challenges during application. The reasons that make it challenging to apply are the same reasons why you should strongly consider this sunscreen.
Zinc Oxide: America’s Best (Approved) Sunscreen Filter
Are you insistent on finding a mineral rather than a chemical sunscreen? Do you want an active ingredient that blocks both UVA and UVB rays? You want a product that uses zinc oxide as its sunscreen filter — and that’s exactly what this sunscreen from Beauty by Earth provides. Zinc oxide is the only commonly used sunscreen filter approved by the FDA that blocks both UVA and UVB rays alone, and it is a mineral rather than a chemical compound.
Ingredients That Moisturize While Also Protecting
One of the best aspects of this product from Beauty by Earth is that it both protects and moisturizes your skin. Its ingredients include the aforementioned zinc oxide, which blocks both types of damaging sun rays, but it also includes great stuff for your skin — green tea extract, aloe vera leaf extract, vitamin E and more. If you have sensitive skin, this sunscreen from Beauty by Earth is also a great option.
The SPF is Simply Too Low
Here’s the one huge drawback to this Beauty by Earth product — its SPF is simply too low for full protection. SPF is the sun protection factor that indicates how much solar energy a product can block — UVB rays (or burning rays) only. You can count on an SPF 30 product to block about 97% of UVB rays, while an SPF 15 product blocks only about 93% of UVB rays. This sounds like a meaningless difference, but it’s a huge leap when you consider how important it is to protect your skin.
Pros and Cons of Beauty by Earth Facial Sunscreen SPF 20
Pros of Beauty by Earth Facial Sunscreen SPF 20:
- Uses zinc oxide, a mineral rather than chemical filter
- Blocks both UVA and UVB sun rays
- Includes moisturizing organic additives like vitamin E and green tea extract
Cons of Beauty by Earth Facial Sunscreen SPF 20:
- SPF is too low for maximum protection
- Some users don’t like the difficulty in applying a mineral sunscreen
- The pump dispenser is prone to breakdowns
Some sunscreen products deliver really eye-popping SPF levels. The FDA now limits sunscreen manufacturers to claims of SPF 50+ and no more. Why? Because there’s little additional benefit to increasing SPF after you hit 30.
SPF 30 products block about 97% of the sun’s UVB rays (SPF only measures UVB and not UVA). Jumping up to SPF 50+ only blocks about 98% of rays, which is a negligible difference. But, when you drop down to SPF 15, you only block 93% of rays — which is why SPF 30 is your optimal level.
All that to say, SPF 45 is impressive, and this is an impressive product, but there’s no need to choose an SPF 45 product over an SPF 30 product based on sun protection factor alone.
High SPF (Too High?)
If you’re particularly fair-skinned, you may prefer higher SPF levels. This may hold true if you’ve had a past skin cancer scare. But, for the most part, SPF 30 does the job just as well as SPF 45 or higher. There’s nothing wrong with getting a higher SPF product, but it’s most likely overkill in protecting your skin from the sun.
Fast-Absorbing, Lightweight Formula
This product uses mostly chemical sunscreen filters, which creates a lotion that goes on a little bit easier, that absorbs a little more quickly and that feels a little lighter on your skin. That doesn’t mean that a chemical filter is better than zinc oxide (which is a mineral filter), but, if you’re looking for a silver lining, there it is.
Missing the Magic
This is a perfectly suitable natural sunscreen that includes a lovely lavender scent. But we much prefer the cucumber scent of the COOLA product, as well as its limited blend of chemical ingredients. And we greatly prefer the zinc oxide foundation of the Goddess Garden Organics Face the Day Sunscreen. Again, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with this product, but it’s missing the magic that lifts alternatives to the top of our rankings.
Pros and Cons of Alba Botanical Soothing Sunscreen
Pros of Alba Botanical Soothing Sunscreen:
- Priced attractively
- Comes in a large container
- Fast-absorbing and lightweight
Cons of Alba Botanical Soothing Sunscreen:
- Too many chemical sunscreen filters
- Overkill on SPF
- Missing the benefits of zinc oxide
If you’re looking for a low price on an organic sunscreen for face, look no further than Jason Natural Facial Sunscreen. You’ll find that it’s available in a large container as compared to your other options, and you can find it in a 2-pack at about the same price as buying one of the alternatives in a smaller container.
But look beyond price, and you’ll see some warning signs with this product. Always check the SPF level and ingredients in any sunscreen. This one’s SPF falls short at just 20, and it includes a wide range of both chemical and mineral ingredients. Yes, this combination of ingredients allows it to reach the “broad spectrum” designation that means it blocks both UVA and UVB rays. But that’s a long list of active sunscreen filters, and it leaves one wondering about the effect on body and skin.
Price, Price, Price
The No. 1 reason to choose Jason Natural Facial Sunscreen is its price. It claims a lightweight formula that absorbs quickly, but I’m guessing that the main reason for choosing the formula was the affordability of materials during production. Yes, chemical sunscreen filters do feel more lightweight than mineral alternatives, and they do absorb more quickly into the skin — because mineral sunscreens sit atop the skin and serve as a physical barrier. So choose Jason Natural Facial Sunscreen on price if that’s what’s most important to you, but seek out other options if you’re interested in getting the best organic sunscreen for face.
Titanium Dioxide and Much More
This product does include a mineral sunscreen filter in titanium dioxide. But it includes a whole lot more, too. Yes, many of the Jason Natural Facial Sunscreen ingredients are certified organic, but there’s a stunning number of ingredients that have no organic designation. As a simple rule of thumb, when searching for healthy, organic products, the fewer the ingredients the better. And this product includes too many ingredients for my comfort.
I will say this about Jason Natural Facial Sunscreen: It beats a lot of the alternatives in oiliness. Many chemical sunscreens feel more oily and less pasty, which is a pro for some and a con for others. I hate the oily stuff. But, for a chemical sunscreen, this product does absorb surprisingly well and leave little in the way of residue.
Pros and Cons of Jason Natural Facial Sunscreen
Pros of Jason Natural Facial Sunscreen:
- You can’t beat the price
- Absorbs surprisingly well for chemical filters
- Includes titanium dioxide as a mineral filter
Cons of Jason Natural Facial Sunscreen:
- The sheer number of sunscreen filters is concerning
- SPF level is too low
- Zinc oxide products provide better, cleaner performance
We’ve outlined a number of the key decision factors you should consider when shopping for the best organic sunscreen for face. But, given that those factors are spread throughout this lengthy post, here’s a summarized version of the 7 things you should prioritize when buying, using and disposing of sunscreen:
1. Broad Spectrum and SPF
Make sure that your sunscreen is marked as “broad spectrum,” and make sure also that it provides an SPF level of at least 30. Broad spectrum products protect against both UVA and UVB rays, and SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays (the only rays SPF measures).
2. Go for Water Resistance
Sunscreen manufacturers are no longer allowed by the FDA to mark their products as waterproof or sweatproof. The highest degree is now water resistance, and you should absolutely make sure that your product of choice is labeled as such.
3. Skip the Spray
It’s better to choose a sunscreen lotion over a spray. Why? The effectiveness of sunscreen depends in part on how evenly you apply it. Spray sunscreen is convenient, but it’s much more difficult to apply evenly.
4. Keep on Applying
Apply sunscreen about 30 minutes before you step outside. Add another layer 30 minutes after exposure to the sun, and then reapply every 2 hours after that. Solar energy is greater when the sun is high in the sky, so reapply more often around the middle of the day.
5. Apply Enough Sunscreen
It takes about 1 ounce of sunscreen to fully cover an average adult’s face and body. That’s enough sunscreen to fill a shot glass. Use the shot glass rule as a frame of reference when you’re applying sunscreen.
6. Keep Sunscreen Out of the Sun
Exposure to sun and heat can shorten the effective lifespan of a bottle sunscreen. To avoid your sunscreen expiring early, make sure to keep it in a cool and dark place. Room temperature is best.
7. Toss it Out
In springtime when the weather starts to heat up and the sun is out more often, you may reach for last year’s sunscreen and wonder if it’s still good or not. While it may still be good, it’s a good idea to start over. The fact is that many of us do store sunscreen in the heat, and you can’t be sure of its efficacy year over year. Plus, if you’re using enough sunscreen, you shouldn’t have any leftover after the summer.
Frequently Asked Questions
We tend to spend less time in the outdoors during winter, and we tend to wear more clothes (long sleeves, pants, hats) when we are outdoors. For those reasons, you may not think to wear sunscreen during the coldest months of the year. But it’s absolutely necessary if you’re exposing your skin to UV rays.
One last thing: The same sunscreens that are going to be effective in summer are the same sunscreens that are going to be effective in winter. There is no special type of winter sunscreen.
And sunscreen is one product that requires you to pay for quality. You can find bargain basement, discount options. But you may find that these cheap options only block one type of UV ray, or that they contain harmful chemicals, or that they have an SPF so low as to not do much good.
But there’s good news on this front, as you can see above: Many sunscreen products also contain moisturizing ingredients. If you want a moisturizing effect, consider one of these 2-in-1 options.
Final Thoughts on Finding the Best Organic Sunscreen for Face
Don’t play games for with your health. Find an organic sunscreen for face (and body) that you really like to use. If you find one that you don’t like (the way it smells or feels), you’re going to be far less likely to use it. And you need to be using it, each and every time you step out into the sun.
Just one sunburn can increase your risk of getting skin cancer. Don’t take that chance. Make sure you’re enjoying and making the most of the sunniest days of the year when you find the best organic sunscreen for face to meet your needs.
Do you already have a go-to product? Let us know about it in the comments section below, or send us a message directly through our contact page.
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