If you are lucky enough to have some sunshine where you are you will no doubt have Sun protection on your shopping list. I have been putting a variety of natural and/or organic SPF’s and after sun’s to the test in the hope of finding some that I love.
The term SPF stands for Sun protection factor. Most sun protection is given a number which depicts the sun protection factor, most products will be either an SPF of 15 or 30 although some brands do make an SPF 50. Although a lot of emphasis is placed on the numbers on front of the bottles, how often you reapply and the formula you choose can be just as important so I don’t tend to get too caught up on numbers alone. This blog post by Green People – Essential guide to SPF’s and UV protection explains a little more about how SPF works and is a useful read.
All sunscreen whether it is of natural origin or not has been shown to be harmful to marine life, so personally I would always avoid going in the water with it on if possible. There are sadly no perfect options yet, but worth investigating further if you are concerned with environmental damage. As we are talking natural and organic sun products, all the products in the post use physical blocks such as titanium dioxide and zinc, but I will say that if my choice was between synthetic sunscreen and none at all I would always opt for synthetic. For me as a pale person who burns easily, SPF is too important to skip although I know there are a lot of people who wouldn’t share my view.
Let’s see which products I have been testing:
Coverup Buttercup SPF 15 by Moogoo (£24.90 for 200 grams) – Moogoo is a Australian brand and I have been always very impressed with their formulas so I had high hopes for this product. It uses nano zinc oxide in an otherwise quite simple moisturising formula with jojoba and squalane. Nano means that the particles are made smaller, this helps avoid the usual white cast you can get with sunscreen, but also has it’s own controversies. Moogoo themselves have included quite a lot of information on this on their website so I suggest you check it out.
What I like about this product is that it feels just like popping on a body lotion, no white cast and no greasy feel. I tested it extensively both on myself and the family during family days out and sunny days. Nobody had any issues with burning and reapplication wasn’t too much of a chore. The price is quite hefty but the bottle is relatively big, overall I felt it was a nice option for all the family. I preferred this for use on the body than the face as I like a higher SPF on that area.
Tropic Skincare Tinted Skin shade Facial Sun protection (£24 for 50 ml) This tinted sun shade from Tropic is vegan, cruelty free and uses lot’s of natural or naturally derived ingredients. The first thing I will say is that it doesn’t leave a white cast at all on me despite being SPF 50, I think that has something to do with the fact that it is tinted but also the formula itself isn’t too heavy. This has become my daily facial SPF of choice, I like to use a mineral powder foundation over the top and together they don’t irritate or cause redness. I love this formula, it is one of the easiest to use and one I can actually commit to using regularly on my face. Definitely one I will repurchase.
Green People SPF 30 scent free* (£22 for 200 ml) Green People are one of the few natural SPF brands that is quite widely available, I can get hold of it on my local high street which is great. I find Green People to be consistently very good as a brand, they are cruelty free and have great ethics. This SPF has been a hit for me, it isn’t greasy or hard to apply and it has lot’s of lovely botanicals to nourish the skin such as chamomile and avocado. It uses nano titanium dioxide as the filter and works particularly well on my sensitive skin. I am prone to rashes in the heat, but I don’t have that problem with Green People sunscreen. Green People make a donation to the Marine conservation society for every SPF sold.
Green People Organic children sun lotion SPF 30* (£18.50 for 150 ml) This slightly smaller bottle of the Green People sun cream is perfect for popping in the change bag for days out. I use it daily on my eight year before school and it rubs in well without too much fuss. The formula is very similar to the scent free SPF with just a few different ingredients, but if you just wanted to buy one I have used this one on myself as well! Green People also have an SPF 15 available if you prefer it.
Tropic Skincare Sunbalm SPF 50 (£16 for 20 ml) This is a really interesting product from Tropic, it’s a solid balm with zinc oxide that is great for touch ups on the go and those delicate areas like noses and ears that can be prone to burning. I add a small amount over the top of other SPF’s, especially on the kids where there are bit’s that are easy to miss. It travels well and is a great all round product, it get’s a lot of use here!
Odylique Sunscreen SPF 30 (£25 for 100 ml, also available in 50 ml sizes perfect for travel) I didn’t include this one in the photo because the one I tested had a dodgy tube and so I got rid of it when I finished the product. This one is a little more pricey than the others, but uses no nano-particles and is certified Organic by the Soil Association. I found the formula really soothing and calming on the skin but there is definitely a slight white cast left which would be visible on darker skin tones. I did find the packaging frustrating, but I am pretty sure I just was unlucky with a faulty tube, so it certainly wouldn’t put me off buying again. The formula does feel thicker and richer than some of the others mentioned so I found it better for the body than the face, however I did use it on the face with a mineral powder foundation on top to take down some of the shine.
I included the Neal’s Yard Lemongrass SPF in the photo but realised that it seems to be discontinued, but I found the formula to be similar to the Odylique. They do however still make a Wild Rose version with SPF 30* which I am keen to try.
For after sun I have a couple of nice options for you:
Lavera After sun lotion* (£8.90 for 150 ml) This is a really nice deeply hydrating after sun moisturiser. It is vegan and certified by Natrue and contains aloe vera, shea butter and calendula. I found this really nice to apply after being out and about, it absorbed easily in to the skin and didn’t leave a greasy residue, but it did leave skin feeling replenished. Like all Lavera products I did find this to be quite highly scented, it is a pleasant fragrance, but worth considering if you prefer your products to be low or no fragrance. I do think that Lavera are a great budget friendly brand for anyone wanting natural and cruelty free products on a budget though and this after sun is great value.
Green People aftersun lotion* (£15.95 for 200 ml also available in 100 ml travel friendly size) I really love this Green People after sun, it has mint and myrrh, which gives it a really refreshing feel on the skin. It feels soothing and calming and really moisturising. It is vegan, cruelty free and has fairtrade ingredients. Don’t forget my code ANA15 get’s you 15% off the Green People website!
There you have it. some natural sun care options for you to try this summer. If I have missed out your favourite do tell me what it is in the comments below!