If you're here looking for a natural and organic sunscreen—nay, the best natural sunscreen—you probably already know what a "natural" sunscreen is. But as a quick refresher, sunscreen is divided into two categories: chemical sunscreen (which use various active chemicals to absorb and disperse UV rays across your skin) and natural sunscreen (which use active minerals, like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, to reflect rays off your skin). Both are effective in protecting your skin from sun damage, but if your skin is sensitive or you're not into chemicals, natural and organic sunscreen formulas—often described as "mineral" sunscreens—are the way to go.
How does a natural sunscreen work?
When it comes to the products Marie Claire recommends, we take your faith in us seriously.
According to Dr. Gretchen Frieling: "A physical or mineral sunscreen contains ingredients such as titanium dioxide and/or iron oxide and works by sitting on the skin surface and physically blocking UV light, either by reflecting or absorbing the light. For this reason, mineral sunscreens tend to cause less skin irritation and adverse reactions. They have less reports of allergic reactions and tend to be more tolerable."
The flip side: Natural sunscreens are notorious for leaving white casts or not blending properly. So, to save you the trouble, we rounded up the top-rated natural sunscreens that are safe and won't leave chalky casts on your skin.
The Derm-Loved Label
EltaMD sunscreens are among the most recommended by dermatologists. This micronized zinc oxide formula delivers optimal protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays whether worn solo or under makeup.
The Cult Brand
You've undoubtedly seen this cult brand splashed across your social media feed, and for a good reason. The 20 percent zinc oxide formula protects skin with the nourishing benefits of niacinamide and shea butter that sinks in fast while hydrating skin for the ultimate in protection.
Best Squalane Formula
This super sheer, 100-percent non-nano zinc SPF 30 sunscreen is formulated with the brand's signature squalane to protect and hydrate even the most sensitive skin.
Come for the label's cult-loved C E Ferulic and stay for this water-resistant, broad-spectrum SPF with a universal tint that enhances your skin tone and boosts radiance.
There's a lot to love about Salt & Stone's SPF 50 natural sunscreen. First, it's fragrance-free and formulated to be water and sweat-resistant with a non-greasy, reef-safe feel that sinks into the skin fast, sans a white residue. It also contains rosehip seed and avocado oil to soothe and moisturize skin, and features sustainable packaging made from sugar cane. We told you, lots to love.
Best Affordable SPF
For anyone worried that a natural sunscreen will dry out their skin, this tinted sunscreen from CeraVe will make sure that doesn't happen. The SPF will protect your skin from the sun and dehydration with hydrating ceramides and niacinamide.
Best for Oily Skin
Supergoop! is famous for its sunscreens, and we love this formula for its undetectable finish. In addition, it's lightweight for acne-prone skin and boasts winter cherry and blueberry extract for added environmental protection.
Best Non-Greasy Formula
This oil-free formula dries quickly with a slight matte finish—the perfect substitute from primer, or even foundation, all summer long. To add a flattering tint, we like to add a few drops of our favorite foundation before applying.
Best For Sensitive Skin
You trust Cetaphil to calm down your skin when it's at peak stress point, so why not trust it with sun protection as well? This water-resistant formula is specifically designed for sensitive skin.
We love this creamy, sweat-resistant baby formula with calming oat extract to soothe redness and irritation.
A little dab of this moisturizing sunblock goes a long way, thanks to jojoba and sunflower seed oils, aloe, and grape extract. Your skin will feel lightly hydrated but never greasy or sticky. Use it on your face and neck, and apply the excess on the back of your hands.
Best Do-It-All Tint
This soothing formula does it all. Hyaluronic acid and squalane leave your complexion hydrated and plump; the sheer tint (available in 18 shades) evens out discoloration, while SPF 40 protects.
The Derm's Choice
A personal favorite of Dr. Frieling's, this mineral sunscreen has a natural tint, so you don't have to worry about a pesky white cast. It has SPF 45 and, as a bonus, also contains anti-aging benefits.
Best Under Makeup
This non-irritating, invisible cream formula absorbs quickly and works well under makeup. And if you have oily or combination skin, you might even skip your moisturizer step.
Best for On-the-Go
You've heard it repeatedly: reapplication is key to sun safety. But really, are you actually doing it? This pre-loaded powder brush makes on-the-go protection easy and has subtle mattifying effects for sweaty summer days.
Best for Sensitive Spots
This scent-free clear zinc stick, formulated with babies and kids in mind, offers supple protection for sensitive areas like eyes, lips, and noses.
Best for the Beach
This Australian formula is formulated without oxybenzone or octinoxate to keep you and the ocean life safe. The bottle turns blue in strong UV light, serving as a helpful reminder to reapply.
Best for Sports
This water-resistant sports block has the goodness of nourishing coconut oil, jojoba, and vitamin E, making it the perfect companion for hikes or the beach.
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Tatjana Freund is a Beauty Commerce Writer, covering makeup, skincare, and haircare products and trends. She's a fan of vodka tonics and creepy Wikipedia pages.