Longer, warmer days are creeping up on us, which means spending a lot more time in the sun. And when you’re spending more time in the sun, keeping your skin protected from the sun’s harsh rays is crucial in order to prevent sunburn, premature aging, and skin cancer. But how can we do that while also keeping the planet in mind? Cue in eco-friendly zero-waste sunscreen.
When many of us go to the beach, we lather up the sunscreen and enjoy the waves without realizing we’re exposing oceans to the chemicals we put on our bodies. Many sunscreens contain harsh chemicals that, while protecting our skin, also harm marine life. It’s the reason behind the Hawaii sunscreen ban.
Not only that, sunscreen also tends to come packaged in plastic bottles or aerosol cans—both of which are difficult to recycle and often decompose improperly. So our summer vacations may be harmful to the planet in more ways than one.
If you’re ready to make waves, but you want to do so without generating waste, here are our picks for zero-waste sunscreen.
6 Zero-Waste Sunscreen Options to Try This Summer
Plus, it comes in an aluminum tin (plastic-free!), which can be recycled with other aluminum products—or it can be reused and refilled, achieving zero waste.
2. EiR NYC Surf Mud, $26
This sun protectant is all-natural, reef-friendly, and water-resistant—perfect for beach-goers! It’s hydrating and cocoa-scented, so you don’t have to worry about smelling like harsh chemicals.
Another natural, reef-friendly sunscreen is Surfdurt’s “Green Top” in SPF 30. This sunscreen comes in a reusable bamboo container that’s lined with aluminum.
It’s cruelty-free and water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. Plus, a portion of the proceeds on this product will be donated to Trees for the Future to help end hunger and poverty by training farmers on how to regenerate their land.
This sunscreen is safe for both people and the planet: It’s Protect Land + Sea Certified. The sunscreen itself is clean and made with 98% organic ingredients.
It’s even GMO-free, gluten-free, and features a waterless formula. Plus, it’s packaged in an “infinitely recyclable” tin that was made using solar power.
This sunscreen is affordable and all-natural, featuring organic coconut oil, organic cocoa butter, and organic beeswax.
You can even opt for a vegan version that replaces beeswax with Candelilla wax. It’s zero-waste and compostable, packaged in a paperboard push-up tube.
6. Trail Botanica Woodsy Warrior Sun Stick, $10-20
This is more than just sunscreen: It’s a gentle sunburn and bug bite prevention stick for those who love the great outdoors!
You can directly apply this applicator stick to your skin and reapply every two hours after sun or water exposure. When empty, be sure to compost the tube.
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