The Best Clean Sunscreens for Any and Every Occasion

Ditch the harmful ingredients and find the non-toxic protection you need.

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Sun-protection products often get a bad rap, with commonly used ingredients like oxybenzone able to disrupt hormone levels in humans as well as fish and damage coral reefs. And for many years, manufacturers and regulators looked the other way as we slathered ourselves in dangerous chemicals in the name of preventing skin cancer.

But now, thanks to the efforts of clean skincare enthusiasts and entrepreneurs, sunscreen technology has improved by leaps and bounds. There are so many safe, non-toxic and even skin-enhancing products on the market that we’ve broken them down into what’s best to use and when.

When you want a product that protects and perfects

Vive Sana Serum Crema
Vive Sana Serum Crema is an SPF 20 nourishing sunscreen with no fragrance, water, or filler. Image: Courtesy of Vive Sana

Vive Sana was born from a mission to create the best, safest and cleanest sun care on Earth. Not an easy feat by any means, but they are certainly on to something with Serum Crema. The lightly tinted face serum provides SPF 20 protection along with a host of nourishing botanicals including organic argan and apricot oils.

The ultra-clean formula is made with non-nano uncoated zinc that works on contact and won’t break down, clog pores or damage coral reefs. It’s also fragrance-, water- and filler-free.

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When you want to put your best (shine-free) face forward

REN Clean Skincare clean screen mineral SPF 30
REN Clean Skincare is a mattifying SPF 30 sunscreen. Image: Courtesy of REN

Traditional sunscreens have a way of turning normal skin into a sticky, shiny mess. But not REN Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30 Mattifying Face Sunscreen. The silicone-free cream is made with rice starch to absorb oil and minimise pores while the 22% zinc oxide shields against UVA, UVB and blue light rays.

The vegan, cruelty-free formula is also packed with antioxidants and is a popular choice for those with sensitive skin. And it’s reef-friendly.

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When you need a little, or a lot, of coverage

Suntegreity Impeccable skin moisturising matt face sunscreen SPF 30
Suntegrity's sunscreen is moisturising and mattifying sunscreen which can also protect you against blue light. Image: Courtesy of Suntegrity

While several foundations claim to provide UV protection, few are likely to offer the kind of protection that Suntegrity does. The mineral sun-care brand was created by a woman who lost her mother to skin cancer and is certified to be among the safest on the market.

Among its offerings is the Suntegrity Impeccable Skin SPF 30, a medium-coverage face cream available in six shades from ivory to bronze. Besides non-nano zinc oxide, ingredients include vitamins C and E, hyaluronic acid and an environmental shield. The silicone-free formula also protects against blue light and leaves a smooth matte finish.

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For those days when you’re feeling extra sensitive

Pai Hello Sunshine Sensitive Sunscreen SPF 30
Pai Hello Sunshine Sensitive Sunscreen is great for people with sensitive skin prone to eczema and rosacea. Image: Courtesy of Pai

Designed especially for sensitive skin prone to eczema and rosacea, Pai Hello Sunshine Sensitive Sunscreen SPF 30 features non-nano zinc oxide along with soothing botanicals in an easily absorbed formula.

Pai created Hello Sunshine after so many customers requested a daily SPF that can be tolerated by sensitive skin, which is even more prone to damage and irritation caused by sun exposure. If you’re concerned about what products to use along with it or how best to manage your skin, you can book a free consultation on the Pai website.

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When you want protection that’s more than skin deep

Susanne Kaufmann Sun Cream Cell Protection SPF 25
Susanne Kaufmann Sun Cream Cell Protection is a plant-based sunscreen which also prevents signs of ageing. Image: Courtesy of Susanne Kaufmann

Leave it to plant-based skincare pioneer Susanne Kaufmann to find a way to protect the skin and prevent signs of ageing at the same time. Her Sun Cream Cell Protection SPF 25 features a patented active ingredient, Elix-IR, which targets infrared-induced ageing of the skin and increases the elasticity of the tissue.

Other ingredients include ectoine to boost cellular regeneration and mineral-based sun protection that stops UV radiation from reaching the deep layers of the dermis. The cream is also water-repellant and suitable for children and those with sensitive skin.

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When you want to play outside all day

Supergoop PLAY sunscreen
Supergoop PLAY sunscreen is a easy-to-use mist applicator with no chemical propellants perfect for prolonged sun exposure. Image: Courtesy of Supergoop

A mineral sunscreen with an easy-to-use mist applicator, Supergoop! Play 100% Mineral Body Mist SPF 30 is our beach-bag essential. The lightweight zinc formula blends to a sheer finish and boasts marigold, chamomile and other natural extracts to soothe and protect the skin.

The unique bag-on-valve technology, meanwhile, means the product is free of chemical propellants and can be sprayed from any angle. Other items in the Play collection include a lotion, lip balm and body mousse.

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If you’re cream-averse or you just want to touch up on the go

Colourscience Sunforgettable Collection
Colorsecience Sunforgettable is a 100% mineral sunscreen loose powder formula and protects against UV, pollution, blue light and infrared radiation. Image: Courtesy of Colorescience

Colorescience claims to be “obsessively overprotective about preventing skin damage” and its Sunforgettable collection of 100% mineral sunscreens proves it by not only protecting against UV but also pollution, blue light and infrared radiation.

We particularly like the Total Protection Brush-On Shield (available in SPF 30 and SPF 50), a loose powder that comes with its own handy brush applicator - perfect for quick touch-ups and even kids and toddlers who run away at the sight of traditional sunscreen. It contains 22.5% zinc oxide, 22.5% titanium dioxide and is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.

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Asia spa sunscreen hero