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8 Best Natural Sunscreens: Protect the Face and More in 2024

When swiping on sunscreen, what kind shouldn’t matter, as long as you’re doing it, right? Well, the short answer is—sort of. Although applying any kind of sunscreen is better than no sunscreen at all, there is a notable difference between the two main types of sunscreen: chemical and physical.

To get the best health benefits, you’ll want physical, aka—the best natural sunscreens for men.

Physical sunscreens are different from chemical ones in a number of ways. They’re made of natural active ingredients zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Natural sunscreen creates a physical barrier between the sun’s UV rays and your skin, whereas chemical sunscreens use—you guessed it—chemicals that help it absorb quickly into the skin.

Sure, the formulations of chemical sunscreens are more elegant and won’t leave a white cast behind, in the way that physical sunscreens do. But some are better than most, and I’ve made sure to highlight only the best of the best physical sunscreens.

Plus, physical sunscreen is better for the environment. It won’t bleach the coral reefs (you’ll see them labeled ‘reef safe’) and because they don’t absorb into the skin, they’re better for your body, leaving your hormones and endocrine system operating as they should without disruption.

Let’s take a look at the 8 best natural sunscreens for men below.

Key Takeaways 

For this assignment, I started by poring over hundreds of products, customer reviews, and even my own bathroom cabinet (and my partner’s) until I whittled it down to the 8 finalists you see on this list.

Overall, the best natural sunscreen for men is Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen because it’s smooth and silky, fragrance-free, and doesn’t leave a white cast behind. For an organic, non-nano zinc oxide sunscreen for sport, check out COOLA Organic Mineral Sunscreen.

Our Top Picks

a tropical coconut scent sunscreen by coola
coola / Instagram

Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen: best natural sunscreens

Why it’s great: It’s got a funny name, but this sunblock is no joke. In fact, it’s one of the best natural sunscreens on the market today. Made with both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, this award-winning sunscreen provides SPF 50 and is great for sensitive skin, thanks to a fragrance-free formulation.

The texture is smooth and silky on the skin, and it rubs in well without leaving much of a white cast behind. For 80 minutes, it’s sweat- and water-resistant, and when it’s been out in the sun for some time, the bottle turns blue as a reminder to reapply.

Who is this for? This is for those who have sensitive, rosacea-prone skin looking for a highly effective sunscreen at a low cost.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: This is one of the best natural sunscreens out there. However, the formula can be a scootch greasy. If you have oily skin to begin with, then it may not be for you.

Scent: Unscented | Item Form: Cream | Active Ingredient: Zinc oxide, titanium dioxide | Size: 0.25, 3, 4, 5, 8.75 Fl oz | SPF: 50 | Skin Type: All

best natural sunscreens: Elta MD UV Active Mineral Sunscreen

Why it’s great: Derms really love this one, and for good reason. It’s unscented, so it’s perfect for those who have sensitive skin, and it provides a high SPF for swimming or running in an extremely sunny environment. They also happen to love that it’s packed with hyaluronic acid, so skin looks and feels supple.

This is one of the best natural sunscreens you can get. Not only does it protect against UVA and UVB rays, but it also shields the skin against high-energy visible light (HEV), aka blue light.

Who is this for? A high-quality, well-performing sunscreen with a high SPF that you can exercise in. Great for a summer day out in the sun.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: This one can leave a white cast if not rubbed in well. Treat it like a tiny facial or sing a couple of happy birthdays. Whatever works.

Scent: Unscented | Item Form: Cream | Active Ingredient: Zinc oxide, titanium dioxide | Size: 3 Fl oz | SPF: 50 | Skin Type: All

COOLA Organic Mineral Sunscreen

Why it’s great: Because you need a lot of it, a good sport body sunscreen needs to be well-priced. COOLA fits the bill, plus it’s 70% organic and formulated with non-nano zinc oxide, so it’s a healthy option, too.

Compared to most other mineral sunscreens, it rubs in well and doesn’t leave behind that greasy feeling. It’s sheer, lightweight, hydrating, and also nourishing, thanks to an antioxidant complex that supports skin health. All of that makes it one of the best natural sunscreens you can find.

Who is this for? A perfect option if you’re looking for a clean, non-nano zinc oxide sunscreen that is mostly organic.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: If you find that it still leaves a white cast behind, then try applying body lotion first before using it.

Scent: Unscented, Tropical coconut | Item Form: Cream | Active Ingredient: Zinc oxide | Size: 5 Fl oz | SPF: 30 | Skin Type: All

MDSolarSciences Mineral Creme SPF 50

Why it’s great: With a high SPF, 80 minutes of water resistance, and a velvety, satin texture that is creamy but not too thick on the skin, this sunscreen makes it worth your while. Much like a moisturizer, it’s very hydrating, which is a nice plus, and is packed with vitamin C and antioxidants to boost collagen in the skin.

Who is this for? One of the best natural sunscreens, it’s a luxurious, hydrating sunscreen for guys with dry skin or looking to boost the skincare aspect of their sunblock.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: This doesn’t leave behind the worst white cast we’ve seen, but there is definitely something there.

Scent: Unscented | Item Form: Cream | Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide, vitamin C | Size: 1.7, 3.4 Fl oz | SPF: 50 | Skin Type: All, sensitive, acne-prone, rosacea

Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Oxide Mineral Sunscreen

Why it’s great: There’s a reason that Neutrogena is one of those brands people rely on. They offer many sunscreen variations, but their mineral sunscreen is effective and safe.

It’s a good one for the face because it’s non-greasy and lightweight, doesn’t get in your eyes, and is made with dry-touch technology, so it really absorbs well into the skin. But at the same time, it’s moisturizing, which is great for dry or mature skin.

Who is this for? Guys looking for a solid sunscreen that works for both face and body. It’s moisturizing for dry skin but also not greasy for oily skin. This one gets many votes for the best natural sunscreen for men.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: You’re going to see this a lot, but it’s known for leaving a white cast behind on certain skin tones. Be sure to rub it in well.

Scent: Unscented | Item Form: Cream | Active Ingredient: Zinc oxide | Size: 1.5, 2, 9 Fl oz | SPF: 50 | Skin Type: All

Kinship Self-Reflect Probiotic Moisturizing Sunscreen

Why it’s great: Composed of non-nano zinc oxide, the safest option, this luxurious, award-winning sunscreen acts like high-quality skincare plus sun protection. That’s because it acts like a moisturizer and primer by giving skin a blurred, radiant glow.

You can thank plant-based probiotics for improving the look of your skin by supporting clear skin and a strong barrier. It easily blends in and leaves skin protected, hydrated, and dewy.

Who is this for? One of the best natural sunscreens, this one is ideal for blemish-prone or sensitive skin. It’s also a great option if you want your sunscreen to make your skin look and feel better.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: This formula can feel a little sticky and tacky on the skin.

Scent: Papaya | Item Form: Cream | Active Ingredient: Zinc oxide, turmeric, kinbiome | Size: 1.75, 3.5 Fl oz | SPF: 32 | Skin Type: All, sensitive, acne-prone

Sun Bum Mineral SPF 30

Why it’s great: The best natural sunscreen for the face needs to feel light on the skin and not too greasy if you’re going to use it every day. Sun Bum makes some great products, and their mineral SPF is a solid choice for slathering on every morning.

That’s because it feels silky and buttery while being applied, but when it soaks in, the overall texture is matte. If you’re working out on beachin’ it, you’ll get a solid 80 minutes of sweating and water resistance plus UVA/UVB protection you can count on.

Who is this for? For those who want an unscented sunscreen that won’t leave them shiny.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: Dark or tan skin tones might notice a white cast if not fully rubbed in.

Scent: Unscented | Item Form: Cream | Active Ingredient: Zinc oxide, titanium dioxide | Size: 3.3 Fl oz | SPF: 30 | Skin Type: All

Aveeno Protect + Soothe Mineral Sunscreen Stick

Why it’s great: Whether you’re on the go or can’t stand rubbing in messy sunscreen, this stick sunscreen is the perfect option. It glides on easily without pulling the skin and leaves a lightweight and airy texture in its wake.

Unlike typical sunscreens, the formulation is nourishing and gentle, thanks to pure oat essence, and it doesn’t clog pores. Perfect on even the most sensitive of skin.

Who is this for? Guys looking for a handy travel option or a stick that is easy to reapply throughout the day will love this one.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: Although it’s one of the best natural sunscreens, it can leave a white cast behind on darker skin tones.

Scent: Unscented | Item Form: Stick | Active Ingredient: Zinc oxide, pure oat essence | Size: 1.5 Fl oz | SPF: 50 | Skin Type: All

protect plus soothe sunscreen products by aveeno
aveenous / Instagram

Buying Considerations for the Best Natural Sunscreens

Minerals

The only active ingredients found in the best natural sunscreen for men are minerals zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Deemed safe by the FDA, these minerals create a natural barrier between your skin and UV rays by reflecting the sun.

Although safer for your skin, non-nano zinc oxide is technically the safest of them all because its molecules are too large to penetrate the skin. Additionally, mineral sunscreen is reef-safe and better for the environment.

Scent

Some people really love a scented sunscreen, but they can be hard to come by. That’s usually because the formulations are clean and geared towards those with sensitive skin. Fragrance is a no-no for those skin types. However, Kinship has a light papaya scent and Coola offers a white-tea-scented variety, for those so inclined.

SPF

There is some debate about what sunscreen SPF is best. Once you get over 50 SPF, the differences are negligible. Overall, I like to recommend 50 SPF for the face and neck, and 30 SPF for the rest of the body.

But you know your skin better than anyone else. Be honest about what makes you burn, and choose an SPF that will have you adequately covered. And always remember, the time between reapplication remains the same, regardless of the SPF number.

the Sensitive SPF 50 sunscreen by Blue Lizard
littlelifestylebeauty / Instagram

How We Chose 

Lots of sunscreens claim to be clean or natural, but one look at the ingredients list says otherwise. So, wherever possible, I chose products from reputable brands that have effective, clean ingredients.

In my search, I sifted through hundreds of options, examining photos, customer reviews, ingredient lists, and the like until I was able to choose my top 8 picks that customers adored and would likely buy again.

Company reputation: How is a company viewed by consumers? And perhaps more importantly, how do they treat their customers? I chose only brands that are known for offering high-quality goods delivered on time.

Customer reviews: How people feel about a product matters most. Do they find it effective, easy to use, and worth the money? Customer reviews are a top priority for me.

Transparency: Do the claims made by the company match the ingredients listed on the back? I steered clear of companies that posture as one thing but secretly utilize different components.

Why Trust Us?

In-house writer Rachel Cascella knows plenty about taking care of your skin. Sixteen years in the modeling, fashion, and beauty industry has taught her the best grooming tips, plus what a product needs to have (and should leave out) to be considered worthy.

That, combined with a penchant for research, means she knows what she is talking about, especially when it comes to skincare and sun care. She’s already written about the best Korean sunscreen sticks and the best face sunscreens a man can buy, so you can trust her.

By drawing on her vast experience and passion for skincare, Rachel ensures that every product she recommends, including the best natural sunscreens in this article, has been selected with care and precision.

Final Verdict 

The best natural sunscreens should offer adequate sun protection, contain only mineral sunscreen, and feel lightweight on the skin. Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen is my top pick because it’s highly affordable, unscented, and rubs in well without leaving a white cast behind.

FAQ

    • The healthiest sunscreen is Blue Lizard because it’s a physical sunscreen, it’s reef-safe, and it has a relatively low EWG health score.

      • Physical sunscreens are typically non-toxic made without parabens, phthalates, and other harmful chemicals like oxybenzone.

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