safe in the sun: zero waste sunscreen

zero waste sunscreen

Zero Waste Sunscreen

Summer is just around the corner! I can’t wait for mornings spent in the garden and afternoons at the swimming pool. Summer is my favorite time of year! With the summer fun also comes powerful sunshine, and the sun is something we don’t mess around with in my home. With a family history of skin cancer, I’ve always been taught the importance of staying out of the sun and wearing sunscreen. However, over the past few years, my interest in living a more natural lifestyle sent me on a wild goose chase, hunting for the perfect natural zero waste sunscreen option.

Is Sunscreen Harmful?

What I’ve learned is, yes and no. It’s very important to protect yourself from the sun especially between 10am-4pm when the sun’s rays are the strongest. However, a lot of the conventional sunscreens on the market today contain nasty chemicals that we probably don’t want on our bodies. I did a little internet research and learned that basically there are two types of sunscreens: mineral barriers and chemical barriers. Chemical barrier sunscreens usually contain oxybenzone, while mineral barrier sunscreens usually contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. The Environmental Working Group considers oxybenzone a known endocrine disruptor which can interfere with hormone processes in the body. An endocrine disruptor is a chemical that can cause cancerous tumors, birth defects, lower sperm count, increase risk of endometriosis, and cause developmental disorders.

I decided after researching sunscreens on my own, which I encourage you to do as well,  that I wanted a more natural alternative in hopes of avoiding nasty chemicals like oxybenzone. I started using a mostly organic mineral based sunscreen last year which I really liked. However, I’ve been frustrated that although there are several good natural sunscreen options, there are not many available in non-plastic packaging.

zero waste vegan cookbook

Natural Zero Waste Sunscreen

So over the past few months, I’ve been hunting for not only a great natural sunscreen. In particular, I wanted a non-plastic, zero waste sunscreen. And I’ve found there are two really wonderful solutions to finding zero waste sunscreen.

Option 1: DIY Zero Waste Sunscreen

I haven’t tried this myself, because my city unfortunately doesn’t have massive bulk shopping stores with zinc oxide and shea butter sans packaging readily available. More importantly, I’m not interested in testing out several different sunscreen recipes until I find one that works for my skin. I don’t really have the time for that and prefer purchasing a trusted brand than experimenting on my own skin.

If you’re on the look out for a good DIY recipe though, the Kind Planet blog just recently posted one. It’s a zero waste Vanilla Blossom Sunscreen recipe that sounds absolutely divine. Check it out!

I also spotted another recipe for homemade sunscreen over on the Going Zero Waste blog!

Option 2: Organic SPF30 Zero Waste Sunscreen from Taylor’s

Organic SPF30 Zero Waste Sunscreen! We finally have a fantastic sunscreen available in the Tiny Yellow Bungalow online shop that I chose myself and highly recommend! It comes in a recyclable/reusable glass jar. It is safe, natural, and effective so no need to worry about harming your body or the environment.

It’s reef safe, vegan, and also not tested on animals. This really is the most affordable, environmentally friendly, healthful choice I could find available on the market. I am so happy to share it with you! I’ve found several zero waste sunscreens in stick form, but I really prefer a lotion type sunscreen for my skin. I also like that just a pinch of this cream goes a long way. I keep a jar of this sunscreen in Vasco’s diaper bag, in case we go on an impromptu outdoor adventure during the day. It’s worked just great for his sensitive baby skin!

This post contains Amazon affiliate links that give us a small monetary percentage if you make a purchase through them. We are not influenced by these links, and you can buy through them with no additional cost to you.
organic zero waste sunscreen

Other Plastic Free Sunscreens

I’ve found a few other plastic free sunscreen brands since publishing this blog post a couple of years ago. How cool that more companies are jumping on the plastic free train and offering their sun lotions in sustainable packaging. I honestly haven’t tested these other brands myself since I use the Taylor’s Sunscreen exclusively but I wanted to give these brands a mention! Be sure to check out the reviews for these sunscreens first before making a purchase. Oh, and if you do use one of these plastic free sunscreen, please let me know how you like it in the comments section below!

Raw Elementszero waste sunscreen

All Good

EiR NYC

Protect Your Skin Naturally

Another important note to remember, sunscreen isn’t the only way to protect your skin from the sun. Don’t forget to cover up!

Using a hat, wearing a cute cover up or t-shirt, and putting on your shades are all excellent ways to stay safe from the sun this summer. Sitting in the shade is undoubtedly the best option for protecting your skin! Silly me, I thought rash guards were only made for children, but I saw a woman wearing one of these sweet long sleeved rash guards at the beach last summer. I think these would be a good option for sun protection as well! Also, using a rash guard or some sort of long sleeved shirt would mean you could use less sunscreen, which would also save you some money. Just a thought guys! 🙂

rash guard

How do you stay safe from the sun, plastic free?!

Author’s Note: This blog post was originally posted in July 2016. I’ve updated some information and want to share it with my newest Tiny Yellow Bungalow followers. Enjoy y’all! ?

You might also enjoy these blog posts from Tiny Yellow Bungalow!

beginner’s guide to zero waste

room by room guide to a zero waste home

4 thoughts on “safe in the sun: zero waste sunscreen

  1. This is so informative! I’m very fair skinned and I have to lather on the sun screen and I had no idea all the environment and health risks! What a fantastic alternative. 🙂

    1. Thanks Tiffany! I have fair skin too; I was so happy to find this good for earth and good for body sunscreen. It works great!

  2. Is there one that would be better for people who scars from surgeries from implants or skin grafts?

    1. All of the sunscreens listed are at least 30SPF and zinc oxide based so any of these should be excellent choices. Using sunscreen on scars is super important!

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