It's finally summer and we're starting to pack our beach bags with some essentials — a wide range of snacks, our favorite pair of sunglasses, an enticing beach read, and, of course, sunscreen. And although many of us have been increasingly attentive to buying reef-safe varieties, it turns out that not all sunscreen is actually vegan.
Keep reading for the reason why your beloved suntan lotion might not be fully free of animal byproducts — for the sake of planet Earth and animal rights, you may want to consider switching from your go-to brand to something more eco-conscious.
Here's how you can tell if your sunscreen is vegan:
Although protecting your skin from UVA and UVB rays is preferable over avoiding sunscreen entirely, we strongly suggest opting for something that's vegan, if you have a choice. According to The Vegan Society, there are many animal-derived ingredients commonly found in sunscreen. Beeswax is a common one that's often found in both skincare and beauty products alike, though there are many other animal byproducts some companies use that will seriously gross you out.
If you're in the market for vegan sunscreen, you should definitely look out for the following ingredients: chitin (which comes from the exoskeletons in crustaceans, bugs and spiders); collagen (a protein that's found in animal tissue); elastin (an animal protein found in the arteries, intestines, lungs, and skin); lanolin (animal fat that comes from sheep's wool); and stearin or stearic acid (which comes from cow, pig, or sheep fat).
Which sunscreen brands are vegan and cruelty-free?
While many mainstream sunscreen brands unfortunately aren't vegan or cruelty-free, there are many varieties that are. All Good's SPF 30 Sport Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, for example, is fully vegan. It's also Leaping Bunny-certified, reef-safe, hydrating, and it stays on all day long. Additionally, Native, which you may be familiar with for its aluminum-free deodorant, recently released a line of sunscreens that are completely vegan, and free of oxybenzone, octinoxate, avobenzone, sulfates, parabens, and dyes.
Another favorite is Everyday Humans' Rosé S'il Vous Plait SPF30 Gentle Mineral Sunscreen, which contains rose extract, aloe and Vitamin E. It's also silicone- and fragrance-free, and it's basically made for sensitive, acne-prone skin that generally doesn't react well to oilier varieties.
Goddess Garden Organics also offers Daily SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen Lotion which is completely vegan and made for sensitive skin. And if you're looking for something tinted, Love Sun Body's Glow Natural Tinted Mineral Sunscreen is super moisturizing, and will give you the sun-kissed look you've always wanted.
As long as your sunscreen is reef-safe, vegan, and cruelty-free, you'll be doing the most for both your skin and the planet on your epic beach day — just remember to reapply, for the sake of your beloved skin, and to toss the packaging accordingly once you're out!