When it comes to sunscreen, what makes it organic?
We swear we’ve got sunstroke. We also swear we haven’t been anywhere near the sun in days. The fact is we have sliced, diced and tossed this puzzle around and still have no definitive answers. The term “organic” is dictionary defined as “being derived from living matter, produced without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides,” but the label “organic” is tossed around so liberally it might as well be called “blah, blah, blah.” Beauty products are largely unregulated and so many of them contain a mixture of organic compounds combined with other active ingredients that confuse the issue tenfold.
It boggles the mind that an “organic” sunscreen is one that uses carbon-based chemicals, like oxybenzone, avobenzone, and octinoxate, to diminish the impact of ultraviolet radiation . How the hey can something with all these chemical sounding names be organic anyway? Adding to the confusion is that when manufacturers refer to organic sunscreens, they are usually talking about a barrier cream (zinc and/or titanium) that has fewer and supposedly less toxically ingredients than a mainstream sunscreen. A less confusing term might be “non-toxic” but it isn’t as sexy as “organic,” so what we have is a largely unregulated cosmetics industry calling mineral sunscreens that contain zinc oxide (technically, a chemical compound) “organic.”
Green beauty experts often advise to read labels closely and when in doubt, opt for the shortest list of ingredients. The shorter the list, the lower the chance of a negative reaction, but sheesh, what’s a sun-fearing gal to do? In the interest of simplicity, we decided to come up with our own standards and offer you a list of 12 sunscreens that we consider to be:
A: Effective in fighting damage from UVA/UVB rays.
B: Safe for people with sensitive skin
C: Largely comprised of organic or non-irritating ingredients
D: Suncreens that we keep coming back to and trust.
If you are throwing the baby out with the bathwater, and beginning a new sun care regimen, These products tick all our boxes. We love this intro kit from Coola and this deal from green beauty mavens, Credo offers a great sun set intro to green suncare.
Tarte30SPF spray Is hypoallergenic, non-chemical , infused with antioxidants and –ding,ding,ding – vegan!
Not technically green but dermatologist favorite Elta MD has never let us down. This ELTA MD Clear is long-wearing and non-reactive , fragrance free, cruelty-free, sulfate-free, paraben free, yada, yada , yada or sounds fairly green to us.
All of our recommendations are curated by Susan & the In The Groove editorial team. In some, but not all cases, we receive a small commission for leading you to what, how and where to buy all this wonderful stuff.