Choosing the Best Vegan Sunscreen for Face, Neck & Body

Last Updated:

Sunscreen isn’t just limited to long days at the beach! The best protection against skin cancer, sunscreen (and not just products with any SPF) should be an essential building block to anyone’s cosmetic and skincare regimen.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 for regular daily use, while those who engage in a lot of outdoor activities should stick with sunscreens of SPF 50

Contrary to popular belief, different skin tones don’t need varying levels of SPF – SPF 30 and 50 are the blanket numbers for everyone and are based on the amount of sun exposure, not on skin type.

Of course, that means the SPF 15 moisturizers and lip balms crowding your drawer and makeup bag aren’t doing much regarding protecting your skin from harmful UV rays. For this reason, you’ll want to add a cruelty-free vegan sunblock with at least SPF 30 to your collection.

Vegan Sunscreen – Article NavigationWhat’s Cruel About Traditional Sunscreen?Isn’t Animal Testing Necessary to Ensure Human Safety?Vegan Facial SunscreensBest Vegan Waterproof SunscreenBest Natural Vegan SunscreenRecommended Vegan Sunscreen for a Wide Range of Skin Types and BudgetsI Found a Product Not On This List – Is it Cruelty-Free?Fun in the Sun – for You, and the Animals

What’s Cruel About Traditional Sunscreen?

In my early days of veganism, I quickly realized that living a cruelty-free lifestyle extended beyond my plate. There were other ways I could decrease the amount of suffering caused by my lifestyle and went all the way from the mascara I used to the products I used to clean my home.

Sunscreen is one of the areas where you can make choices that decrease suffering in the world. Some traditional sunscreens are tested on animals via crude, painful tests in which product ingredients are forcibly applied to the eyes, skin, and mouths of small mammals like mice, rats, and rabbits.

In other tests, the animals are force-fed the ingredients and any changes, from cancer to seizures to reproductive issues, are noted.

If the animals do not die from the tests, they are often killed so that their tissues and organs can be examined.

Isn’t Animal Testing Necessary to Ensure Human Safety?

On the whole, animal testing is utilized to protect the company from a lawsuit from you rather than to protect you from the products. Animal tests are often crude and don’t provide much information about how humans will react to the ingredients.

Ultimately, the question comes down to this:

Why would manufacturers consider using potentially dangerous substances in products such as makeup, sunscreen, and household products?

Without a doubt, companies should only be turning to ingredients, which are safe enough to firstly, and only test on human beings.

Luckily, there are countless options for cruelty-free sunscreen right where you would purchase your traditional sunscreen – Amazon, supermarkets, big-box stores, and even convenience stores carry whole lines of cruelty-free products to protect your skin from the sun without causing suffering to docile creatures like mice and rabbits.

Just be sure to look for the rabbit logo that signifies a cruelty-free product – products labeled “vegan” don’t contain animal products, but may have been tested on animals. Look for the rabbit to be 100% sure that what your buying is completely animal-friendly!

Vegan Facial Sunscreens

When I first thought about applying sunblock every day, I have to admit I groaned inwardly – I imagined that every daily sunscreen application would be like a day at the beach, a huge production needing the help of an extra set of hands.

In reality, applying sunscreen for daily wear doesn’t have to be much more than another step in your daily routine, especially since your face is most likely going to be the part of your body that sees the most sunshine on a regular day.

Facial sunscreens provide all the protection of regular body sunscreen but are formulated to be lighter and less greasy. The important part of picking the perfect cruelty-free facial sunscreen is choosing one that is best suited to your skin type.

EltaMD - Best for Oily Skin
If you have oily skin and want to minimize your shine, try Eltamd UV Clear SPF 46. The lightweight, oil-free formula is paraben- and fragrance-free and protects against harmful UV rays while reducing shine. This formula dries clear for minimal mess.
Kiss My Face - Best for Sensitive Skin
Those with sensitive skin can turn to Kiss My Face Sensitive Side 3 in 1 Sunscreen for their daily facial sunblock. Even though it's marketed as an overall body sunscreen, we'd recommend it for the face as well because its specially formulated for those with sensitive skin. It's also got a lot of great reviews on Amazon from people who claim to have skin sensitivities. Like any other product you put on your skin, try a small dab on an inconspicuous area before lathering it all over your face and body.
Alba Botanica - The Budget Option
For those on a budget, Alba Botanica makes an SPF 30 sunscreen especially for sensitive skin. It's biodegradable, gluten-free, contains soothing aloe vera, and is even recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. Depending on where you buy, you can usually get it for about $6-9 USD for four fluid ounces, making it super wallet-friendly!

Best Vegan Waterproof Sunscreen

Ocean Potion Protect & Nourish Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30
Sometimes the best cure for blazing hot sun is a dip in the pool or a swim in the ocean, but if your sunblock isn’t waterproof, it can make a greasy mess and leave your skin unprotected from harmful UV rays.
If you’re swimming, sweating, or just spending a lot of time out in open sun, try Ocean Potion’s Protect & Nourish Skincare line, which includes face and body sunscreens as well as SPF 45 lip potion, and often forgotten body part when it comes to skin protection.
Thanks to sea plant extracts, this sunscreen is water resistant for up to 80 minutes, and the quick dry formula makes it a great choice for small children who probably won’t stay still long enough for traditional sunscreen to dry!

This product contains a synthetic form of D3, which Ocean Potion has assured us is not sourced from animals.  Here’s the statement they sent to us:


Thank you for taking the time to write us.

Our company is cruelty free. Our D3 is synthetic and does not come from animals or any animal byproducts.

I hope this information was helpful. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further Ocean Potion questions.

Have a Sunny day,

SolSkyn Consumer Affairs.”

Best Natural Vegan Sunscreen

Yes To Cucumbers Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 Lotion
Even if a brand is cruelty-free, sometimes the ingredients panel can be a long list of unpronounceable words. If you crave a simpler, more natural sunscreen, tuck a bottle of Yes to Cucumbers SPF 30 in with your towels and sun hat.
This 97% natural product is made with simple, soothing, hypoallergenic ingredients like cucumbers and aloe, and can be used on all skin types. It's also recommended for higher levels of activity and is water-resistant for up to 40 minutes. Check out the protective power of plants at work!
Sun Bum Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion
If you need one product for everyday sun protection and don’t have any restrictive skin conditions, try Sun Bum Moisturizing Sunscreen.
It’s the perfect combination of cruelty-free, budget-friendly, and gentle enough to use on most skin types.
It comes in a mild, pleasant coconut scent and, once applied, lasts for the better part of the day so that you can spend more time in the sun, and less time reapplying!

I Found a Product Not On This List – Is it Cruelty-Free?

This is by no means an exhaustive list of cruelty-free sunscreens – as people become more aware of animal testing in cosmetics and choose kindness over cruelty, more and more companies have listened and are putting out vegan and cruelty-free products.

As I mentioned before, you can simply look on the back of your product and look for the rabbit logo that designates a cruelty-free product.

Alternatively, look for the phrase “not tested on animals” on the packaging, and make sure that there are no animal ingredients like gelatin or lanolin, both of which are derived from animals.

To keep you from standing in the aisle for hours at the grocery store comparing labels, there are also apps like Leaping Bunny and Bunny Free for iPhone and Android that will take the name of a product or scan the bar code and tell you if that product is or is not cruelty-free.

It couldn’t be easier!

Fun in the Sun – for You, and the Animals

Even if you’re not spending much time in the sun, it’s important to wear sunscreen that is at least SPF to protect your skin from harmful rays.

However, as we’ve seen in this list, there are more than enough options for people who want to prevent skin cancer, but do not want to do so at the expense of innocent animals.

As you continue through your vegan journey, challenge yourself to replace all your traditional toiletries with cruelty-free alternatives emblazoned with the rabbit logo.

With so many options in so many convenient locations, it couldn’t be easier to make beauty bunny-free!

Leave a Comment