Concerns related to overexposure to the sun have been tirelessly discussed but there is still so much controversy around this subject that we have decided to sum up the important points. Why is it important to wear a sunscreen? The difference between UVA, UVB and UVC? What is the difference between mineral and physical sunscreens? What is vitamin D deficiency and is it related to wearing a sunscreen? And why is it important to choose an SPF by cruelty free and sustainable brands.

We believe that with so much misinformation about SPF and sunscreens it is critical to receive information from official and trusted sources. Cancer Research UK, The British Association of Dermatologists, Harvard Medical School and The American Academy of Dermatology are the most trustworthy platforms which cover two slightly different views on SPF and sunscreens, a European view and an American view. Please visit their websites should you wish to read further, more in-depth information on this subject.

Historically the ingredients used in SPF products have been tested on animals more than in any other cosmetic category. One of the main reasons is that this category of products in America is considered to be a drug and therefore needs to comply with different rules and regulations compare to other cosmetics.

UVA, UVB, UVC

UV radiation from the sun is transmitted in three wavelengths – UVA, UVB and UVC but UVC does not penetrate the earth’s atmosphere.

UV irradiation in the form of UVA is associated with skin ageing. UVA protection in a sunscreen will help defend the skin against photo ageing and potentially skin cancer.

UVB is the form of UV irradiation most responsible for sunburn and has strong links to malignant melanoma and basal cell carcinoma risk (types of skin cancer). A sunscreen with a high SPF (sun protection factor) will help block UVB rays and prevent the skin from burning, and by extension damage that can cause skin cancer.

bad.org.uk

Chemical (mineral) vs Physical sunscreens

Chemical sunscreens work like a sponge, absorbing the sun’s rays. They contain one or more of the following active ingredients: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate. These formulations tend to be easier to rub into the skin without leaving a white residue.

Physical sunscreens work like a shield, sitting on the surface of your skin and deflecting the sun’s rays. They contain the active ingredients zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. Opt for this sunscreen if you have sensitive skin.

aad.org

How much SPF do you need

The SPF value is calculated based on people applying 2mg of sunscreen for every square centimetre of skin. This means that people need around 35ml (a large shotglass or two tablespoonfuls) to cover their entire body.

cancerresearchuk.org

Vitamin D deficiency & SPF products

Sunscreen prevents sunburn by blocking UVB light. Theoretically, that means sunscreen use lowers vitamin D levels. But as a practical matter, very few people put on enough sunscreen to block all UVB light, or they use sunscreen irregularly, so sunscreen’s effects on vitamin D might not be that important. An Australian study that’s often cited showed no difference in vitamin D between adults randomly assigned to use sunscreen one summer and those assigned a placebo cream.

health.harvard.edu

Important to remember

No sunscreen can provide complete protection from the sun. This means that in strong sunlight, or for long exposures, they need to be used together with other protective measures like clothing or shade.

cancerresearchuk.org

Cruelty Free UK put together a list of cruelty free brands which either exclusively produce cruelty free SPF products and sunscreens or offer SPS products as part of their range alongside other cosmetics. These brands do not test their products on animals, do not commission third parties to test on their behalf, do not work with the non cruelty free suppliers and do not sell their products in mainland China. Should you wish to learn more about the brands, their certifications, origin etc. click on the brand and you will be directed to brand’s page.

Cruelty Free SPF Brands & Top SPF Products

BrandBest forTop Rated Product
100% Pureface, body100% Pure Yerba Mate Mist SPF 30
3Labface, body3Lab Perfect Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50
Able SkincarefaceAble Skincare Pro Defence+ Anti-Pollution Avocado Day Moisturiser SPF 15
Académie Scientifique de Beautéface, bodyAcadémie Scientifique de Beauté Spray For Sun Intolerant Skin SPF 50+
Acorelleface, body, babySun Spray SPF 30
Acureface, bodyAcure Radically Rejuvenating Day Cream SPF 30
Aesopface, bodyAesop Protective Facial Lotion SPF 25
Alba Botanicaface, bodyFragrance Free Clear Spray SPF 50
Alchimie Foreverface, bodyAlchimie Forever Protective day cream SPF 23
Alkemillaface, bodyAlkemilla Protective Solar Oil SPF 15
Alteya Organicsface, body, babyAlteya Organics Organic Rose Face Sunscreen SPF 30
Alumier MdfaceAlumier Md Sheer Hydration SPF 40 Untinted
AmiefaceAmie Skin Shield Daily Moisturiser SPF 15
Anne SemoninfaceAnne Semonin Oligo Protect Cream SPF 30
Annemarie Börlindface, bodyAnnemarie Börlind Anti-Aging Sun Cream SPF 50
Antipodesface, bodyAntipodes Immortal Skin-Brightening Face & Body Moisturiser SPF 15
ArbonnefaceABC Arbonne Baby Care Sunscreen SPF 30
ARK SkincarefaceARK Skincare Skin Protector Primer SPF 30
AromaticafaceAromatica Aloe Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50
Asap Skin Productsface, bodyasap skin products moisturising daily defence SPF 50
Attitudeface, body, babyATTITUDE Kids Mineral Sunscreen Face Stick SPF 30
Avedaface, bodyAveda Daily Light Guard™ Defense Fluid Broad Spectrum SPF 30
AvrilfaceAvril Face Sunscreen SPF 30
Babo Botanicalsface, body, babyBabo Botanicals Sheer Zinc Continuous Spray Sunscreen SPF 30
Badgerface, body, babyBadger Clear Zinc Unscented Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30
Balance MefaceBalance Me Natural Protection Moisturiser SPF 25
Bare RepublicsuncareBare Republic Mineral Face Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30
bareMineralsfacebareMinerals Prime Time™ Bb Primer-cream Daily Defense SPF 30
Beauty KitchenfaceBeauty Kitchen Raw Inventions Mineral Shield SPF 30
Beauty PiefaceBeauty Pie Super Healthy Skin™ Ultralight Uva/uvb SPF 25
BentonfaceBenton Papaya-S Sun Cream SPF 50
BiossancefaceBiossance Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
Blue Lizard Sunscreenface, babyBlue Lizard Sunscreen Regular Mineral-based Sunscreen SPF 30
Bondi SandsbodyBondi Sands Protect & Tan Tanning Oil SPF 15
BotanicsfaceBotanics Dehydrated & Sensitive Skin Hydration Burst Day Lotion SPF 15
Bulldogface (skincare for men)Bulldog Protective Moisturiser SPF 15
CarmexlipsCarmex Daily Care® Variety Pack SPF 15
ChantecaillefaceChantecaille Ultra Sun Protection Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 45
Childs Farmbody, babyChilds Farm Sun Lotion Cream SPF 50+
CirccellfaceCirccell Daily Hydration Broad Spectrum SPF 43
ColoresciencefaceColorescience Sunforgettable® Total Protection™ Brush-on Shield SPF 50
Control Correctiveface, bodyControl Corrective Oil Free Sunscreen SPF 30
Coolaface, bodyCoola Classic Body Organic Sunscreen Spray SPF 50
CōTZface, body, babyCōTZ Face Prime & Protect SPF 40
Cover FXfaceCover FX Booster Drops SPF 30
de Mamielfacede Mamiel Exhale Daily Hydrating Nectar SPF 30
DecreefaceDecree Day Shield SPF 30
Derma Eface, bodyDerma E Sun Defense Mineral Oil-Free Sunscreen Face SPF 30
DermalogicafaceDermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF 50
Dr. Dennis GrossfaceDr. Dennis Gross Dark Spot Sun Defense Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50
Dr Jackson’sfaceDr Jackson’s 01 Day Cream SPF 30
Dr. Sam’sfaceDr. Sam’s Flawless Daily Sunscreen SPF 50
Drunk ElephantfaceDrunk Elephant Umbra Tinte™ Physical Daily Defense SPF 30
ElemisfaceElemis Daily Defence Shield SPF 30
Eminenceface, bodyEminence Lilikoi Mineral Defense Moisturizer SPF 33
Emma HardiefaceEmma Hardie Protect And Prime SPF 30
ESPAfaceESPA Optimal Skin Pro-Defence SPF 15
EnvironfaceRAD Sunscreen SPF 15
ErbavivafaceErbaviva Sunscreen SPF 30
Every Man Jackface (skincare for men)Every Man Jack Face Lotion SPF 20
FacetheoryfaceFacetheory Sunfragma Melting Balm SPF 25
Formula by Marks & SpencerfaceFormula Absolute Day Cream SPF 30
GlossierfaceGlossier Invisible Shield Daily sunscreen SPF 30
GlowbioticsfaceGlowbiotics Tinted Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30
Green Peopleface, body, babyGreen People Scent Free Facial Sun Cream SPF 30
Hampton Sunface, body, babyHampton Sun Age-Defying Mineral Crème SPF 50
HEMAface, bodyHEMA The sun milk SPF 50
Hempzface, bodyHempz Daily SPF Yuzu & Starfruit Herbal Body Moisturizer with SPF 30
Hurraw! BalmfaceHurraw! Balm Sun Lip Balm SPF 15
InglotfaceInglot Under Makeup Base with SPF 20
ISDINface, bodyISDIN Fotoprotector ISDIN Fusion Water SPF 50
IT CosmeticsfaceYour Skin But Better CC+ Illumination SPF 50
Jack N’ Jillface, body, babyJack N' Jill Kids Natural Sunscreen SPF 30
JĀSÖNface, bodyJĀSÖN Family Natural Sunscreen SPF 45
Josh RosebrookfaceJosh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream SPF 30
Josie Maranface, bodyJosie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer Mineral SPF 47
Juice Beautyface, bodyJuice Beauty Oil-free Moisturizer SPF 30
Kabanaface, body, babyKabana Green Screen® D Organic Sunscreen SPF 35
Kate SomervillefaceKATE SOMERVILLE UncompliKated SPF 50
Kimberly SayerfaceKimberly Sayer Ultra Light Facial Moisturizer SPF-30
Kiss My Faceface, bodyKiss My Face Face Factor Sunscreen 50 SPF
Korresface, bodyKorres Natural Yoghurt Face And Body Sunscreen SPF 20
KraveBeautyfaceKraveBeauty Beet The Sun SPF 50
KyprisfaceKypris Pot of Shade: Heliotropic SPF 30
La BruketbodyLa Bruket 169 Sunscreen SPF 30
Lacura by Aldiface, bodyAldi Extra Sensitive Sun Lotion SPF 50+
Lancer SkincarefaceLancer Skincare Sheer Fluid Sun Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30
LanolipsfaceLanolips Tinted Lanolin Lip Balm SPF 30
Laveraface, bodyLavera Anti-ageing Sensitive Sun Cream SPF 30
Love Sun BodybodyLove Sun Body Fragrance Free SPF 50
LumenefaceLumene Oxygenating Day Fluid SPF 30
LushbodyLush Solid Sunscreen Wash SPF 30
Mad HippiefaceMad Hippie Natural Facial Sunscreen SPF 30
MádarafaceMÁDARA Plant Stem Cell Age-defying Face Sunscreen SPF 30
Margaret DabbsbodyMargaret Dabbs Sun Defence for Hands SPF 30
Mario BadescufaceMario Badescu Oil Free Moisturizer SPF 30
Medik8faceMedik8 Physical Sunscree Anti-pollution Broad Spectrum SPF 30
MerumayafaceMerumaya Youth Preservation Moisturiser SPF 20
Milk MakeupfaceMilk Makeup Sunshine Skin Tint SPF 30
Mineral FusionfaceMineral Fusion Mineral Brush-on Sun Defense SPF 30
MuradfaceMurad Essential-C Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30
Neal's Yard RemediesfaceNeal's Yard Remedies Wild Rose Moisturising SPF 30
NEOMfaceNEOM Ultimate Calm Moisturiser SPF 30
NiodfaceNiod Survival 30 SPF 30
NIP + FABfaceNIP+FAB Post Glycolic Fix Moisturiser SPF 30
No7faceNo7 Protect & Perfect Intense ADVANCED BB Facial Sun Protection SPF 50
NuorifaceNuori Mineral Defence Sunscreen SPF 30
OdyliquefaceOdylique Natural Sun Screen SPF 30
OmoroviczafaceOmorovicza Mineral Uv Shield SPF 30
OSKIAface, bodyOSKIA Invisible Broad Spectrum Mineral Milk For Body SPF 30
PaifacePai British Summer Time: Sensitive Sunscreen SPF 30
Paula's ChoicefacePaula's Choice Resist Anti-Aging Moisturiser SPF 50
Perricone MDfacePerricone MD Photo-Brightening Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30
PHB Ethical BeautyfacePHB Ethical Beauty Tinted Moisturiser SPF 25
PixifacePixi Sun Serum SPF 30
RenfaceRen Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30
Renée RouleaufaceRenée Rouleau Weightless Protection SPF 30
RéVivefaceRéVive Soleil Superiéur / Broad Spectrum SPF 50
Ritualsface, body, babyRituals Sun Protection Face Cream SPF 50
RodialfaceRodial Dragon’s Blood Hyaluronic Moisturiser SPF 15
Salt & Stoneface, bodySalt & Stone Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30
Sanctuary Spaface, bodySanctuary Spa Protect & Illuminate Moisture Lotion SPF 15
SkingredientsfaceSkingredients Skin Shield SPF 50
Skinny TanbodySkinny Tan Protect and Glow SPF 50
Sol de JaneirobodySol de Janeiro Bum Bum Sol Oil SPF 30
Solara Suncareface, body, babySolara Suncare Clean Freak Nutrient Boosted Daily Sunscreen SPF 30
Soleil Toujoursface, bodySoleil Toujours 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
Soltanface, body, babySoltan Kids Suncare Stick SPF 50
Sonreiface bodySonrei Sea Clearly® Gel Sunscreen SPF 30
Sonya DakarfaceSonya Dakar Daily Shield SPF 30
StriVectinface, bodyStriVectin Full Screen™ Broad Spectrum SPF 30
Suntegrityface, bodySuntegrity UNSCENTED Natural Mineral Sunscreen for Body SPF 30
Supergoopface, body, babySupergoop PLAY Antioxidant Body Mist with Vitamin C SPF 50
Susanne KaufmannfaceSusanne Kaufmann Face Broad Spectrum Protection Sunscreen SPF 30
TatchafaceTatcha Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen SPF 35
The Body ShopfaceThe Body Shop Skin Defence Multi-Protection Lotion SPF 50
The Inkey ListfaceThe Inkey List Daily Sunscreen SPF 30
The OrdinaryfaceThe Ordinary Mineral UV Filters with Antioxidants SPF 30
The Organic PharmacyfaceThe Organic Pharmacy Cellular Protection SunCream SPF 50
This Worksface, bodyThis Works In Transit Skin Defence SPF 30
Trish McEvoyfaceTrish Mcevoy Beauty Booster Cream SPF 30
TropicfaceTropic Sun Day Facial Uv Defence SPF 50
TruforafaceTrufora Titanium Day Cream SPF 30
Unsun Cosmeticsface, bodyUnsun Cosmetics Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen SPF 30
VersedfaceVersed Guards Up Daily Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35
VolitionfaceVolition Prismatic Luminizing Shield SPF 50
Weledaface, bodyWeleda Edelweiss Sun Facial Lotion SPF 30
Yon-KafaceYon-Ka Crème SPF 50
ZelensfaceZelens Daily Defence Sunscreen SPF 30
ZENiifaceZENii Antioxidant SPF 50
Cruelty Free SPF & Sunscreen Brands
We selected the Top 10 sustainable brands that offer cruelty free SPF products:

Top 10 Cruelty Free Skin Care SPF Brands

Top 10 Cruelty Free Body Care SPF Brands

Top 10 Cruelty Free Baby Care SPF Brands

Now like never before it is important to choose cosmetic products by sustainable brands that are genuinely cruelty free, who not only care about animal welfare but also the oceans and offer reef safe SPF and sunscreens.


To help you switch to cruelty free cosmetics, we have cruelty free, vegan and certified cruelty free lists of brands for you to explore.
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