Everything You Need to Know About Natural Sunscreen, According to Experts

Getty / Jordan Lutes

Sunscreen really is the most important skincare product out there – protecting against UVA and UVB damage, which reduces the risk of skin cancer and also skin ageing – it’s well worth the trial and error to find the perfect one for you (and if you can’t be bothered to do all that, three PS UK editors tried 20 SPFs out for you).

As the conversation around sun protection continues, we’ve taken an odd turn into homemade sunscreen, which unfortunately isn’t as reliable as the stuff you can pick up off the shelf. I understand your scepticism and I guess that’s why searches for natural sunscreens have spiked recently. There’s no surprise, we only want the good stuff on our faces.

But what makes sunscreen natural? Does it even exist? Well, consultant dermatologist Dr Alexis Granite is here to demystify the sunscreen question we’re all asking.

Experts Featured in This Article

Dr Alexis Granite is a renowned expert in dermatology and aesthetics based at the Skinesis Medical Clinic in London.

Dr Catherine Borysiewicz is a renowned consultant dermatologist working within the NHS as clinical lead for skin cancer.

Dr Mary Sommerlad is a consultant dermatologist based in London.

Dr Joyce Imahiyerobo-Ip is an expert in cosmetic, surgical, and medical dermatology.

What Is Natural Sunscreen?

Natural sunscreen is not the same as homemade sunscreen, it’s basically mineral sunscreen, according to consultant dermatologist Dr Alexis Granite. Mineral sunscreens (also known as physical sunscreens) are notorious for leaving a white cast and not sitting well under makeup, but with new products coming out and old favourites being reformulated, there are far more options out there.

Instead, natural sunscreen aka mineral sunscreen contains physical blockers, zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Dr Granite tells PS UK: “These ingredients physically block and reflect UV rays.”

Is Natural Sunscreen Effective?

A mineral sunscreen comes highly recommended by Dr Granite. She says: “They are highly effective and are generally recommended over chemical sunscreens (which absorb UV rays and convert them to heat) for those with sensitive skin and people who suffer with melasma.”

Mineral vs Chemical Sunscreens

Now that you know the science behind what makes these sunscreens so different, I’m sure you’re wondering which is best. Well, Dr Granite explains that it’s actually down to personal preference.

“Both mineral and chemical sunscreens are highly effective. Mineral sunscreens can be thicker than chemical sunscreens and older formulations often left a white cast, but so many advances have been made in recent years and the formulations are quite elegant and easy to use,” she tells us.

Natural Sunscreen Recommendations

If mineral aka natural sunscreens are something you’d be interested in trying this summer, but are unsure where to start, below you’ll find a list of dermatologist-approved mineral sunscreens to add to your shopping basket and keep you protected all year round.

– Additional reporting by Lauren Gordon

Related Posts
Latest Beauty
The End.

The next story, coming up!