12 Sunscreens That Are Free Of Oxybenzone

Whether you're excitedly packing for your next beach break, planning a honeymoon in paradise, or simply selecting sunscreen for your next family adventure, you might want to check what's in the bottle and opt for a mineral sunscreen rather than a chemical one.

One ingredient you might want to scan the bottle for is oxybenzone. Per Health, oxybenzone is an ingredient that's commonly used in sunscreens and not only contributes to damaging the sea's coral but can also negatively impact your health. According to research from the FDA, there is growing evidence that this chemical may disrupt the body's hormone system (via Environmental Working Group). The study even found that 97% of the US population is "contaminated with oxybenzone," which may also be linked to allergies and damaged cells.

The good news is that although lots of SPF formulas contain oxybenzone — including facial sunscreens, beauty products with SPF, and SPF-infused lip balms — there are also many oxybenzone-free sunscreens on the market.

What's the difference between a mineral and chemical sunscreen, and which one contains oxybenzone?

According to Prevention, in regards to choosing between chemical and mineral sunscreen, there always seems to be a little confusion. A lot of people don't understand what the difference is between the two product types and how they work.

Both chemical and mineral sunscreens protect the skin from harmful UV rays. However, they both work in very different ways and offer varying types of protection from sun damage. 

According to Everyday Health, mineral sunscreens use ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to sit on the skin's surface and prevent UV rays from penetrating the skin. Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, let UV rays into the skin, and then once the light has been absorbed, chemicals in the product, such as oxybenzone, trigger a chemical reaction that converts the UV light to heat that can dissipate from the skin.

What are the top sunscreens that are free from oxybenzone?

According to Prevention, Neutrogena's Sheer Zinc Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 is free from oxybenzone and is designed for sensitive skin — plus, it also offers a non-greasy finish. Blue Lizard's Sensitive Skin Sunscreen SPF 30+ is another Prevention recommendation. Offering broad-spectrum protection and a color-changing bottle to remind you when you are being exposed to UV rays, it's a great product. The outlet also recommends Aveeno's Baby Continuous Protection Sensitive Skin Sunscreen SPF 50. It might be designed for babies, but that doesn't mean it's not suitable for adult skin. Made with naturally sourced ingredients, such as zinc oxide and soothing oatmeal, this sunscreen is free from fragrance, parabens, and phthalates and has a non-greasy formula.

Another great option is UV Pure Face and Body Physical Sunscreen SPF 47 by EltaMD, which is made using titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. It offers powerful skin protection and is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes after being applied to the skin. On the more expensive side is the Anthelios Tinted Mineral Ultra-Light Fluid Sunscreen SPF 50 by La Roche-Posay, which is designed to shield skin against both UVA and UVB rays and offers broad-spectrum SPF 50 protection in a formula that's light and absorbs quickly into the skin (via Prevention).

Per Allure, the Eau Thermale Avène Mineral Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ offers a sheer sunscreen that is free from chemicals. It has a light formula and it's fragrance-free.

More popular and high-quality sunscreens that are oxybenzone-free

Allure recommends the Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47, which is packed full of argan oil and offers very high levels of hydration for skin while also soothing and protecting skin thanks to being laced with aloe vera, green tea, and jojoba oil. The Skinceuticals Physical Matte Uv Defense Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 is another Allure recommendation. It's the perfect combination between a priming product and a sunscreen, offering a subtle tint for skin that's shine-free with strong sun protection.

For keeping your skin safe without oxybenzone, the Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Defense SPF 30 is another great option. Tarte's first sunscreen has also proved popular thanks to its chemical-free formula. The Tarte Tarteguard 30 Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 30 offers powerful sun protection with a chemical-free formula.

A budget-friendly option, the Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 60+, is a chemical-free sunscreen that costs just $10 a bottle and can be picked up in most drugstores. Lastly, the MDSOLARSCIENCES Mineral Crème Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Uva-Uvb Sunscreen might look a little thick when applied to the skin but is quickly absorbed. This chemical-free formula is packed full of protective vitamin C, green tea, cranberry extract, and pomegranate. No matter what option you pick, you really can't go wrong!