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5 Earth-friendly sunscreens to get you summer-ready

by | Dec 9, 2020

With the summer holidays approaching, we are all (safely) starting to migrate outside. However, alongside protective measures for Covid-19, it is important to protect yourself from another potential danger – the sun. Sunscreen is one of, if not the most, important product in a skincare routine. It is also one of the least-used products. The sun contributes to 90% of premature ageing, as well as causing skin conditions such as cancer.

Especially since the depletion of our ozone layer, and increasing environmental crises, the sun has become more dangerous than ever, leaving our skin more vulnerable to sun damage. The Department of Environment, Forestry and fisheries explains, “The ozone layer is important for life on earth, as it absorbs most of the harmful Ultraviolet-B radiation from the sun and filters out lethal ultraviolet (UV-C radiation). The amount of ozone above the surface of the earth differs with location, depending on time scales that range from daily to seasonal. The variants are caused by the stratospheric winds and the chemical production and destruction of ozone.” [See graphic attached below to further explain sunscreen harm to the planet.]

While it is important to wear sunscreen every day, even on overcast days, you are most susceptible to sun damage during the summer. Therefore, we have compiled a list of sunscreens that offer broad spectrum UV protection to make finding your new summer best friend easier.

The entire list is vegan*, cruelty-free and reef safe, to ensure you are doing your best to protect your skin, as well as the planet. Be sure to responsibly recycle or discard the containers when they are empty.


Formulated with Jojoba Oil, this sunscreen will keep your skin supple and hydrated as well as protected – a must for dry skin. It is certified organic and biodegradable, making it environmentally friendly. It is also fragrance free and mildly preserved, ideal for sensitive skin.

Hyaluronic Acid Perfect Sun Block SPF 50 PA++++ By Isntree

Korean Beauty has become extremely popular and well sought after. Korean skincare is renowned for its innovative and forward-thinking formulations. This product is perfect for sensitive skin as it features hydrating and skin soothing ingredients, such as Hyaluronic Acid and Fig Extract. This product also includes Niacinamide, which has been dubbed ingredient of the year, to help brighten dark spots.


The local brand Hey Gorgeous offers this natural and antioxidant SPF 30 sunscreen. Formulated with Matcha butter, this sunscreen will help reverse free radical damage, ideal for mature skin.

SURF ZINC – SPF 30 By Back 2 Nature

For those planning on maximising their time by the sea this summer, Back 2 Nature’s sunscreen is a great option. Surf Zinc is a water resistant sunscreen that is biodegradable, making a perfect companion to the beach. It is also formulated with Vitamin E to help nourish your skin and protect it at the same time.


If you’re looking to spoil yourself this festive season, Ren’s sunscreen doesn’t have a hefty price tag for no reason. With hydrating ingredients such as Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice and Glycerin, it is sure to keep your skin soft, perfect for dry skin.

This product does contain fragrance and is not recommended for people with fragrance sensitivities.

  • Retailing at R695.00
  • Available at Clicks.

Don’t forget to reapply every 2-3 hours to ensure you are maximising your sun protection, especially after water activities. In addition to sunscreens, it is important to wear protective clothing, such as hats, to limit sun exposure.

Now you can enjoy the much needed sunshine without compromising the health of your skin, or the environment.

  • While some of the brands are not vegan, the products listed are.
  • The graphic is from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an American scientific agency within the United States Department of Commerce that focuses on the conditions of the oceans, major waterways, and the atmosphere.
  • EDIT: this list has been edited. We removed one item which we have subsequently found not to have the sun protection it promises. We replaced it with another, Isntree. 

Image credit; John McArthur / Unsplash 

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