Co-op Blog

10 Natural Sunscreen & Bug Spray Solutions for Safe Summer Fun

You’ve heard it hundreds of times during the summer: don’t forget to put on sunscreen! And those reminders aren’t without reason. Sunscreen is key to protecting your skin not only in the summer but all year-round. And it’s even better when you protect your skin from the sun without using sunscreens that are full of chemicals and other ingredients you shouldn’t put on your skin!

We carry a variety of natural sunscreens to protect your skin from damaging UV rays. And while we’re on the topic of summer skin protection, we’ll also include a list of natural bug spray solutions, too, so you can minimize sunburn and bug bites while enjoying the great outdoors. Read on to learn about our favorite sunscreens and bug sprays available in the Wellness Department.

All Good Sunscreen

all good sunscreen

Reef-friendly and water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, All Good sunscreen comes in both 30 and 50+ SPF, so even those with fair skin can feel protected against the sun’s harsh rays.

We offer All Good sunscreens in a few different forms. There’s a traditional style sunscreen in a pump bottle, a sport sunscreen butter stick for easy application, and a tinted sunscreen that’s a great option for your face.

All of these sunscreens have a zinc-based formula that doesn’t feel sticky or greasy like more traditional chemical options.

Mad Hippie Facial SPF

mad hippie facial SPF

Here’s a sunscreen option from Portland-based Mad Hippie!

Intended as a facial sunscreen, this zinc-based 30+ SPF is a broad-spectrum option that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.

Antioxidant-rich red raspberry and avocado oils are added as an extra benefit, as well as vitamins C and E.

Free of nasties like parabens, petroleum, and nanoparticles, this is a natural face sunscreen that’s a welcome addition to your daily skincare regimen.

Badger Mineral Sunscreen

badger mineral sunscreen stick

If you’re looking for a face sunscreen that’s easy to take and use on the go, consider these mineral sunscreen sticks from Badger!

Available in unscented and tangerine vanilla, these sunscreen sticks are the perfect size for application on your hands and face.

Badger mentions that this product is intended for targeted protection, and should be used in conjunction with another sunscreen for the rest of your body.

This sunscreen stick goes on white, but blends into your skin as your rub it in. The SPF 35 formula is reef-friendly, zinc-based, and Leaping Bunny certified cruelty free. And that cute little Badger on the packaging is pretty irresistible.

CannaCell Sun Buddy

cannacell sunscreen

Made out of hemp stem cells, organic hemp seed oil, and essential oils, this SPF 30 sunscreen from Andalou Naturals is vegan-friendly and Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free.

This sunscreen is zinc-based and features ingredients like aloe and jojoba oil to make your skin feel cool and moisturized while you’re out enjoying the heat of the day.

Intended as a facial sunscreen, this one container should last you through the summer and fall.

Badger Anti-Bug Sunscreen

badger anti-bug sunscreen

This sunscreen offers 2-for-1 sun and bug protection! Citronella, lemongrass, and cedarwood oils are used to repel mosquitos, while zinc oxide is the ingredient used to protect your skin from the sun.

Badger’s sunscreen formula is reef-friendly and water-resistant for up to 40 minutes. This sunscreen definitely has a citrusy smell, so you’ll want to keep that in mind if you’re sensitive to that smell.

Badger Broad Spectrum Active Sunscreen

badger sunscreen

In addition to their sunscreen sticks and anti-bug formula, badger also makes a number of sunscreens that are good for everyday use on the whole body.

Available in SPF 30 or 35, all their sunscreens are zinc-based and non-whitening. Many come unscented, but we do offer a lavender option for those who appreciate that calming scent!

If you like to do a lot of water sports during the summer, consider trying out the sport sunscreen: it’s water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.

Alba Botanica Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen

alba botanica sunscreen

If you have sensitive skin or simply prefer to avoid fragrances, consider this sunscreen from Alba Botanica.

Broad-spectrum SPF 30, this sunscreen option is water-resistant for up to an hour and is biodegradable, making it reef-friendly.

Sunflower seed oil, jojoba oil, and aloe vera are added to the formula to leave your skin feeling moisturized rather than greasy and sticky.

Badger Anti-Bug Balm

badger anti-bug balm

DEET-free and certified organic, Badger’s anti-bug balm is available in either a tin or a stick, but both are super portable and easy to apply.

Made with citronella, cedar, and lemongrass essential oils, these balms not only repel bugs but smell absolutely delightful, too.

Castor oil, olive oil, and beeswax are the base of this balm, rather than any yucky chemicals you wouldn’t want on your skin.

Herbal Armor Natural Insect Repellent

If you prefer a spray rather than a balm, consider this insect repellent from All Terrain.

Available in a regular and kid-safe version, these repellants are DEET-free and PETA certified cruelty-free.

The active ingredients for this spray include soybean, citronella, peppermint, cedarwood, lemongrass, and geranium oil.

Why Go Natural?

If you’ve used traditional sunscreen forever, you might be a little skeptical about trying natural alternatives.

But there are plenty of compelling reasons to switch your mindset and try out something different this summer.

No Harmful Ingredients

Along with all of our products in the wellness department, we only sell items that are natural and sustainable choices for your body and the environment. The issue with traditional sunscreen ingredients is that they are chemicals that can easily get into your body through either an aerosol spray or getting in contact with your mouth or nose. And many experts are concerned that chemicals in sunscreen can be absorbed into the skin with side effects that we aren’t necessarily aware of.

To learn more about the issues with chemical sunscreen ingredients, check out this helpful report from EWG.

And as far as bug spray goes, traditional bug spray often contains DEET, which is considered slightly toxic. Effective natural bug spray options are a great way to protect yourself from those toxic ingredients.

It’s Better For The Planet

“Reef-friendly” is a term that you’ll start to get familiar with as you’re looking at different natural sunscreen options. It essentially means that the ingredients in the sunscreen you’re using aren’t harmful to coral or marine life, and can be worn in the water without worry.

The two chemicals that are of major concern when it comes to reef health are oxybenzone and octinoxate. They’re common UV-blocking chemicals that are said to cause coral bleaching.

By: Leigha

LeighaLeigha is the Marketing Assistant at the Skagit Valley Food Co-op.