Summer is here and while the sun is shining bright it’s a golden time to highlight July as UV Safety Awareness Month! How are you protecting yourself from harmful UV rays?

Natural and mineral-based sunscreens are designed to protect both people and the planet. Some of the most common chemicals in widely-available sunscreens, oxybenzone and octinoxate, have been linked to the destruction of coral reefs. Mineral-based sunscreens active ingredients, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, do not harm coral reefs. You can find natural options for chemical/non-mineral sunscreens that offer reef-friendly, biodegradable formulas that are free of oxybenzone and octinoxate. 

How They Work

Mineral sunscreens, also known as physical sunscreens, are designed to stay on top of your skin and act like a mirror that reflects UV rays away from your body. As they are designed to stay on top of your skin, they can be a little harder to rub in. Chemical sunscreens get their name from the fact that they rely on a chemical reaction to be effective — the active ingredients in chemical sunscreens are absorbed into the skin and disperse the UV rays in your body as less harmful energy. Chemical sunscreens often rub in easier than mineral-based sunscreens and are more water and sweat-proof. 

Mineral Sunscreens Are Often Effective Immediately

Chemical (non-mineral-based) sunscreens need time to be absorbed into the skin and become “active” — so you need to apply them 15-20 minutes before you go out into the sun. Since mineral sunscreens sit on top of your skin, they’re often effective immediately. 

At GreenStar, we offer a variety of sunscreens to keep you and your family safe throughout the summer. Here’s a quick rundown of what we offer:

MyChelle Dermaceuticals

Made without parabens, petroleum, phthalates, silicones, sulfates, ureas, artificial fragrances, or artificial colors. These zinc-based sunscreens provide UVA/UVB protection and are both water resistant. Available in a continuous spray bottle for quick, easy application or the traditional  squeeze bottle. 

Garden Goddess


Free of chemical-additives, dermatologist-tested, and designed for sensitive skin. They’re water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. They offer a daily and a sport formula in a convenient continuous spray bottle.

Alba Botanica

Effective broad-spectrum sunscreens, in both mineral and natural, non-mineral formulas. Alba offers an array of options that are all biodegradable and reef-friendly: a maximum protection with SPF 70, a sensitive mineral-based formula, a skin-soothing formula with lavender, a sweat-resistant sport formula, and even a Hawaiian one (which smells great!). While they aren’t all mineral-based, they are all natural formulas free of oxybenzone, octinoxate, synthetic fragrances, artificial colors, parabens, phthalates, and harsh sulfates. 

DermaE

Designed to protect your skin and help you recover — their formulas are fortified with antioxidants to help skin recover and reduce the signs of aging caused by the UV rays. They teamed up with Makeup Guru, Ash Deleon to design their Sun Protection SPF 30 Mineral Powder. This translucent non-nano mineral powder can be worn on its own or over makeup for a natural, flawless look. Easy to carry to reapply throughout the day for all day sun protection from harmful UVA/UVB rays.

Badger Sunscreen

Simple, natural, hypoallergenic, and safe. Designed with kids in mind, it incorporates the scent combination of vanilla and tangerine to smell like a creamsicle so moms and dads can get a few more precious seconds to get those squirming bodies covered before a meltdown can ensue.

And if you’re going to spend time outside this summer — don’t forget about natural bug repellents!