I put my heart and soul into finding the best natural mineral sunscreen over the last 10 years. My family of 6 has personally tested over 100 reef-safe sunscreen options, putting two on our bodies every time we are in the sun.
Our a/b tests have been stringent, and we really know what mineral sunscreens are effective, rub in well, and last a long time.
Of all those well over 100 choices, we only have about a dozen that we love and this brand is one of them.
If you’re looking for one of the best natural sunscreens, you’re in the right place!
As you’ll read in the full review below, this zinc oxide sunscreen covers all the bases and keeps your family safe from sunburn. It uses pristine ingredients to the highest standard, goes on smooth, and actually lasts.
If you’d like to see how it stacks up against other natural mineral sunscreen brands that use reef-safe zinc oxide, then head over to my ultimate guide to natural mineral sunscreens for the complete list of safe sunscreen reviews.
Rubber Ducky/Carefree Naturals Sunscreen
Ease of Application
EWG rating: 2-3
SPF: varies – they offer both 30 & 50
Active ingredient(s): lotion SPF30 Zinc Oxide (Non nano) 22.75% [stick: Zinc Oxide (Non nano) 8.5%, Titanium Dioxide 7%]
Other ingredients: Sunflower oil, Cocoa butter, Candelilla wax, Organic yellow beeswax, mango butter, olive oil, shea butter, safflower oil, Vitamin E, Avocado Oil, Lavender oil, Comfrey extract, Chamomile extract, Sweet almond oil, Glyceryl Caprylate, Glyceryl undecylenate (natural preservatives) (SPF 30 lotion) Organic Beeswax, Comfrey Extract, Almond Oil, Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, Chamomile Extract, Aloe Vera Extract, Safflower Oil, Shea Butter, Lavender Oil, Mango Butter, Glyceryl Caprylate, Glyceryl Undecylenate, Sunflower Oil, Cocoa Butter, Candelilla Wax, Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E), Iron Oxide (stick)
Antioxidants added: Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E), avocado oil, sunflower oil, etc.
2021 Update: The SPF50 tinted stick formulation is now also available in a metal tin!
Ease of application: +/- The SPF 50 goes on incredibly clear, and although there was some separation of oil over the winter so you do need to knead the tube well, it’s quite impressive how it rubs in. The SPF 30 rubs in ok but not as “clear” as advertised. Just rub in twice as long as you expect to need to and you’re all set! It definitely beads up, and I’m sure lives up to its 80-minute water resistance and longer.
Scent: earthy, pleasant, each variety varies
Water resistant? rated 80 minutes (highest allowed) but Australia allows testing to 8 hours – and they passed!
My experience: The SPF 30 lotion lasted throughout an entire day-long rafting trip with zero burns, and the way the water continued to bead up even after hours is amazing. The tinted cream is also impressive. We don’t usually use tinted sunscreen on our children because of clothing staining, but once we put this one on both of our younger boys, and I was very impressed by how perfect it looked! They have quite different skin tones, so that’s saying something, and my husband has yet another skin tone, very pale and pink, and it looked really good and natural on him too. Sometimes the poor man will put on one of our tints, such as the Raw Elements tin, and he looks like he’s wearing stage makeup.
Star Feature: The water resistance can’t be beat!!
My review: With this brand, you need to make sure to check the version and ingredients. Some only use zinc oxide, while others include titanium dioxide, but the brand also has some with chemical ingredients. I got to interview Steve from the company, self-proclaimed “the last of the suntan guys from the 80s,” and I do like his commitment to quality and his many years of experience in the sunscreen industry.
Carefree Naturals is the same maker as Rubber Ducky, but prettier packaging for spas. The ingredients are very clean and so the SPF 30 with only zinc oxide did receive my highest recommendation, but it can’t stay in that category simply because it’s too confusing to have so many undesirable varieties from the same brand.
My first experience with this lightly tinted stick (Carefree Naturals, but should be the same for Rubber Ducky) was that it was too thick to get on. I think it just needed some time to warm up, literally temperature wise and just getting a little bit of use first. My husband reported that it went on very smoothly and he liked it for his face. He did get a little pink that very first day in Florida, but he is so pale. It tanned out nicely and did not feel burnt one bit. I would not use this stick on the whole body, just the face, because it is very thick, but that also means it’s super easy to rub it in.
This brand is made for spas and high-class establishments, so the focus is on being good for your skin and classy. It smells fresh and light, a little bit earthy like wholesome home and fresh like Avasol, but not as spicy. There is lavender and chamomile in the ingredients, so I’m guessing that’s where some of the scent comes from. I would definitely recommend this if you are worried about clogging pores and taking good care of the skin on your face. It is packed with many nourishing and moisturizing oils and natural vitamin E as a preservative. It remains in the second tier simply because of the titanium dioxide and rather low zinc oxide.
See for yourself in this video on Facebook demonstrating 8 of the sticks in this review!
- Excellent water resistance
- Packed with antioxidants and moisturizing oils
- Tinted options
- Some varieties have lower zinc oxide ratio and/or titanium dioxide
- Brand has other, less natural varieties as well
- Stick can be thick and harder to apply
Wondering if this one is the very best natural sunscreen for your family?
I organized alllll the sunscreens we reviewed in each one’s recommendation category – one page, at-a-glance to find out what is safe to buy AND works! Print it or save to your phone for reference!
The guide also includes answers to questions people ask me all the time:
- Which brand rubs in the clearest?
- What’s the best for all day outdoor sports?
- How do I save money on natural sunscreens?
- What looks good on ladies’ faces?
- Is there an option that is FAST to apply to wiggly kids?
I’ll send a copy to your email so you can see it right away and find it again later!