Best zinc sunscreen Australia has to offer | Zinc sunblock for families

Looking for sun protection for a big day at the beach? I’m always on the lookout for the best zinc sunscreen Australia has to offer. I find that a sunscreen with zinc stops my skin from burning, its the best sunscreen for swimming or surfing (just make sure your zinc sunblock is water resistant and you reapply it regularly), it’s safe on humans, and lots of brands of zinc oxide sunscreens in Australia are rated as being reef-safe which is important to me.

Choosing the best mineral sunscreen, Australia

Moving to Queensland from the UK, I had to learn to cope with Australia’s extremely harsh weather conditions. It was a big learning experience. With high rates of skin cancer in the country, safeguarding mine (and my family’s) skin from the sun has always been a top priority for us for our days at the beach.

As a travel writer and blogger helping families relocate to Australia, I get numerous emails and Facebook messages from readers who share my worries about sun safety, especially for kids. The sun is not a reason to avoid moving to Australia or taking a holiday to Australia – you just need to be sun-smart by selecting the best sunscreen for your face and body, wear sun protective clothing when possible, and make informed choices regarding sun protection.

To guide you in selecting the best zinc sunscreen in Australia, I’ll dive straight into sharing my experience of various Australia-made zinc oxide sunscreens. At the end of the article, I’ll cover more about what to take into account when selecting a zinc oxide sunscreen in Australia. This includes natural sunscreen ingredients to consider and why the sun in Australia poses a more significant danger than what you might be used to in other countries.

Australia zinc sunscreen reviews

In this article on zinc sunscreen in Australia, I’ve tried and tested various zinc cream sunscreen products from multiple Australian brands. I’m not a scientist – I’m a busy mum looking for products that work for our family life and that suit my personal values.

Some of the brands mentioned in this post sent me a bottle for free to test, for others I purchased them myself. All views expressed on the best physical sunscreen in Australia are my own personal opinions.

This post contains affiliate links so check out my disclaimer in the footer.

Little Urchin Zinc Sunscreen Australia | SPF 30 | Natural tinted or untinted sunscreen available + sunscreen zinc stick


Bottles of Little Urchin Zinc sunscreeen Australia on the beachLittle Urchin offers a few natural sunscreen products: Little Urchin Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 and Little Urchin Natural Tinted Sunscreen SPF 30. (They have a Little Urchin Natural Daily Moisturiser that does not provide SPF protection, so don’t get them mixed up). There is also a newly introduced Little Urchin zinc stick which is great for your nose and cheeks on beach days.

Features of Little Urchin zinc sunscreen, Australia:

  • These sunscreen products from Little Urchin are made and owned in Australia
  • Natural formula
  • 3 hours of sun protection
  • Water-resistant
  • UVA and UVB broad-spectrum coverage
  • Deemed ‘reef safe’
  • It goes on easily and rubs in quickly
  • The Little Urchin tinted sunscreen gives you thicker coverage than most tinted sunscreens
  • Some of the products are vegan
  • The company is a member of 1% for the Planet
  • You can wear the regular sunscreen under make up, or use the tinted sunscreen instead of wearing a make up base
  • Tinted and clear sunscreens are available

Things to be aware of:

  • The sunscreens are unfragranced
  • You need to shake the bottle to mix the ingredients before applying

Our verdict:

I love this brand! I wear the tinted sunscreen daily as it gives me great coverage, and I carry the zinc stick in my bag to apply on my kids’ noses and cheeks when we’re out and about (it goes on clear so they are happy to wear it at the park). I love the branding and all that the company stands for too!

>> Buy Little Urchin Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 from Amazon Australia

>> Buy Little Urchin Natural Tinted Sunscreen SPF 30 from Amazon Australia

>> Buy Little Urchin Zinc Stick from Amazon Australia 

>> Shop for Little Urchin sunscreen products on Nourished Life

Simple as That Natural Sunscreen Australia | SPF 30 | Sunscreen lotion or Natural Children’s sunscreen lotion  available

Bottles of Simple as That Zinc sunscreen Australia on a beach

Simple as That comes in two options: a regular sunscreen or a children’s sunscreen. These lightweight mineral sunscreens

Features of Simple as That

  • Natural formula
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • UVA and UVB broad-spectrum coverage
  • Non greasy, matt finish
  • Goes on easily and rubs in quickly
  • Specific product for babies that had different ingredients (chamomile oil instead of raspberry oil)
  • Both products are vegan
  • You can wear the regular sunscreen under make up
  • Fair trade ingredients

Things to be aware of:

  • The sunscreens are gently fragranced by natural products
  • The bottles don’t say they’re water resistant (they just advise you to reapply after being in the water)
  • You need to shake the bottle to mix the ingredients before applying

Our verdict:

Great products, very easy to use and they do exactly what they’re supposed to. I’d be very happy to use these on busy mornings, or for days at the park or beach. Nice and simple branding and I like we can use the products on sensitive skin.

>> Buy Simple As That Sunscreen from Amazon Australia

Sun and Earth zinc-based sunscreen pots| SPF 30 | Tinted all-day creams in little tins

Pots of Sun and Earth Zinc suncreen at the beach in Australia

These little tin pots (handmade in Byron Bay) of coloured zinc are like a thick zinc stick in a tub. You apply them with your finger and they go on quite thickly providing excellent sun protection. They come in three different colours: Sunny Tan, Sandy Light or Earthy Cocoa.

Features of Sun and Earth zinc cream sunscreen:

  • Sustainability is at the heart of the brand
  • Made using organic ingredients
  • Thicker, heavy coverage (like you get when applying a zinc stick) so perfect for beach days and swims
  • Gives great sun protection, even on big days on the sand
  • My kids say the product smells like chocolate so they love to wear it!
  • You can apply it under the eyes for protection and it doesn’t wash back into the eyes
  • Even in the hot sun, they don’t melt too much or go too sloppy

Things to be aware of:

  • Tins can get sand in the runners making them harder to open and close so do your best to keep the threads clean
  • The products don’t state that they are water resistant but my experience has been that they hold up well in the ocean or pool! Their FAQ suggests if you can still see the product on your skin, it is still working
  • I wouldn’t wear these for everyday wear as they are a coloured zinc sunscreen – they’re more for applying to cheeks, nose and chin on beach days.

Our verdict:

We LOVE these little pots of suncreen. They don’t take up much room in the beach bag, they smell nice, are easy to apply and they give the kids great protection without washing back into their eyes.

>> Buy Sun and Earth products now from Nourished Life

>> Buy Sun and Earth products from Biome

Ethical Zinc natural zinc oxide sunscreen | SPF 50 | Clear natural zinc, daily wear light sunscreen or daily wear tinted sunscreen

A bottle of Ethical zinc sunscreen Australia on a beach

Containing pharmaceutical-grade zinc oxide, this product gives you up to 4 hours water resistant sun protection. They have a range of products depending on your needs – a thick natural zinc, a lighter daily zinc and a tinted zinc facial sunscreen.

Features of Ethical Zinc cream sunscreen:

  • Natural ingredients
  • Gives lasting protection
  • Non-nano and reef safe sunscreen
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Made with solar power
  • UVA and UVB broad-spectrum coverage
  • Lightly scented
  • Tinted and clear sunscreens available
  • Gives excellent coverage for big beach days

Things to be aware of:

  • The regular sunscreen goes on thickly so you don’t need a lot of it

Our verdict

We love the thickness of this product – you know you’re getting great protection when you apply it. It doesn’t wash back into your eyes in the ocean. The tinted version is quite thick sunscreen but it doesn’t give you a heavy colour of coverage (if you’re looking for something offering more colour coverage the Little Urchin is better). It takes a bit more rubbing into your skin as it’s a thicker product, but you know it is going to last. This product goes in our beach bag for days on the beach.

>> Buy it Ethical Zinc Sunscreen now from eBay

>> Buy Ethical Zinc Sunscreen from Amazon Australia

Invisible Zinc physical sunscreen Australia | SPF 50 of SPF 30 depending on product | Face and body, Junior Sunscreen, Sheer defense facial sunscreen, tinted daywear, Zinc sport

Invisible Zinc Australia sunscreen on the beach

Invisible Zinc has a wide range of zinc sunscreens to choose from. They offer a light and easy formula for everyday sun protection.

Features of Invisible Zinc cream sunscreen:

  • Tinted and clear sunscreens available
  • UVA and UVB broad-spectrum coverage
  • Facial and body sunscreens are available
  • Sporting options also available if you need something more long-lasting
  • Sunscreens for kids and babies available with gentle ingredients
  • Deemed ‘reef safe’

Things to be aware of:

  • The tinted sunscreen only gives a very gentle coverage
  • Some of the bottle sizes can be quite small compared with other products (which easy to see in store, but you might not notice when ordering online so check product sizes before ordering)

Our verdict

There are a wide range of product options no matter what your needs (tinted, baby, sport etc.) Small bottles can easily fit into bags and they also do some that can clip onto school bags which are handy. The tinted sunscreen offers a light colour coverage (if you’re looking for something with move coverage, Little Urchin is the best option) and it goes on easily. These are very easy products to wear and rub in easily and quickly making them great for school days/days at the zoo etc.

>> Shop for Invisible Zinc products on Amazon Australia here

Sun Butter natural zinc sunscreen Australia | SPF 50 | original, face sunscreen or surf sunscreen

Sunbutter Zinc suncreen at a beach in Australia

This eco-friendly sunscreen comes in a little metal tin. It offers 4 hours of water-resistant protection.

Features of Sun Butter:

    • First sunscreen in the world to be certified palm-oil free
    • Brand is commited to sustainability
    • Safe for everyone including babies and sensitive skin
    • Non-nano and reef safe
    • Vegan friendly
    • Packaging made from recycled material
    • You can wear it under make up

Things to be aware of:

  • Store your Sunbutter tin flat
  • Keep the threads of the tin clear of sand by wiping so it doesn’t become difficult to open
  • When it gets hot and sloppy after a day at the beach, pop it in the fridge to set again

Our verdict

Sunbutter is a great brand with a solid set of values around sustainability. While the product can melt in the sunshine (try to keep it in the shade), you can just pop it back in the fridge to set it again at the end of the day. The threads of the tin can get sandy, so be sure to keep them clean so you can easily continue to access your sunscreen. This sunscreen goes on easily and makes skin feel soft. We love it!

>> Buy SunButter from Amazon Australia

>> Buy SunButter from Nourished Life

>> Buy SunButter from Biome 

Soleo Organics | SPF 30 | All natural sunscreen (and an extra lite version), coconut sunscreen (and an extra lite version) or facial sunscreen

Bottles of Soleo Sunscreen Australia by a pool

Created in Western Australia, these natural sunscreen products are suitable for all skin types.

Features of Soleo Organics:

  • UVA and UVB broad-spectrum coverage
  • Suitable for all skin types including sensitive and babies
  • Some of the products are vegan
  • All products are deemed ‘reef safe’
  • The coconut version offers 3 hours of water protection
  • Facial and body sunscreens available

Things to be aware of:

  • As with all suncreens, you need to give them a shake before using to mix the ingredients
  • There isn’t a tinted version available but you can wear them under make up

Our verdict

These are another solid option of zinc sunscreens that go on quickly and easily without turning you white. The facial sunscreen moisturises my skin and I find it really handy to pop on before a dog walk in the morning if I don’t have the time or energy to go for a tinted sunscreen option. The coconut version is thicker and harder to rub in so is better saved for big days out in the sun rather than to wear for the school run.

>> Shop for Soléo Organics sunscreens on Nourished Life

>> Shop for Soléo Organics sunscreens on Amazon Australia

Best zinc sunscreens, Australia

I love buying ethical Australian brands and I think as this country has such intense weather, it has inspired some fantastic products to be developed. I plan on adding to this post on a regular basis as I try more Australian zinc sunscreen products so be sure to check back.

Why is finding the best zinc sunscreen important?

Thank you for reading through my post about the top sunscreen options in Australia. Having covered my reviews of zinc-based sunscreens and the best brands available, I now want to touch on why I chose to focus solely on zinc sunscreens instead of titanium dioxide or chemical-based ones.

While we all understand the importance of using sunscreen, it’s crucial to consider a few factors before selecting the best option for yourself. It’s also worth noting that you might need different types of mineral sunscreens for different occasions and activities, rather than just one single sunscreen product.

Choosing the best zinc sunscreen for Australia can be daunting, so here are a few things to keep in mind before making your purchase:

  • It’s important to carefully examine the sunscreen ingredients, especially as you’ll be applying it to your skin frequently. I personally prefer physical sunscreens that don’t sink into my skin like chemical sunscreens.
  • When swimming with chemical-based sunscreen, the chemicals can wash off and harm coral, leading to bleaching. Even if you don’t go swimming, the sunscreen can still end up in the ocean through drains. As a lover of Australia’s environment, I like to wear products that are makred as ‘reef-safe’ sunscreen options.
  • Some sunscreens work better than others in the water. Waterproof sunscreen is the best choice for water sports and outdoor activities, but it may not be suitable for everyday use.
  • Different parts of your body may require different sunscreen products, and sensitive skin might react negatively to certain ingredients. You should select a gentle sunscreen that won’t cause a reaction, especially for babies.
  • If you’re using sunscreen on your face, you should consider a clear zinc sunscreen or find the best-tinted sunscreen to match your skin tone.

Best sunscreen Australia

Due to the intense sun in Australia, many Australian sunscreen brands have created incredible sunscreen products to cope with the unique weather here.

Whether you are in search of a vegan, reef-safe, or organic sunscreen for your baby, the best sunscreen should protect our skin from harmful rays without causing any harm to us or the environment.

What causes high rates of skin cancer in Australia?

The depletion of the ozone layer, which absorbs UV radiation, leads to a reduction in the protection it provides, resulting in more harmful rays reaching us. Australia is situated closer to the ozone hole above Antarctica, and during summer, it is also closer to the sun, increasing exposure to potentially damaging rays if you don’t take proper precautions. Also, high rates of migration to Australia has resulted in many individuals not having natural sun protection in their skin pigmentation, as skin types adapt to suit the environment over generations.

Despite the high rates of skin cancer, Australians have an active outdoor lifestyle that includes going to the beach and playing sports outdoors. Being aware of sunscreen options and choosing the best sunscreen protection is crucial to ensure safety while enjoying these activities.

Does SPF matter when it comes to choosing an Australian sunscreen? says:

‘The SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of a sunscreen is a measure of how well it protects the skin from sunburn. Sunscreens need to be applied liberally to achieve the SPF protection claimed on the label.’


Theoretically, an SPF sunscreen should provide 15, 30, or 50 times more protection than your unprotected skin, which would burn in 10 minutes. However, research shows that an SPF 50 sunscreen only offers slightly more protection than an SPF 30 sunscreen. What really matters is the frequency and amount of sunscreen application to ensure adequate coverage. It is important to apply sunscreen generously and frequently.

Why opt for mineral sunscreens, particularly as a facial sunscreen?

When I first arrived in Australia, I used to purchase large bottles of SPF 50 sunscreen from the supermarket and assumed that the SPF factor was the only crucial aspect. I applied it all over, including my face, but eventually noticed sun damage and pigmentation on my face. After consulting with a skincare professional, I learned that chemical sunscreens can cause this kind of pigmentation due to a reaction with heat. This was really eye-opening to me.

Sunscreen comes in two types: chemical and mineral, also known as physical sunscreens. Chemical sunscreens absorb into the skin and then absorb UV rays, preventing them from penetrating the dermis and causing damage. Some ingredients in these can harm to coral reefs, so they are best avoided if you’re looking for reef-safe sunscreens in Australia.

Mineral sunblock, on the other hand, sits on the surface of the skin and reflects the sun’s rays. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are the primary ingredients in mineral sunscreens. The key point to remember is that they remain on the skin’s surface and do not absorb into the body in the same way that chemical sunscreens do. Not all mineral sunscreens are deemed reef-safe though.

It is entirely up to you whether you prefer to use a combination of chemical and physical sunscreens, and there is no hard and fast rule. Research and make an informed decision about individual products.

In this post, concentrated on zinc oxide sunscreens because that is the type of sunscreen I mainly use for my family after doing my research. We still use a combination of avoiding direct sun exposure and wearing protective clothing as our primary method of sun protection whenever feasible. My children always wear UV rash vests when they’re at the beach or in the pool, and I try to buy them long-sleeved rash vests (rash guards) when possible since it makes sun protection much easier. I still keep large bottles of Cancer Council sunscreen in the house, which we use occasionally. For me, it’s all about balance and having a variety of solutions available for my children are always on the go.

Consider these factors when searching for the best sunscreen in Australia with broad spectrum UVA and UVB coverage:

  • Will you be using the sunscreen while swimming or playing sports? Look for a waterproof sunscreen that requires less frequent reapplication.
  • Do you require a sensitive zinc sunscreen?
  • Do you prefer a heavy zinc sunscreen that sits on top of your skin or something combined with natural ingredients that absorbs easily and doesn’t feel sticky?
  • Do you want a non-comedogenic sunscreen that won’t clog your pores?
  • Do you mind how easy the sunscreen is to rub in or how greasy it feels?
  • Are you interested in a tinted sunscreen for your face? If so, do you plan to wear it on its own or with a mineral powder for added protection and reduced shine?
  • Are you specifically searching for a face sunscreen for sensitive skin?
  • Do you prefer a fragrance-free sunscreen or one with a pleasant scent?
  • Does it matter to you if the sunscreen is organic and vegan or just the best natural sunscreen available, even if it’s not vegan?
  • Do you want a reef-safe sunscreen?
  • Do you prefer a physical sunscreen brand that contributes to environmental charities or causes?

It’s crucial to note that sunscreen is essential for protecting your skin in Australia. The sun can cause major damage to your skin, and it’s impossible to avoid it altogether. It’s important to establish a sun protection routine with your kids from an early age to develop good habits.

While this article has been mainly focused on the best zinc sunscreen in Australia to protect your skin from the sun, there are additional measures you can take to prevent skin damage from Australia’s intense sunlight. Here are some tips:

  • Cover up: Wearing long-sleeved rash vests provides excellent protection from the sun’s harmful rays. This will also reduce the amount of sunscreen you need to apply, making it easier to avoid burning your back, chest, shoulders, and arms.
  • Wear a hat: A wide-brimmed hat can help protect your face, neck, and ears from the sun. For children, consider getting a hat with a chin strap to prevent it from falling off. While a hat doesn’t replace face sunscreen, it can help you avoid getting burned on the face as it’s mostly shaded.
  • Avoid midday sun: Try to avoid going out in the sun during the hottest part of the day. Instead, plan outdoor activities for early morning or late afternoon when the sun is less intense.
  • Bring your own shade: Use a large beach shade to stay out of the direct sun while you’re outside.
  • Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water while you’re in the sun will help keep your body hydrated and reduce the risk of heat exhaustion or other health issues.

Where can you purchase zinc sunscreen in Australia? Personally, I prefer to buy zinc sunscreen online as it offers a wider variety than in physical stores. Below is my favourite list of shops to buy mineral sunscreens:

Nourished Life

By buying natural sunscreen online, you can access the full range of options that may not be available in stores where natural sunscreen brands can be limited.

I hope this post on selecting the best reef-safe zinc sunscreen has been useful. It’s important to consider what’s best for your skin while also being mindful of the environment with your choices.

If this guide has introduced you to new Australian sunscreen brands to try, please share it! Wearing sunscreen is critical, and we can make a positive impact on our health and the environment by selecting the right sunscreen brands.

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