top of page

Plastic-Free Find: Moisturizer w/ SPF

So this is a big one for me, y'all...

I've been wearing facial moisturizer with sunscreen in it since the tender age of 21, when a 60-something year old coworker in my office shared the sage advice that, no matter what else I might do or not do to my face, always ALWAYS wear moisturizer with sunscreen. And I have dutifully obeyed!

And I must say, as I am approaching 50 (six months of being in my 40s left!), I'm pretty stoked that by religiously wearing moisturizer with sunscreen while steadfastly avoiding wearing pore-clogging makeup like foundation, blush, and powder, I've managed to not only keep the sun damage to a minimum on my face, but my skin soft and wrinkles to a minimum. Not that I am anti-wrinkle! I am grossed out by the ads out there of women over 30 getting paid millions to tell other women that they are essentially not good enough if they look their age, and am proud of my crow's feet, gray hairs and other signs of having survived five decades on this planet!

For at least a decade, I was faithful to Andalou, a fairly eco-friendly moisturizer brand sold at local natural grocery store, as not only were the ingredients deemed acceptable by the Environmental Working Group, I'd been hoodwinked into believing that by using TerraCycle, my containers were being recycled. Turns out? TerraCycle is one of the biggest greenwashing companies out there. Moreover, The Guardian just reported that recycled plastic is MORE toxic than virgin plastic, further emphasizing the need to Reduce one's plastic usage.

For those who understand the reality of recycling, most plastic is actually DOWN-cycled, not RE-cycled, meaning all that plastic you proudly toss in your recycle bin - if it even makes it to a facility to re-use the plastic - ends up being turned into NON-recyclable plastic products. So it's already a no-win situation, and the toxicity of products originating from fossil fuels and getting further amplified by the DownCycling process? It was an instant game changer for my husband and I.

I've been pretty darn proud over the last 15 years focusing firmly on reducing my carbon footprint, including transitioning to plastic-free. In the bathroom, we make our own toothpaste and mouthwash, brush our teeth with sustainably-harvested bamboo replacement-head brushes, floss with As my SPF moisturizer was literally the last plastic thing in our bathroom, I set out on a mission to find a facial moisturizer that would not only protect me from the sun, but came in a truly recyclable container - i.e., in metal or glass.

It took hours to find these, as there are a decent number of both moisturizers and sunscreens that are eco-friendly both in content and packaging out there if you look hard enough, but a combo? Oy vey! After at least an hour of hardcore online research, I finally scored not one, but two products...and I love them both. One is purely in a recyclable (or reusable!) metal tin, the other is in a recyclable metal tube with a tiny plastic lid (grrr..but it's a marked improvement). I thought I'd try both to get an idea of the two textures as they go on my face.

  • Tierra & Lava's Turmeric & Vanilla SPF 15 Sunscreen is, yes, sold as a sunscreen, but I found it while reading multiple recommendations for it as a daily facial moisturizer. And WOW - it smells like absolute heaven. Years ago, a wonderful eco-blogger I followed used to sell amazing coconut-vanilla body butter, and I practically cried when she put her business to bed...and this stuff is the closest I've found yet. It goes on really nicely as well, like butta!

  • Seed Phytonutrient's Daily Protective Moisturizer SPF 30 is the other one I found which initially looks like it contains much more moisturizer, but turns out the $29 price tag actually gets you *less* for your money. Now this is twice what I spent for Andalou, but you don't need nearly as much! It feels a bit like sunscreen to put on, but ultimately rubs in pretty well, although there is an oiliness to it I'm still evaluating.

I'm not sure how effective these will be on the sunscreen side, but hey, it's June, an we've crossed the 80 degree threshold here with lots and lots of sunshine to go...


bottom of page