Home Latest news 72% of Sun Care products contain microplastics

72% of Sun Care products contain microplastics

After the launch of our new Beat the microbead app, we received an overwhelming response. Thanks to our dedicated users, just in 30 days, we received 10,000 personal care products! One of the most popular items in our database is sun-care products. So we dove a little deeper to see what kind of ingredients are used in them. Let’s find out which popular brands pretend to love the oceans.

By taking a thorough look at our database, we found out that a shocking 72%* of Sun Care products contain microplastics, and only 25%** are microplastic-free.

Why are there microplastics in sunscreens?

Microplastics are intentionally added in sunscreen formulas:

  • to unite and hold together the ingredients of a product,
  • to form a thin coating on the skin,
  • to add waterproof properties and,
  • as cheap alternatives to more expensive ingredients.

Most Commonly Used Microplastics in Suncare Products

*263 products out of a sample of 364 products in the Beat the Microbead database, including after-sun products
**89 out of 364 out of a sample of 364 products in the Beat the Microbead database, including after-sun products

In most products, there’s usually a combination of multiple microplastics. In sunscreen products, however, there can be easily up to 9 plastic ingredients. These are the most commonly found:

  1. Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer
  2. VP/Eicosene Copolymer
  3. VP/Hexadecene Copolymer
  4. Triacontanyl PVP
  5. Carbomer
  6. Dimethicone
  7. Acrylates/C12-22 Alkyl Methacrylate Copolymer
  8. Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer


Top 10 Most Scanned Sun Care products with plastic ingredients

  1. Gevoelige huid Zonnecrème SPF 30, Biodermal
  2. .Sonnenmilch Classic SPF 30, Cien
  3. Solait SPF 50 High Sunmilk, Kruidvat
  4. Sun Protect & Hydrate Zonnespray SPF 50, Nivea
  5. Sun Protect & Hydrate Zonnespray SPF 30, Nivea
  6. Sun Protect & Hydrate Zonnecrème SPF 30, Nivea
  7. Ambre Solaire Zonnebrand Melk Factor SPF 30, Garnier
  8. Silk Hydration Protective Sun Lotion SPF 30, Hawaiian Tropic
  9. Zonnespray Hydraplus SPF 30, Biodermal
  10. Hydraxol Zonnespray SPF50, Biodermal

Sunscreens for children full of concerning ingredients

The French Offices of WECF and Agir pour l’Environnement revealed the results of their common survey of 71 sunscreens for children. The research found 29 ingredients of concern in the 71 sunscreens for children. Among these sunscreens, 9 of them contain a mixture of at least 10 ingredients of concern! Among the harmful ingredients, they found: BHT (not microplastic), Cyclohexasiloxane & Cyclopentasiloxane (commonly used microplastics) and PEGs. PEGs a class of suspicious ingredients for Beat the Microbead was classified as “substances of high concern”.

Do you feel like there aren’t any other options?

We know how difficult it is to find plastic-free and ocean-friendly sunscreens. That’s why we certify brands that are 100% plastic-free. Find here our sunscreen picks or visit our Search Engine and explore more than 70 Zero Plastic Inside brands. Check out below which sunscreens are scanned the most with the Beat the Microbead app.

Top 5 Most Scanned Sun Care products without microplastics

  1. Natural Sunscreen Body SPF30, Naif
  2. Natural Sunscreen For Baby & Kids SPF 50, Naif
  3. Natural Sunscreen Face SPF 30, Naif
  4. Bio Sun Spray Factor SPF30, Lovea
  5. Organic Aloe Vera Sun Lotion SPF50, Aloe Pura

You might also like:

Download the Beat the Microbead app & scan your products!

Sign this petition and ask the EU to ban microplastics in cosmetics

Find plastic-free sunscreens