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Are you planning a little getaway to the gorgeous island of Bali soon in Indonesia? In addition to an island attitude and beachy swimsuits, don’t forget to bring one must-have, pesky essential: sunscreen! Here are my favorite chemical-free, zero waste sunscreens to pack for Bali (and why you need to opt for an eco-friendly option!).

Psst. This post contains affiliate links. Read our disclosure.

As someone who has visited beautiful Bali on three separate occasions, there are a few essentials I ALWAYS have to bring with me… including non-toxic, zero waste sunscreen.

Not only are the drinks strong but holy moly, the sun is too.

Like ridiculously strong… I’m not joking when I say I turned into a ripe little tomato after basking in the heat for just a mere hour!

As someone who has very Scandinavian skin (thanks, ancestors), sunscreen is a must-have for me whenever I travel to somewhere warm.

And as a sustainable traveler, opting for an safe, eco-friendly option is key, too.

Especially for Bali.

Where your everyday sunscreen — found in both your average westernized store, like Walmart or Tesco, and Bali shops — run rampant with nasty chemicals that’ll seep into our precious oceans and damage all living things which inhabit it.

Thus, when you’re wondering what the best sunscreen to pack for Bali is, it’s imperative you choose one of the following below or opt for buying a similar one where you’re from to ensure you keep both your skin and the environment safe!

Not sure WHY you should go for a chemical-free, zero waste sunscreen? I’m sharing all the reasons below! (As well as my favorite brands!)

Psst, while I wrote this with Bali in mind, these sunscreens are perfect for any sunny destination! Whether you’re backpacking Southeast Asia, vacationing in Mexico, or strolling the beaches of Greece, give them a try for sustainable sun protection.


Sophie's feet covered with sand while sitting on the beach watching the Bali sunset.

Why Should You Pack a Chemical-Free Sunscreen?

1. Harmful Chemicals

As I mentioned above, harmful chemicals are abundant in your go-to “normal” sunscreen. And good god, they are literally changing the environment and make-up of our outrageously awesome oceans.

(And not in a good way!)

Things like Oxybenzone, Butylparaben, Octinoxate, and 4-Methylbenzylidine Camphor are rapidly killing off coral reefs around the world.

According to the U.S. National Park Service, somewhere between 4,000 and 6,000 tons of sunscreen enters coral reef areas around the world each year… and it only takes a small percentage of that to do a lot of damage.

2. Save Your Skin + Body

Did you know the skin is the largest organ in the body?

And that is absorbs literally anything you put on it… including your chemical-filled sunscreen.

So, yeah, not only are all those coral-reef-harming chemicals killing the oceans, it’s actually hurting your body, too.

Current studies show chemicals in popular sunscreens have a number of unwanted effects:

  • Hormone disruptors.
  • DNA-damaging free radicals.
  • Increase sensitivity to allergic reactions.
  • Increase risk of skin cancer (yep — you read that right!).
  • Premature aging (did someone say wrinkles?).
  • Loss of skin protection (meaning it’s damn near useless).
  • Endocrine disrupting.

Is it your first time to Bali? Read all about my first 36 hours in Bali HERE! (Hint: it didn’t go as expected and culture shock hit me hard!)

Why Zero Waste?

Because, damn, after you see all the plastic pollution in Bali — as well as the rest of the world and particularly, Southeast Asia — you’re going to want to get rid of all the products you own that are in plastic-packaging.

Plastic is literally suffocating our earth.

Every single day, more and more plastic is being created — yet, it has nowhere to go.

Recycling is inefficient or damn near impossible and instead of opting for more sustainable solutions, we just keep buying things for the convenience, rather than thinking of the consequence.

Did you know a human consumes, on average, one credit card worth of microplastics every week? How crazy is that?

Not only is plastic pollution clogging up the environment, but it’s actually negatively impacting your health, too.

So, when you’re trying to figure out what the best sunscreen for Bali is, do the earth (and your body) a favor and opt for a chemical-free, zero waste sunscreen!

Not sure which brands are best? My favorites are below! But a quick tip first…

Lush green rice paddies on the island of Bali.
Rice paddies in Bali (it’s essential to wear sunscreen when visiting these!).

Are you thinking about visiting Thailand anytime soon? Read my guide on what to wear (and what not to wear) HERE!

Why Shouldn’t You Just Buy Sunscreen in Bali?

So, you might be wondering, why the heck can’t you just buy some sunscreen when you land in Bali?

Because you’ll seriously pay a ton to get just a teeny tiny little bottle of the stuff.

Locals in Bali know only tourists purchase sunscreen, meaning they know you have the money (or assume you have the money…) and willingness to pay any amount for it.

So, if you’re traveling Bali on a budget, I suggest picking some up before you fly out!

Now, back to my favorite chemical-free, zero waste sunscreen brands!

Someone laying on a hammock watching the sunset in Indonesia.

Psst, why not head to Vietnam, too? I have the perfect 1-month itinerary you can check out HERE!

My Favorite Sustainable, Eco-Friendly Sunscreen

1. Shade All-Natural Sunscreen

Made with only 4 simple ingredients and coming in a handy tin that can be reused or easily recycled, this is the ultimate zero waste sunscreen to bring with on your trip to Bali.

On my last Southeast Asia backpacking trip where I visited Thailand, Vietnam, and Bali, I only wore this sunscreen and it saved me from nasty sunburns!

Not to mention, it’s pretty darn good at being waterproof and stays on for multiple hours.

(Unfortunately, Shade Sunscreen is only available in the UK.)


Sophie holding a tin of Shade All-Natural Sunscreen, one of the best sunscreens for Bali.
My own personal Shade tin.

2. All Good Organic Sunscreen Butter

A popular sunscreen brand in the United States, All Good is creating seriously good reef-safe sunscreen that’s super water resistant, affordable, eco-friendly, and convenient.

The one downside to this particular sunscreen tin is that it’s super small, as it’s created for mainly the face, neck, and ears.

So while it easily fits in a small purse or bag, it’s not completely logical to use this particular brand for covering the whole body! Still awesome though for the face.

And, since it’s under 3.4 oz (100mL), it can be packed in your carry-on. Win!


3. Raw Elements Face + Body Sunscreen

Full-body protection from an all-natural, vegan sunscreen blend that comes in a zero waste, recyclable/reusable tin? Done and done.

Created by an Ocean Lifeguard, you can be sure Raw Elements was made with ultimate protection and dependability in mind. Not to mention, their sunscreen blend is completely vegan and cruelty-free, too! Heck yeah.

And unlike the other sustainable sunscreens mentioned above, the Raw Elements sunscreen blend also contains awesome antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to keep your skin healthy and moisturized.


4. EmpireSquid Organics Sunscreen

A rather new brand located in sunny California, EmpireSquid is a family-run, zero-waste-focused company that strives to provide affordable, natural skincare for men, women, and children alike.

Everything is handmade and because of this, you can request to have your sunscreen made vegan! (It usually contains beeswax.) How cool is that?


5. Dirty Hippie Sunscreen

Handmade in Australia, Dirty Hippie Cosmetics was created by a family who just wanted eco-friendly products that were both guilt-free and effective!

All Dirty Hippie products are made to order, which means you can customize your sun cream to your liking!

This means with or without essential oils, coconut oil, or you can even have it made with essential oils for a bug balm repellent + sunscreen blend! Cool, right?

Even better, all their products are completely vegan. Woohoo!

Want some for yourself? Click the link below!


Additionally, if you want more zero waste, chemical-free sunscreen options for your Bali trip, try searching Etsy for unique creations! (You can click HERE to search Etsy for your perfect sunscreen!)

There are SO many little businesses crafting up eco-friendly suncare items. You’ll definitely find one you love!

Are you traveling to Bali soon? Or just some place warm and need some options for sustainable sunscreen? Tell me your travel plans in the comments below or if you have any questions!

Sophie xx

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Heading out to the gorgeous island of Bali soon? Don't forget to pack your sunscreen! An essential item for Indonesia. Not only are the drinks strong, but so is the sun. Although, don't just take regular sunscreen, as it can harm the environment AND you! Check out these chemical-free, zero waste sunscreens instead to travel more sustainably. #zerowaste #sustainable #bali #sunscreen #indonesia
Are you traveling to Bali, Indonesia, soon? Don't forget to pack the Bali essentials! Which includes sunscreen. But don't pack your everyday average sunscreen... opt for chemical-free, zero waste sunscreen instead to be a more sustainable traveler! Check out my favorites here. #zerowaste #sunscreen #sustainable #bali #indonesia

As mentioned above, this post contains affiliate links. Which means if you make a purchase through the links, this site receives a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read our full disclosure here.

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