And just like that, summer is back like it never left. More days will be spent enjoying picnics and the beach. Accordingly, finding the best mineral sunscreens to protect our skin from the sun’s intense rays should be high on the priority list.
You might be wondering: Why mineral sunscreen specifically? “They can be less irritating on the skin to those with sensitivities,” such as acne, rosacea, or eczema, says esthetician and founder of Cave of Beauty Lily Njoroge.
Dermatologist Dr. Elyse Love echoes this statement, adding that these formulas’ zinc oxide and titanium dioxide both protect skin from UVA and UVB rays. “UV damage can lead to skin cancer, skin aging, and irregularities in skin tone,” she says—like redness and pigmentation.
Often referred to as physical sunscreens, not only are mineral SPFs better for your skin, but they’re also better for the environment. Non-mineral sunscreens include chemicals that can be damaging to marine life, including oxybenzone, which, when in water, damages the coral reefs.
Regardless, we just hope you use any sunscreen variation daily; but, if you want to incorporate a mineral formula we’ve done the due diligence to unearth the finest options. Below, find 13 of the best mineral sunscreens to try so that you can have the safest and most environmentally friendly summer yet.
Dr. Dennis Gross All-Physical Lightweight Wrinkle Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30
This mineral sunscreen by Dr. Dennis Gross, powered by zinc oxide, pairs the best of anti-aging and sheer finish benefits. Think: reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Essentially, this oil-free transparent formula features a blend of sea buckthorn, ferulic acid, and lingonberry for antioxidant protection against UVA/UVB rays, pollution, and blue light.
Isdin Eryfotona Actinica Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50+
“Compared to many mineral sunscreens, this formula is lightweight and non-chalky,” says Love. “The tint is friendly to most skin tones, and it contains enzymes that have been clinically shown to reverse signs of sun damage.”
Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40
We’ll never tire of sharing our love for Ilia’s Super Serum Skin Tint: fashion editor Mai Morsch even wrote an ode to the multitasking formula because it essentially replaced her entire skin-care routine. On the mineral sunscreen front though, the tinted serum utilizes zinc oxide to protect skin while providing lightweight, hydrating coverage.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral SPF 30 Moisturizer + Hyaluronic Acid
A blend of UVA/UVB filters makes up this sun protector: titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, and antioxidants. Then there’s hyaluronic acid to keep the skin hydrated and plump, while glycerin takes skin moisturization to the next level.
MDSolarSciences Mineral Crème SPF 50
This creamy mineral SPF is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation to use daily. Additionally, their patented ProVention-R liposome technology combines green tea, cranberry fruit, and pomegranate extracts, which defend skin against environmental aggressors.
Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50
A powder sunscreen is the ultimate solution for summertime oiliness or to reapply atop makeup. If that sounds like the cure to your on-the-go woes, consider this Colorescience brush-on formula perfect for you. What’s more: this is available in four shades all featuring both titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to shield against damaging rays to any skin tone or type.
Supergoop! Mineral Sheerscreen SPF 30
The name of this product says it all: It’s a completely sheer mineral sunscreen (not always easy to come by!). Bush clover extract is the main event, as it defends against free radical damage and blue light. Aloe-leaf juice acts as the ultimate skin hydrator, and squalane serves up extra non-greasy softness.
Suntique I’m Safe for Sensitive Skin SPF 35
“This sunscreen is my favorite because it’s affordable, does not leave a white cast on darker skin tones—which is a significant concern for skin of color using mineral sunscreens—and is lightweight,” Njogore says.
Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30
Packed with 20% zinc oxide, sunflower shoot extract, astaxanth-rich algae extract, and raspberry seed oil, Drunk Elephant’s mineral sunscreen includes all you need to protect skin from broad-spectrum rays and free radical damage. With a rather lightweight formula, expect this to sink into skin without feeling greasy.
Biossance Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen
Looking to incorporate squalane’s hydrating prowess to your routine? The ingredient, which features properties to repair DNA damage from UV exposure, is a key addition to this Biossance sunscreen. Not only that, the lightweight cream utilizes zinc oxide and water lily for skin-calming and broad-spectrum protection to even sensitive, acne-prone skin.
Tatcha The Silk Screen
As the name suggests, Tatcha’s mineral sunscreen feels silky smooth on, making it an excellent face primer for those looking to blur the look of pores and imperfections. Honestly, the infused zinc oxide, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and silk extract are added bonuses to both protect and nourish skin.
Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion WetForce SPF 50+ Sunscreen
This sunscreen is great for anyone with sensitive skin as well as children and babies older than six months. Raspberry fruit extract is infused for antioxidants, and aloe-leaf extract serves up hydration.
Coola Rōsilliance Tinted Moisturizer Organic Sunscreen SPF 30
This is a great option for those who want excellent mineral protection with a hint of coverage. Rose stem cell is a key ingredient, offering both hydration and protection against environmental aggressors.