6 Best Mineral Sunscreens You Can Get Online Or At A Drugstore
Whether you're slathering on the SPF to prevent wrinkles and skin discoloration or to protect yourself from skin cancer, it's pretty clear that daily sunscreen use is important. But with the scary slew of chemicals found in most supermarket sunscreens, choosing a daily SPF is more complicated than ever.
Just last year, the Environmental Working Group found nearly 75% of sunscreens they examined for their annual guide contained harmful ingredients such as oxybenzone, which studies indicate may trigger allergic reactions, disrupt hormone functions, and contribute to the deterioration of coral reefs (it's one of the reasons chemical sunscreens are one of the 8 most toxic things on drugstore shelves). In addition to sketchy chemicals, sky-high SPFs, inconsistent sprays and false marketing claims like "sweatproof" all add up to a bunch of bottles promising way more than they can give—while serving up potential health risks.
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One way to avoid the risks: Opt for a mineral sunscreen. Unlike chemical sunscreens, which use a combination of carbon compounds to absorb active UV rays and release them, mineral sunscreens use minerals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide ground down to fine powders to reflect the sun's harmful rays, offering broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB radiation without gross additives.
Oh, and if you're worried about your skin taking on a less-than-desirable chalky appearance after applying a heavy mineral sunscreen, don't be! The newest generation of mineral SPF blends includes nongreasy, responsibly sourced formulas boosted with skin care ingredients that won't leave you with ghost face.
Here are six all-star mineral sunscreens for face and body—formulated with organic ingredients—which can defend you from the sun without visibly announcing your safe and eco-friendly skin care habits to the world.
Full disclosure: There wasn't a sunscreen in this certified-organic, free-of-everything line from Goddess Garden that I didn't like. However, this sweet-smelling primer stands out among the rest for its near-immediate firming effect on my face, coupled with 19% zinc oxide sun protection. Although it wears like a dream under foundation, two pumps from this little recyclable bottle left my skin moisturized and glowy—so much so that I occasionally felt confident going without foundation. A 2-in-1 organic sunscreen and primer that does both things very well.
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Once upon a time, I went to a dermatologist who shot down every single skin care product in my regimen. This was the only product she liked—and for good reason! It's totally transparent, easy to apply, behaves well at the office and the gym, and offers both a higher SPF (46) and a higher concentration of zinc oxide (9%) than many other sunscreens. Bonus: It contains 5% high-purity vitamin B3, touted for its scientifically-proven effects on lightening blemishes, evening out discoloration, and reducing inflammation. (Check out our list of the 6 most important beauty products to buy organic.)
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This paraben-, phthalate-, and retinyl palmitate–free formula is chock-full of antioxidant-rich oils and extracts to help repair your skin while protecting it. Kukui nut oil, popular across Hawaii, gives your skin an extra dose of defense from environmental elements while algae and acai berry extracts improve moisture retention and repair UV damage. But what makes this powerful mineral sunscreen really stand out is its sheer matte, almost velvety finish that wore beautifully under my makeup.
Video: My Top 7 MINERAL Sunscreens (Brown Skin-Friendly! No Ghost Face!)
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