- Sun & Tan
- Best Mineral Sunscreens
10 of the Best Mineral Sunscreens to Try in 2023
Hopefully you already know how important sun protection is, even when it’s overcast since UV rays can still get through the clouds.
But just like with all other skincare and makeup products (our lifeblood here at Cosmetify), the amount of choice out there can be a little overwhelming. Not all sunscreens are created equal and picking the right one for you isn’t always easy. What’s the difference between mineral, chemical and physical sunscreens and why do some formulas leave you white as a clown and others make your skin itchy?
Well never fear—the team at Cosmetify is here to answer all your sunscreen questions with our edit on mineral sunscreen.
What is mineral sunscreen?
Mineral sunscreens are also called physical sunscreens because they create a physical barrier on your skin to reflect UV light.
They use mineral ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to form this barrier. They’re generally well tolerated by all skin types, with minimal, gentle ingredients that don’t irritate sensitive skin types.
What’s the difference between mineral and chemical sunscreens and which is better?
In addition to being well tolerated, mineral sunscreens give you higher protection since they sit on your skin and form that physical barrier.
However, a lot of formulas leave a white, chalky cast which most of us understandably don’t like and is why we usually reach for a chemical sunscreen.
Chemical sunscreens absorb rather than reflect UV rays, but they wear off more quickly than mineral ones so need more frequent reapplication. You also need to wait about 20 minutes for chemical sunscreens to absorb before going in the sun — and they can cause problems for reactive or blemish-prone skin — whilst mineral sunscreens start working immediately.
But many mineral formulas these days have been designed to not leave a white cast, meaning you get the best of both worlds.
What are the best mineral sunscreens?
To help you get the immediate and skin-loving protection of a mineralised sunscreen without the signature white cast, we’ve rounded up our top ten products for face and body to keep you healthy and glowing from head to toe.
This SPF was designed just for skin that can't handle chemical filters. Its lightweight, matte finish is great for sensitive skin, and the tinted formula ensures no white cast.
In addition to being free of chemical filters, this mineral lotion is also free from perfume, mineral oils and silicones. What it does contain is antioxidants and ectoin to fend off signs of ageing. The SPF 50 product also keeps you shielded from blue light, so it's one you'll definitely want to wear inside too.
And to keep the rest of your body protected, pair it with the body lotion version.
Your skin will love how breathable this formula from Heliocare is. It's alcohol-free, non-comedogenic and even water resistant, drying completely clear so that it's suitable for all skin tones. It also gives your skin added protection and nourishment from the high antioxidant content of vitamin C, vitamin E and green tea extract.
This multi-purpose sun cream also works to repair sun-damaged skin and prevent post-scarring hyperpigmentation, nourishing the skin with copper, centella asiatica and resveratrol. There's also antibacterial zinc to purify and protect the skin, and the patented ingredient Antalgicine to soothe itchiness. This'll be your new go-to for a non-greasy, comfortable finish that keeps you totally moisturised.
If you've got a little redness or discolouration, a tinted sunscreen is the perfect solution,. We love this NeoStrata one, which not only protects the skin with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, but also includes a polyhydroxy acid complex for strengthening your skin's moisture barrier. The lightweight, sheer formula feels great on the skin - and looks great, with no white cast.
The subtle glow of this award-winning, reef-safe mineral sunscreen is just gorgeous, and the super high quality zinc oxide blends seamlessly into the skin. There's even antioxidant raspberry seed oil to shield you from free radical damage, aloe vera to soothe inflammation, glycerin to seal in hydration and lavender oil to combat blemishes.
Maturing skin will love this SPF, which not only protects you from the sun's ageing effects like all sun creams, but takes it to the next level by supporting collagen production for plump, youthful skin. It uses low-molecular hyaluronic acid to maintain optimum moisture levels and skin elasticity.
Soothe any sensitive areas on the skin as this weightless physical sunscreen sinks into your skin. Bio-active mushroom complex reduces redness and dryness from UV rays whilst green tea, which is high in antioxidants, shields you from free radicals that cause premature ageing.
Ultra-micronised zinc oxide deflects harmful UV rays in this sheer sunscreen, whilst a complex of sugar can and maize moisturises the skin. There's also vitamin C to improve your skin tone, coenzyme Q10 and grapeseed to protect the skin with antioxidants, aloe to soothe irritation and vitamin B5 and hyaluronic acid to hydrate.
Looking for more formulas that suit a sensitive complexion? We've got loads of them!
Written by Gabriella Buckner
Gabriella is a junior content writer with a background in creative writing, content marketing and journalism. She’s passionate about all things makeup and skincare, but especially vegan and cruelty-free beauty that is effective and inexpensive.