6 Best Mineral Sunscreens You Can Get Online Or At A Drugstore

These mineral sunscreens made with organic ingredients won't leave you looking like a ghost.

May 31, 2017
Mineral Sunscreens
Nina Elias

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 non-greasy, 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 skincare habits to the world.

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Goddess Garden mineral sunscreen
1/6 Photograph courtesy of Amazon.com
Goddess Garden Organics Face the Day SPF 30 Sunscreen & Firming Primer

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.

Buy now: $14; Amazon.com

Kiss My Face mineral sunscreen
2/6 Photograph courtesy of Amazon.com
Kiss My Face Organics SPF 30 Mineral Face and Body Sunscreen

I love that I can find Kiss My Face everywhere from Walgreens to health food stores, and their new organic mineral sunscreen is definitely worth your time and money. The ingredient list is really short—just 6% zinc oxide and titanium dioxide each and several soothing antioxidants, including green tea. The addition of organic sunflower oil makes this a really creamy, moisture-rich formula, and the white-ish tint absorbed within a few minutes. It’s suitable for both face and body, making it the most no-nonsense sunscreen in the bunch. This seemingly-small feature streamlined my sun protection during an all-day gardening adventure, out of which I emerged sunburn-free.  

Buy now:$12; Amazon.com

Related: 7 Tips For Finding The Safest Sunscreens For Kids, Plus The Best Ones To Buy

Elta mineral sunscreen
3/6 Photograph courtesy of Amazon.com
Elta MD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46 Facial Sunscreen

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.)

Buy now: $32.50; Amazon.com

Juice Beauty mineral sunscreen
4/6 Photograph courtesy of Amazon.com
Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer

Sunscreens can be heavy, and if you’re oily or prone to acne, you have a right to be concerned. That’s one of the many reasons I loved this one by Juice Beauty, a squeaky-clean pick that won’t break the bank. A healthy does of organic aloe helped this zinc oxide broad spectrum formula absorb quickly without clogging my pores or leaving behind an oil slick on my t-zone. (Check out these 5 surprising benefits of using aloe vera on your skin.) And with real skin-care ingredients like algae, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C, I felt comfortable trading my usual moisturizer for this double duty product. I left my skin feeling cool and refreshed while cutting out a step in my morning routine.  

​Buy now: $29; Amazon.com

Related: This Is The Best Selling Facial Sunscreen On Amazon And It's Totally Nontoxic

Bare Republic mineral sunscreen
5/6 Photograph courtesy of Target.com
Bare Republic Natural Mineral Face Sunscreen SPF 30

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. Bonus: the yummy coconut vanilla scent (natural, of course) added a bit of joy to my morning routine. (Here are 10 nourishing coconut oil beauty treatments to try.)

Buy now: $15; Target.com

Drunk Elephant mineral sunscreen
6/6 Photograph courtesy of Sephora.com
Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30

I’ve been a fan of marula oil’s anti-aging and moisturizing properties for a long time, so I was excited to hear it makes an appearance in every Drunk Elephant product. This mineral sunscreen offers serious protection with 20% zinc oxide, and the list of ingredients it’s formulated without (including BPA, parabens, retinol, or any irritating ingredients) may just be longer than the ingredient list itself. I’ll never know how they made such a luxurious, melt-into-your-skin sunscreen without the help of chemicals, but I’m so glad they did. It finishes like a high-end skin care product (no ghost face!), further proof that clean beauty doesn’t mean a dip in quality. 

​Buy now: $34; Sephora.com

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