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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