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By now, you are well-aware that sunscreen is important. And if you aren’t, consider this yet another friendly reminder that you should be wearing it every day from head-to-toe through all seasons. That includes those dark and gloomy winters when the sun tends to hide and trigger the seasonal depression many of us fall victim to. Beyond simply remembering to slather on the SPF, deciding on the type of sunscreen you’ll use is also essential. For many, mineral sunscreen is the clear winner.
Generally speaking, there are two types of SPF that most products fall into: chemical and mineral. The biggest difference between the two is how they interact with the skin. Chemical sunscreens literally infiltrate the skin upon application, fully absorbing under the skin (and in some cases, to the bloodstream) where it then provides protection. For a while, it was believed that this was totally fine….that is until the ingredients used most were also found to be harmful and even cause infection.
In response to an obvious roadblock to people getting ample protection and the growing interest in clean beauty, mineral sunscreen has become the SPF du jour for most. Unlike its chemical counterparts, mineral formulas use natural ingredients that sit on top of the skin and reflect UV rays away from the skin instead of absorbing them. They’re so popular in fact, that beauty junkies like me reference the EWG’s sunscreen list every year for the latest and greatest options.
Ultimately, your choice comes down to personal preference. However, if you’d rather not gamble with even the smallest possibility of a chemical formula leaving you with a mysterious rash or excessive dryness, here are some underrated mineral ones that aren’t made by the big drugstore brands you’re already familiar with.
Alastin Skincare HydraTint Pro Mineral Sunscreen
This luxe pick is packed with antioxidants to further protect the face from sun damage and has a hint of a tint that compliments all skin types.
$55 at Alastin Skincare
C’est Moi Gentle Mineral Sunscreen Lotion
Made with sensitive skin types in mind, this fragrance-free lotion is also safe to wear in water, though you’ll want to reapply about 40 minutes after you towel off.
$14.99 at Amazon
CyberDerm Simply Zinc Transparent Sunscreen Lotion
Though it’s tinted, this zinc oxide cult classic is ultra-lightweight and dries down into a sheer tone.
$44 at Amazon
DERMA E Ultra Sheer Mineral Body Sunscreen Mist
This easy-peasy spray is infused with green tea and vitamin E to provide a soothing effect to the skin as it’s being applied.
$16.99 at DERMA E
Erbaviva Sunscreen SPF 30
This coral-safe, zinc oxide sunscreen will feel like a dream, thanks to an infusion of essential oils and aloe.
$23 at Erbaviva
Love Sun Body Natural Mineral Sunscreen
This hypo-allergenic, sweat-resistant formula holds the rare distinction of the Environmental Working Group’s highest rating.
$21 at Amazon
Nelly De Vuyst Transparent Mineral Sunscreen
A non-greasy, full-coverage texture made completely of titanium and zinc oxide.
$69 at Luxury Organik
TropicSport SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen
This one passes the 80-minute water resistance test and is infused with vitamin E, Tucuma butter, and aloe for added hydration.
$32.99 at Amazon
MooGoo Natural Sunscreen SPF 30
The best part of investing in this all-natural sunscreen is having access to an ingredient explainer that doesn’t require translation.
$19.90 at MooGoo
EVERYDAY by Unsun Body Lotion Sunscreen SPF 15
Unsun, founded by Katonya Breaux (fun fact: she’s Frank Ocean’s mom), has been around for a few years. However, this EVERYDAY line is a limited-time partnership with Target and includes affordable sun protection products. It includes this water-resistant SPF for the body.
$12.99 at Target
EiR NYC Surf Mud Pro
This SPF product is truly one of a kind. In addition to being made with a reef-safe (aka safe for ocean water) zinc formula, its packaging is also biodegradable. Another key ingredient, chocolate (!!), provides deep hydration to the skin.
$30 at EiR NYC
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