Style

5 Mineral Sunscreens That Bring Me Joy

Five Mineral Sunscreens by Caroline Donofrio

When it comes to the wide world of skincare products, there is one thing pretty much every dermatologist, esthetician and beauty enthusiast can agree on…

Sunscreen is the most important step in your daily routine.

Admittedly, I was not always devoted to sunscreen. It ran into my eyes and made them burn. It caused my skin to erupt with angry blemishes or itchy red splotches. It left a greasy film that lasted all day. But I’ve since changed my tune (and, thankfully, so have sunscreen formulas).

Sunscreens fall into one of two categories: 1) chemical, which contain compounds that convert UV rays into heat and then release it, and 2) mineral, with ingredients that physically block and deflect rays. Chemical sunscreens are absorbed by the skin, while mineral sunscreens remain on top of the skin’s surface. While both offer effective protection, mineral sunscreens are widely considered to be better for sensitive skin, including rosacea, since they help keep skin cool.

Back in the day, mineral sunscreen conjured images of chalky formulas a la Spicoli’s nose, but the latest crop is clear, sheer, and a pleasure to wear.

So, in the name of skincare, I tried many, many formulas and can enthusiastically recommend the following five:

Saie Sunvisor Mineral Sunscreen

Good for everyday: Saie Sunvisor Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF 35
I won’t bury the lede: This is my overall favorite for everyday wear. The lightweight formula glides onto skin, making it the easiest to smooth on before a morning stroll or running errands. It also feels sheer enough to comfortably wear all day, alone or with makeup. The pink-in-the-tube formula goes on clear, with a hint of glow — the effect isn’t shimmery, just ethereal, like you came from a workout class or have very excellent genes. It leaves my skin feeling silky and moisturized, thanks to vitamin E, aloe vera, argan and grapeseed oils. The week I first tried this, I couldn’t help but admire how dewy I looked, which is saying a lot since I was riddled with late-night deadlines and ravaged by allergies. I never thought I would say I actively love a sunscreen, but I do.

Badger Active Mineral Sunscreen

Good for active: Badger Active Sunscreen Cream SPF 30
Straight out of the tube, this reminds me of kindergarten paste — white, sticky, thick. But once I rub it in, it instantly redeems itself. The unscented cream goes on clear, without a hint of irritation. There’s a lot to love about this water-resistant formula, which is 98% organic and free of fragrances, dyes, parabens, petrolatum, GMOs and synthetics. While I find it a bit too greasy for everyday wear, I absolutely love it for hikes, sports and beach days. Bonus: Compared to the other formulas, the tube contains nearly double the product, and is great for both face AND body.

ColoreScience Mineral Sunscreen Powder

Good for on-the-go touch-ups: Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection SPF 30
Multiple friends swear by this brand of powder sunscreen, which is light, dry, and easy to dust on anywhere. While I still prefer to start my day by slathering on a liquid (to ensure I’m properly covered), when it comes to travel or touch-ups, this can’t be beat. It stows easily in your bag, and I love that the built-in brush lets you reapply without worrying about germy fingers or greasy midday face. You can even tap some into your hair, to block the sun from reaching your part.

Avene Solaire Mineral Sunscreen

Good for sensitive skin: Avène Solaire UV Mineral Multi-Defense SPF 50
This French pharmacy staple, formulated for sensitive skin, looks and feels the sunscreen-iest of the bunch. It goes on white and sticky, calling to mind childhood beach days of yore. But any tackiness evaporates within minutes, leaving behind an invisible shield that’s completely fragrance free — as well as water resistant up to 40 minutes. Designed to calm and soothe sensitive skin, this is a great bet for anyone who is after a true sunscreen.

ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint

Good for tinted: ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40
I am a huge fan of anything that simplifies my mornings, and this product — fusing skincare, makeup and SPF — could not be easier. The liquid formula is a bit thicker than traditional tinted serums and requires some coaxing to blend into the skin. For me, it takes a few minutes for the product to settle, but once it does, I really like how it looks and feels. It adds instant polish to no-makeup days, or works as an excellent base alongside concealer for times when I want more coverage. It comes in 18 shades, and the brand’s meet your match feature lets you upload a selfie and quickly find the right one for you.

And there you have it! In terms of wear, I like to apply my regular morning moisturizer, give it a minute to sink in while I get dressed, then apply the sunscreen on top. Whenever I sport mineral sunscreen, I end the day with a double cleanse, to make sure I get everything off before heading to bed.

What kind of sunscreen do you wear? Do you have a favorite formula? We’d love to hear.

P.S. 5 great eyebrow products and my desert island beauty product.

(Photos by Caroline Donofrio.)

Note: If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We recommend only products we genuinely like. Thank you so much.

  1. Andrea says...

    Yay sunscreen! I noticed a few references in the comments to “reef-safe” sunscreens so I’m linking a good resource about the actual scientific research behind that if anyone is interested. Key takeaway- climate change is causing far, far more damage than to coral than sunscreen (if sunscreen even is at all, which there isn’t a whole lot of solid evidence for). If you love a “reef-safe” sunscreen, by all means use it. The best sunscreen is the one you’ll wear. But don’t kid yourself into thinking you’re saving the planet with your sunscreen. If you really care about the coral reefs, take a on climate change!
    And for all kinds of myth-busting, science-backed, beauty knowledge truth-bombs… Lab Muffin is ya gurl.

    https://labmuffin.com/is-your-sunscreen-killing-coral-the-science-with-video/

  2. Carol Barclay says...

    Caroline, I am totally with you about sunscreen burning my eyes- ALL DAY! No matter how I try, once it is in my eye, I just can’t stop the pain.
    I am a Colorescience fan because, no burning problem. Do the mineral sunscreens that are a lotion or cream, bother your eyes?
    Thanks for your article!

  3. Nikki says...

    I Iive in Japan and Japanese sunscreen is just so superior to anything I’ve tried in the USA. I LOVE Biore Aqua Rich UV Essence. My husband does too. I use it everyday and its so light and airy. I send it to all my friends in the states. It’s super cheap too. Win win!

  4. Beth says...

    I love love love the ILIA serum foundation! It’s pretty sheer but for everyday it’s great. I tried the Colorscience but I’m really fair and it just turns me orange every time. I really love LaRoche Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral Ultra-Light SPF 50. It goes on really well under foundation. I recently tried Cetaphil Sheer Mineral Face Liquid Sunscreen SPF 50 and it is incredibly similar but far cheaper! I don’t think it has as many antioxidants or good skin stuff as the Anthelios, but for reapplying throughout the day and just keeping in my bag it works really well. It’s slightly more moisturizing than the Anthelios so maybe not for those with oily skin. I’m dry on the cheeks and I do use retinol so I need the moisture.

  5. Monica says...

    SO many thoughts! I read an article about chemicals from sunscreens showing up in breastmilk and it freaked me out.

    We use Badger for everyone, yes we look like vampire people. My biggest boy has his dad’s tan Filipino skin, so he tans beautifully. My middle boy is a fair redhead but tans slowly.

    We also all wear sun hats and sun shirts. I usually don a sun hat and a flowy pareo over my shoulders to protect the sun, PLUS when the wind blows past, it ripples and cools me down.

  6. RJ says...

    I’m in my early 40s and live in Australia. I have combination sensitive skin and increasingly, rosacea. This article has inspired me to get my SPF groove on daily, thank you. I only started using foundation a couple of years ago (Inika loose mineral foundation SPF25). I’m excited to try this Australian brand (their coconut moisturiser is like a gentle tropical holiday – most welcome during Melbourne’s multiple lockdowns!):
    https://www.wearefeelgoodinc.com.au/collections/sunscreen-for-face/products/sensitive-sunscreen?variant=32657386831946
    xx

  7. Kelsi says...

    As avid ocean folks living in tropical places, our family is only interested in reef-safe, few-as-possible-ingredients sunblock. Many “health store” varieties are STILL filled with crap.
    Little Hands Hawaii (orderable online) is super squeaky clean (4-5 ingredients at most, nothing unpronounceable or sneaky cancer-causing), effective, stays on through swimming/surfing/snorkeling, made by the nicest surfing family (mom’s a nurse). We’re fans of the tinted face stick so you don’t look like that photo of Mark Zuckerberg surfing.

  8. Kate says...

    I’d be interested to know how often you have to re-apply these sunscreens during the day. Often they say to re-apply every couple of hours, which is really impractical.

    Any thoughts on the once-a-day type sunscreens? I know there are a few that are supposed to last around eight hours.

    • Carol Barclay says...

      I like the colorescience powder. Even tho it also wants you to reapply every 2 hours, since it is a powder, it doesn’t ruin any makeup application. Also I can carry the tube easily in my purse, and even leave it in the car, as there is no warning about avoiding heat.

  9. Katya says...

    Ok, wise COJ readers, please help a girl out: what’s the proper order of operations for moisturizing and SPF? If I’m going for a hike or something I just slather on the thick stuff, but for a regular day at work I don’t want to look like a greasy mess – and I live in CA, where summers are quite dry, so I can’t get by with just a lightweight sunscreen. What’s your strategy?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      this is such a good question! I’m so curious to hear what people say. (for me, every morning, I dab on SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic facial oil + then apply sunscreen + then put on a moisturizing foundation.)

    • Sarah T says...

      Hi Katya, I am pretty sure sunscreen should be the last of your skincare products (over the top of serum and moisturiser) and then you apply any other makeup (foundation etc) after.
      I am very fair skinned and live in Australia (dry summers too) and have not left the house without sunscreen since I was 15 – I burn in about 5 minutes! To remove any confusion with the moisturiser/ sunscreen/ makeup combo, I ensure all three products have some sort of SPF. I know some people don’t like this but to me it just makes life easier and there are so many amazing products with SPF available.

    • Mimi says...

      Sunscreen last! It’ll block any serum or moisturizer you use if you put it on first. :)
      I do a serum, moisturizer, sunscreen on top (summer). In the winter, until now I’ve used moisturizers with SPF in it and slathered in on, but I’ll be following the above-mentioned routine from now on (I’ll just change the type of moisturizer I use, depending on the season).
      Hope that helps!

    • Nanaka says...

      As other readers mentioned, sunscreen should always be the last step of skincare: serums etc., moisturizer (can be skipped, if SPF is nourishing enough for your needs), SPF. Then make-up.

      You should definitely reapply your SPF during the day. If you’re wearing foundation, you can do either of these:
      – use an SPF spray on top, apply generously. La Roche-Posay does a great one for the face that feels weightless.
      – use a makeup sponge to dab on your normal SPF.
      – use an SPF powder like mentioned above.

      Worrying about that greasy feeling: There are modern SPFs on the market with a weightless feel and high protection, for example gel formulas like Bioré Watery Essence or the Body Shop’s Skin Defence, both SPF 50. It’s a bit trial and error with the formulas, depending on skin type. Good luck :-)

  10. Jen says...

    I am a devotee of Paula’s Choice Skin Restoring Moisturizer with SPF 50. I wear it under makeup EVERY DAY. Let me talk to the younguns for a second. Think you don’t need suncreen because you’re not going outside, or you’re dark or whatever. You do. Don’t like it? Say goodbye to your youthful skin. I’m 47 and I still have it because I wear it EVERY DAMN DAY. Take it from us olds.

    • Jenny says...

      I’ve been wanting to try this one! I’m obsessed with their super light wrinkle defense but wish it was higher spf.

  11. Tyler says...

    Elta MD all the way. Love the tinted one, it gives me the perfect amount of sheer coverage. Also very curious about the new Sunday Riley sunscreen.

  12. Susannah says...

    While I’m into the mineral sunscreen roundup I am VERY into learning that it is actually “bury the lede” instead of “lead”. Cue *The More You Know* PSA theme song.

    • Jen says...

      Same.

  13. Erin Fraser says...

    I’m really liking Pipette’s SPF 50. It’s super gentle (I have sensitive, breakout prone skin) and I’m able to use it in place of a daytime moisturizer because the squalane is really moisturizing. I do need to set it with a little powder, but then it’s perfect and it seems to help control my oily T zone.
    It’s nearly identical to the more expensive Biossance SPF (they’re owned by the same company) but with a higher % of zinc.

  14. Jean says...

    This isn’t high end, cosmetic, nor organic, but I’m a redhead with fair skin that burns reaaaaally easily. The Neutrogena 100 SPF Ultra Sheer SPF Dry Touch is a little high for the small size of the container, but it’s available at Target / drugstores, goes on clean and dry though a bit white. It seriously works like an invisible skin. The Age Shield face version is great too, but it does leave a white cast to my skin. I recommend it to anyone who needs serious sunscreen. My skin is sensitive and never feels irritated by it.

    https://www.amazon.com/Neutrogena-Dry-Touch-Resistant-Non-Greasy-Sunscreen/dp/B002JAYMEE/ref=asc_df_B002JAYMEE/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312090257226&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=7877058168094519174&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9014243&hvtargid=pla-307501421958&psc=1

    • Elle says...

      Fellow redhead here – preach it girl! I was reading the comments to see if there were any other votes for the drugstore brands. I am a huge Neutrogena sunscreen / moisturizer fan through every season.

    • Erin says...

      Another redhead chiming in. I’m from a family of redheads, so we routinely and seriously discuss sunscreen ;)

      While Neutrogena has the loyalty of most of my family (if it vanished from stores, it would be a genuine crisis!), I prefer CeraVe’s options. Their AM facial sunscreen SPF 30 is my go-to for regular days because it’s lightweight, not greasy, and doesn’t irritate me.

      When I need _serious_ sun protection, I use their mineral SPF 50. I’ve literally NEVER burned with it! It is quite heavy and I can feel it when I wear it on my face, so if I want something more middle of the road, I use the 50 on my nose and the 30 elsewhere on my face. It has saved me many times, including covering up (and protecting) already pink areas. A niece, who is literally the palest person on the planet (which is saying a lot coming from me) converted after it saved her when a non-redhead had applied sunscreen haphazardly and she had already started to burn.

  15. ERP says...

    Supergoop. A million times.

  16. Emily says...

    This is my very favorite mineral sunscreen and I’ve tried a ton of different kinds. Formerly known as Sundaze, they’ve just rebranded as July Sky. Smells and feels amazing on, has vitamin C, WOC-owned, and I’ve gotten a handwritten thank you card with each order. :)

    https://julyskyskincare.com/products/c-shells

  17. Sylvie says...

    I sure wonder why all fancy or face specific sunscreens make me breakout but Coppertone Sport doesn’t. Seems really strange!

    • liz says...

      I’ve had the same experience! Coppertone sport has always been my favorite.

  18. Lisa says...

    My sun cream preference (I really can’t say if they’re chemical or mineral) is to get any french skincare brand, Factor 50, and safe for coral reefs (even though I’m mostly in parks in London).
    1. French skincare brands are just universally awesome
    2. Due to EU regulation (yay!) they have to be broad spectrum so they cover UVA and UVB
    3. I didn’t know this until recently, but there can be products in sunscreen which is damaging to coral
    The brands I really like are Avene, Mustela (their child one with avocado oil sinks in very quickly and is great), La Roche Posay Anthelios range.

    ” You can even tap some into your hair, to block the sun from reaching your part.” As someone with fine hair, I really wish someone would make sunscren for scalps (and if this does exist, I would love to know). Hats and scarves are fine but can make you very hot, and I can’t say the number of times by poor scalp has been badly burned (one time it blistered)

    • Bump for reef safe sunscreen!

    • Rosie says...

      I pretty much exclusively wear my hair up if I am spending any time in the sun because of this issue. I brush it straight back into a bun or ponytail. A part is fine if you’re out of the sun, but I find covering up the vulnerable places works better than trying to put sunscreen in my hair.

  19. Mullica says...

    I am using some similar products! Since being pregnant I switched to the cocokind mineral spf, the saie tinted slip tint if I’m going out, and setting it with the supergoop resetter powder which has a close and open so the powder doesn’t get everywhere in my bag. Before pregnancy I really loved the Biore Watery Essence and the Image Skincare Spf 50 which I loved from my Heyday facials.

  20. Yvonne says...

    The best is SUNTEGRITY. THE BEST!!!

    • Stacey says...

      Love Suntegrity, but I’ve gone to Cerave as much more cost effective.

  21. Sarah says...

    Sun Bum has both mineral and chemical sunscreens and you can get them anywhere. Affordable and they do the trick.

    • K says...

      Sun Bum still has some garbage in it. Even the “mineral” stuff. Still way too many ingredients and not reef safe.

  22. Alex says...

    Any Canadians out there, I really love Organika (https://well.ca/products/organika-coenzyme-q10-sunscreen_118979.html). It is fairly reasonable priced given how long it lasts (I use it only on my face) and I have yet to burn with it on.

    It blends in easily, and leaves my skin feeling soft, does not leave a white cast so may be good for those with darker skin tones, though I am quite pale so can’t say for sure. It smells nice and is Canadian!

    • Hi Alex, Thanks for the recommendation! How strong would you say the smell is? And what type of smell is it? (I have very sensitive skin and am also sensitive to scented things.) But I’m looking for a good sunscreen and would love to buy Canadian.

    • elyse says...

      SECOND THIS. I always buy like 10 tubes when they’re on sale. The scent is light but very good. It fades pretty quick unless you get up close. I use an unscented stronger SPF for my face in the morning and will only use organika on my face if I’m out and need to reapply. ThinkBaby is also great for an outdoor all-day 50+ SPF sunscreen. I find it’s less ghosty than many other brands.

    • Alex says...

      Hi Jenny, I don’t find the small strong at all, and it fades away quite quickly! I am usually pretty sensitive to scent and can only wear the mildest scented lotions (and nothing with “fragrance”) and have not had any issues with it. It smells kind of sunscreen-y and “lotion-y”, if that makes sense! But the scent really does fade quickly.

  23. Tracey says...

    The badger sunscreen is the best for my very pale sensitive skin. It does feel a bit too greasy on the face. For the face, I love Mychelle SunShield Liquid SPF 50. Comes in four tints, looks matte and doesn’t cause breakouts. It is lesser known I think but it’s available at Whole Foods and ulta now. Decent price and can be found on sale. https://www.mychelle.com/collections/sun-care

  24. Nadine says...

    It would have been nice to have included a category for darker skin tones! Mineral sunscreens often leave a white cast that can’t always be rubbed in/away. Two that work are – pipette and cest moi.

    Always on the search for others though!

    • Kelsi says...

      Little Hands Hawaii tinted face stick designed and made by darker skinned Hawaiians! Will work much better for darker skin and still really clean and stays on during sporty/water activities. Not super light but good for heavy activity.

  25. Becky says...

    I love this topic. I’m very passionate about sunscreen. I am a fair red hair gal with a family history of melanoma and other skin cancers. I myself have had laser for rosacea ( which is a combo of genetics and UV exposure). I use mineral spf on my face ( la roche posay ) and sunbum on my body. But I also think it’s important to reapply every 1-2 hours depending on your level of activity and wear a hat and sunglasses if anticipating serious sun exposure. It took me a long time to accept my fair skin but now that i am considered in my mid to late 30s (how did that happen?!? Haha) I receive some serious awesome compliments about my age. People often think im in my late 20s. If you don’t wear sunscreen hat etc please please please consider going for skin checkups with your derm and having a family member friend or pcp take a look at your scalp back and ears for any spots in between yearly checkups. Skin cancer is not just for the very fair it’s a risk for any human being no matter your background 💖

    • L says...

      Becky, I would love to hear more about the laser treatment for rosacea, if you’d be up for sharing. Positives/negatives? Thanks!

    • Alyssa says...

      Hey L, I had IPL treatments (the same machine as used for hair removal) and got great results from 3-5 treatments, and now I get a treatment every 6months or so for maintenance. It used to hurt a bit when I had larger, more visible capillaries they were targeting, but now that they’ve all died off it doesn’t really hurt that much. I’m really happy with the results and go foundation free and am happy with what I see in photos. I’m also much less sensitive to heat and cold and blushing. All-round great result and would recommend. Also, jojoba oil for rosacea-calming is a godsend!

    • L says...

      Alyssa, thanks so much for responding! Your results sound dreamy to me so I’m definitely going to look into it now. And thanks for the tip about jojoba oil, I’ve never considered using that before and have yet to find anything that calms my skin. Fingers crossed!

  26. SOFIA MELIKIDOU says...

    FREZYDERM’s Sun Screen Color Velvet is my favorite! Frezyderm is a greek company, I wear it every day instead of fluid makeup, it adopts the color of your skin and feels like velvet (really!). It’s parabene free and cruelty free

  27. Lana says...

    I was just diagnosed with stage 1 melanoma and am so pissed at myself for not being more diligent about sunscreen. The survival rate is good, but now I’m worried about other moles that my derm didn’t biopsy and the possibility that the melanoma spread to other parts of my body. I have 3 kids under 11 and my mind is spiraling to the worst places.

    • I am so so sorry to hear this. Sending you hugs and wishing you a speedy recovery.

    • kat says...

      I am so sorry to hear this Lana. I hope you get lots of snuggles from your little ones and that your treatment plan is successful. Glad it was caught at stage 1. And know that by sharing your information here I’m inspired to get my act together and schedule an overdue appointment, as I’m sure will many others.

    • Jessica says...

      I had very early stage one melanoma, too, recently. It’s so scary when it’s first diagnosed, I was kind of pissed at my medical friends (I’m good friends with a NP and a couple nurses) for treating it like it was nothing. I feel you.
      Listen for the words “clean margins” after they take it out and analyze it. That means it did not spread! Mine cut out just fine (thank god) and now I go see the derm every 6 months to look over all my dots & spots.
      If you got a full exam when they found it in the first place, you should be good for a few months. If not, go back in! Your insurer would much prefer you get a regular once-over from a good dermatologist than have to pay for chemo in 3 years.

    • Mary says...

      I just had surgery for stage 3 melanoma. It luckily didn’t spread. It’s very scary but you caught it super early! Good for you! You will get through this!

  28. Kate says...

    Fellow mineral sunscreen lover here! I’ve had great luck with MyChelle Dermaceuticals Replenishing Solar Defense SPF 30 for daily use on my face (actually feels mattifying during the day – no small feat for sunscreen). Also love their Sun Shield Stick SPF 50 to throw in my bag (small, no leaking) and put on my wiggly toddler. Highly recommend!

  29. Ashley says...

    The Perfector by BeautyBio is the first product I’ve considered a holy grail product in my routine. It’s so pricey but so worth it to me! I love it because it’s not white and blends really well with my skin, and is very matte (I’m super oily). If I’m doing a full face of makeup I use The Perfector as my primer, but most days I skip the foundation because I love how it evens out my skin tone! I’ve been using it for about two years religiously and haven’t burned once while wearing it. It’s not waterproof though, so I like Supergoop! or EltaMD for a day at the pool or the beach.

  30. Ann says...

    I put on Josie Maran in the morning but to reapply multiple times throughout the day I have found Neutrogena healthy defense broad spectrum SPF 50 goes on very light. I found the sample from my dermatologist office and Its a bit hard to find at the pharmacy. It’s not in the sunscreen section, look for it in the neutrogena makeup section.

  31. Sarah says...

    Just wanted to say, I was really disappointed in the Ilia sunscreen! It’s not buildable, so if you put it on in the morning but want to re-up for afternoon protection, it’s a chalky mess, and I found it highlighted pores and pilled if I used eye cream. Love their concealer though!

    • Kelsey says...

      I wasn’t a fan either!!! I’m not yucking anyone’s yum, but it does seem like that ilia serum is universally loved but it’s definitely a ‘good for them, not for me’ :)

    • NinDC says...

      Me too! Though it went on okay. But, I don’t like it because it’s not really a sunscreen- it’s more of a foundation. EWG gives it poor ratings for sun protection.

    • Rae says...

      Same same. It is clearly very popular and I did love how it looked when I first put it on – glowy and lightly tinted. I have extremely reactive skin and within a few hours I had a bumpy red rash all over my cheeks. It didn’t die down for days so I am clearly sensitive to some ingredient in the serum. I was hoping it would be a replacement for my all time favorite spf, BareMinerals Prep Step, which has been discontinued.

    • Jessica says...

      Same! Ilia is all over my Insta feed, but their serum was heavy and yellowy on me. Didn’t like it at all! I mean, I rarely use foundation, but when I do (Bobbi Brown’s ever reliable spf 15 skin foundation – which unfortunately has octinoxate, and I’m trying to replace) it feels light and some of my natural coloring shows through. With Ilia I had to pile on blush just to look alive again. I ended up just throwing it away.

    • Abby says...

      Wow I just tried the Ilia this week and was disappointed as well! It was sold to me as “feels like nothing on your skin” but the way it sat bugged me all day (even though I followed the instructions and didn’t apply any oil/moisturizer before). Felt very dry! Thought it was just me.

  32. LC says...

    Anyone have suggestions for sunscreen for dark skin? Every time I’ve tried mineral sunscreen it looks horrid on my skin, and I’ve tried many (though none of this list). Last year I gave up and went for a chemical sunscreen, Black Girl Sunscreen.

    • Beth says...

      Supergoop mineral sheerscreen or Drunk Elephant umbra tinte!

    • KN says...

      I’ve had similar issues, but Elta MD has worked well for my darker skin.

    • Becky says...

      Could you add a tint to the sunscreen? I think glossier and dermablend make a very thin liquid “foundation”. I’ve added the dermablend to moisturizer to make a tinted moisturizer.

    • Karyn says...

      Follow brownskinderm on IG. She has a lot of great suggestions.

    • Janelle says...

      I just listened to a NPR Lifekit episode that had a tip about this – rub the sunscreen between your palms first before applying.

    • JP says...

      Recently went hiking with my friend who has medium Black dark skin (I have very yellow/golden southeast asian skin), and the mineral sunscreen she borrowed from me went on clear! Maybe it would work for you? https://www.ulta.com/p/sun-shield-spf-28-pimprod2012678

    • Julia says...

      Hi LC!
      I’m a brown-skinned girl and I love the tinted EltaMD Elements sunscreeen. It’s really excellent.

    • Taylor says...

      Fenty Skin’s SPF Moisturiser is great but probably doesn’t offer as much protection as a dedicated SPF. Versed Guards Up has a peachy tint so no white cast. Biore Aqua Rich UV Essence (shiny blue tube) is also really great.

    • Rachel says...

      I would try CoTz. It’s purely a mineral sunscreen and in my experience it doesn’t leave a white cast.

    • Alyce says...

      I have medium toned black skin, and have been very happy with juice beauty’s mineral sunscreen. It takes a minute to settle in, but once it does there’s no whitecast.

    • HJM says...

      There is a brand called Black Girl Sunscreen, and it leaves zero chalky finish. I love how hydrating and smooth it makes my skin feel. It’s affordable and is also a Black Female owned company. I buy mine at Target but they sell it on their website, too! http://www.blackgirlsunscreen.com

    • Kelsi says...

      Depending on how dark you are, Little Hands Hawaii (I’m promoting them all over because they are small makers and pure label, no garbage) has great tinted stuff. For lighter skinned wahines, you can mix their regular with the tinted and it’s gorgeous with amazing coverage.

  33. Dianne says...

    Love this! I have absurdly sensitive skin and have tried at least a dozen mineral sunscreens (even the so-called holy grail Ella MD versions gave me a reaction). I love Zinc Screen from Supergoop, the Skinceuticals tinted mineral sunscreen, and mineral options from La Roche Posay.

  34. Emm says...

    Love the Saie sun visor – I use it everyday. I keep a tube in my bag and one at home. I make sure to reapply every two hours in the sun and haven’t gotten a sunburn or developed any pregnancy related sun spots.

    I also really like pipette mineral sunscreen. It’s very easy to rub in and doesn’t leave a cast. It’s very easy to quickly slather my wiggly toddler with. The only trouble is it’s not water resistant. I’ve also tried a mineral face sunscreen from Coola a few years ago and loved it – it was almost like a jelly or gel that was clear and super easy to smooth on.

  35. P says...

    Just quickly want to make a plug for Labmuffin, who is a great science communicator and explains a lot about sunscreens (she is a chemistry PhD and cites all her claims, and explains things in a very thorough, understandable way)! Relevant to this discussion are this post: https://labmuffin.com/zinc-sunscreens-dont-work-better-every-myth-busted-with-video/ And this one: https://labmuffin.com/more-spf-mythbusting-with-video/

    I just want to highlight a couple of items from Labmuffin’s two posts, not to be snarky or critical (I promise!), but just because it seems like there tends to be a lot of misinformation on the internet about body care products, and my feeling is that many companies tend to use this to their advantage, by convincing consumers that conventional products are unsafe or unethical.
    1. It is not true that mineral sunscreen blocks UV rays and chemical sunscreens absorb them; both mostly work by absorbing UV rays and releasing them as heat.
    2. There are a number of newer chemical sunscreen filters that are formulated to be gentle on sensitive skin. Unfortunately, some of these are not available in the US, but outside of the US they are quite common.
    3. There is no good evidence that chemical sunscreens cause coral reef bleaching.

    Of course, I’m not trying to convince anyone to use a chemical sunscreen if they don’t want to! I just wanted to share this because several years ago I was convinced that I needed to find a mineral sunscreen for my sensitive skin, and I wasted a lot of time and a lot of money (cosmetically elegant mineral sunscreens can be quite pricey!!) on this and… out of all of the ones I tried, the sunscreen that agrees best with my skin happens to be a chemical one! I do find some chemical filters irritating, but not all of them — it seems to mostly depend on which specific chemical filters are used.

    • Whalin says...

      Thank you for this!

    • T says...

      I recently learned about Labmuffin – so helpful! Do you mind sharing which chemical sunscreen you ended up going with?

    • Capucine says...

      I avoid chemical sunscreens because the Skindeep database gives them a 7-10 ranking, compared to a 3 for mineral sunscreens. What does Labmuffin say about their safety? I badly want there to be a sunscreen that prevents burn in the water and looks good, and isn’t ranked over 3!

    • Becky says...

      Which chemical one do you use that works for your sensitive skin?
      After I had laser for my rosacea (that completely erased it from my face) my skin became even more sensitive from the laser. Oye! I’m pretty limited in options. I only use la roche lossy mineral but I’m not totally in love with it. I think it dries my skin out but no break outs 😀 I used to love elta md but over time it’s became irritating.

    • Alex says...

      This is so good to know, thank you! I felt quite guilty (and frustrated with how much money I’d spent) when I ultimately chose to use chemical sunscreen so that I would actually put it on and feel comfortable each day. I appreciate this info :)

    • Sasha L says...

      I agree. The science doesn’t back most of the assertions here, and one sees them repeated over and over.

      I too only use a chemical sunscreen. Target sport fragrance free SPF 50. It’s a dupe for banana boat sport and Coppertone sport. It feels dry and weightless once it soaks in. It works incredibly well, even when you don’t reapply (but you still should). It’s about $6 for 10 oz. I’ve used it on high alpine trails (above 10k ft), in snow, and in tropical sun – never burned. Works great on body and face and it leaves your skin super soft. It’s also easy to wash off. And I use it daily on my preschool class kids. I’ve used it exclusively for years and it’s never bothered a single child’s skin. It doesn’t stain clothes or burn eyes. And it just plain works.

      Did I mention it’s $6? ☺️

    • Nicole says...

      Which chemical sunscreen is your favorite? My daughter has PMLE and the mineral sunscreens haven’t helped… considering exploring chemical sunscreens this summer.

    • K says...

      I guess I don’t understand why anyone would want to choose a label that contains many ingredients that have been shown in multiple studies to be linked to cancer. Benzene is a big one! So even if the science is still out on coral reefs, it’s not on the human body. Skin is your biggest organ.

    • KJ says...

      THIS. Was thinking the same thing as I read this post. So much misinformation out there! I currently use Eucerin Sensitive (Euro version – worth it to pay the fees to get it shipped) and also have a Uriage one I like a lot. The bigger issue is that most US sunscreens are not up to part. No sense in focusing on mineral versus chemical IMO.

  36. liz says...

    Does the badger stay put when you sweat (ie not run in your eyes)? asking as a fellow runner!

    • Sasha says...

      The Badger stays put so well you can’t get it out of the tube or rub it in.

      If recommend Coppertone sport, banana boat sport or Target’s sport (dupe for both). It doesn’t swim or sweat or rub off and works way better than Badger at preventing sun burn

    • liz says...

      Got it. Thanks, Sasha!

  37. AS says...

    Why are all sunscreens so expensive? For something you should use every single day, and even multiple times a day sometimes, these tiny 1.5 oz tubes don’t cut it. For full coverage of the face and neck alone, those tubes wouldn’t last very long. And the cost for one person, let alone a family, is ridiculous.

    Any affordable but reliable brands out there?

    • Kay says...

      I highly recommend Dr. Dray’s videos on YouTube! She gives really great sunscreen recommendations at decent price points!

    • A says...

      Alba Botanica and Australian Gold make pretty solid, less expensive mineral sunscreens for both face and body. And, best part is, you can find them at Target. :)

    • Hannah says...

      Thinkbaby is the best!

    • LM says...

      My dermatologist just recommended sun bum as the best drugstore / more affordable / body sunscreen. Haven’t tried it but just ordered some! (She also recommended elta md as the best face / more expensive one and it seems great so far)

    • Emily J says...

      Yes!! I totally agree!! Anything us “regular” gals can afford and easily find? Any ones from Target, Walgreens or even the grocery store? Something? I love cup of jo, but definitely wish there were some other options too. Especially kid friendly ones too!

    • Tracey says...

      Here, here!

    • Milla says...

      Can highly recommend Australian Gold! It’s my favorite I’ve tried and a lower price range.

    • Kristin says...

      I love Blue Lizard! We use the “baby” formula on all of us and it has worked great! I’ve worn it on trips, at the beach, and running and haven’t had any issues. It’s not super, super cheap ($20 for a bottle that lasts me a summer, not wearing it everyday) but I really like the simplicity of a sunscreen my husband, toddler and baby can all share.

    • Lorraine says...

      I use Eucerin Daily Protection SPF 30 sunscreen on my face every day. I believe a 4 oz bottle is about $7 and it takes me 6 months to go through it. I’ve never had an issue with my skin while using this product for 5+ years and it goes on invisible (it’s chemical sunscreen).

    • Colleen says...

      Australian Gold! Agree with above. I love that it’s affordable, so I feel comfortable using *a lot* of it instead of skimping. Can buy at Ulta or Target.

    • kat says...

      Sunscreen is FSA eligible! Do you have one, or a family member with one? My SIL had planned dental work for 2020 that never happened, and therefore put a pile of $ into her FSA/HSA/whatever. That was a use-it-or-lose-it situation back in December so she called on her whole fam to spend it down. I got great sunscreen and some period undies from the FSA store. Otherwise you can save receipts and get it deducted? I don’t know all the deets. We have young ones and daycare requires it, so I ordered a mix of Badger and Thinkbaby at once and called it at day.

    • Sarah says...

      Taking 3 kids to the beach….I’d go broke buying those sunscreens. Definitely for anyone with super sensitive skin I think you do what you have to do! For me, I have to buy sunscreen in massive containers.

    • Sasha says...

      Highly recommend Target’s genetic dupe for banana boat and Coppertone sport. Sport SPF 50 fragrance free, $6 for a big bottle, 10.4 oz. I’ve used it for years, at altitude, in snow, in the tropics. It beats the socks off mineral sunscreen and it’s gentle, easy to use, great for kids (doesn’t sting eyes). And it lasts forever, even using on multiple family members all season.

    • Rachel Elizabeth says...

      I think buying a good sunscreen is one of those non-negotiables, especially if you think of it in light of all the medical bills/health concerns you’ll be avoiding later on in life.

    • S says...

      My skin is sensitive, but sometimes it’s not until the second or third time wearing a particular sunscreen that I break out. So… I always wear a sun hat, and when swimming I wear a swim shirt and swim leggings. They last so much longer than those teensy tubes!

  38. Hilary says...

    Love this roundup! Caroline (or dear readers), did you try the Saie slip tint? It is tinted but has SPF as well, so I was curious how it compared to sunvisor. About to run out of my Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue and thinking I might want to try something new!

    • Mullica says...

      I still layer my Saie Slip Tint with the Cocokind Mineral Spf underneath. I never put on enough makeup that has spf to get the right amount of protection so I find layering helps.

  39. Julia L. says...

    Here’s my best suncare tip: no matter how much/which type of sunscreen you’re wearing, try not to go into direct sunlight any time your shadow is shorter than you are.

  40. Shannon says...

    In my late 20s my face started reacting to any chemical sunscreens so I have been a devoted mineral sunscreen user since then. I had a baby a year ago so this is the first summer putting sunscreen on him and I have fallen in love with the smell of his Thinkbaby sunscreen and now use it myself.

  41. Jenny T. says...

    Another great resource is the Environmental Working Group’s Sunscreen Guide: https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/

    They check how well sunscreens block both UVA and UVB rays, as well as the actual effectiveness against the stated SPF. A couple of the sunscreens on this list get good ratings (Badger and Avene). The rest provide “significantly lower protection than the SPF would indicate” and don’t provide great protection against UVB.

  42. EH says...

    Thanks for promoting mineral sunscreens which are better for marine life! I’d love to see more options with eco friendly packaging. It’s great to use mineral sunscreen, and even better if you can get it without plastic (or limited plastic).

    I love Avasol (avasol.com). Their focus is on being safe for humans and the environment. They have plastic free or very low plastic containers and the sunscreen is opaque and available tinted in 3 different shades. The one big problem is that their darkest option doesn’t look dark enough for all people of color. It also might seem expensive, but it lasts me longer than other brands.

    A note about why it’s better to go with opaque sunscreen:
    “The only 100% safe sunscreen active ingredient is non-nano zinc oxide, which is totally opaque white. There are currently products claiming to be both non-nano and transparent, but this is not entirely possible. A transparent sunscreen is either going to contain a UV absorber (like oxybenzone, avobenzone, etc.), or contain nano-particles.”

    I would also second the comment that relying on SPF from a powder or makeup has been shown to be ineffective because you would have to cake your face with a ridiculous amount to get the SPF level listed.

    • bene says...

      Why are nano-particles not good? I would intuitively avoid them but is there any info on why they are bad? Thanks!

    • SR says...

      I think the idea is that they’re small enough to absorb into your skin and bloodstream where you might not want zinc oxide. Not saying this is a substantiated claim, I haven’t done the research, but that’s the resoning.

  43. So happy you’re loving Sunvisor! We spent so long developing a 100% mineral sunscreen that feels and looks incredible. It was also just featured on The Today Show as the best sunscreen:)

    • bene says...

      What are your thoughts re the safety of nano particles, as the commenter above mentions? Would love an informed explanation, thank you!

  44. Bianca says...

    EltaMd sunscreen & moisturizer. Use it daily as part of my routine so it’s on first thing after I shower and I know I’m good for the day.
    Lightweight and not greasy.
    Love
    It

    • EK says...

      Agreed, EltaMD is the best! Doesn’t break out my skin and rubs in perfectly. My derm loves it too.

  45. Diane says...

    I’ve started using Atomy for face sunscreen and really like it. I buy it from an Atomy Rep. As a side note I use their Peeling Gel once a week, its the best exfoliator I’ve come across that is not harsh

  46. Andrea says...

    Josie Maran for daily wear! A super block and while it goes on a bit white, it sinks in! Spf 47!! And no yucky chemicals!

    • Christa says...

      I use that one, too!

  47. Kate says...

    I have like 10 different kinds for different uses in my stockpile lol! Tinted for holding back pro pigmenting wave lengths of visible light, mineral based for eyes, lips and longer days in the sun, super moisturizing chemical lotions for arms and legs, mineral and chemical mixed for good face coverage…. for anyone super interested in this subject and also the science, check out Dr. Dray on YouTube.

  48. Agnes says...

    I love the Biossance Squalane & Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen. I have dark skin and I don’t look greyish purple afterwards!

  49. Greta says...

    Any sunscreen by Elta MD is super excellent too! They have a tinted version that I wear on my super sensitive skin daily.

  50. Katherine says...

    Thanks for sharing these great options! For face I love La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 SPF. It’s the only sunscreen I’ve found so far that doesn’t make my face greasy.

    I’ve also tried to be more rigorous about applying at least 30 SPF to my lips, and for that I love Sun Bum lip balms.

    • Sara says...

      I also use La Roche Posay Anthelios and confirm it’s great. I started wearing the tinted version instead of makeup while on vacation, then full time when the pandemic started and am not going back to separate foundation + sunscreen. I think the tinted version only comes in one shade which appears much darker than my regular skin tone when it comes out of the bottle but looks great on. And I find it at Target (online) and recently at my local Duane Reade. I might try the powder that Caroline suggested for touch ups.

    • Shannon says...

      I agree, La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 is my tried and true go to!

    • KA says...

      Yes, La Roche-Posay Anthelios has been a game-changer for me for everyday use on my face. Light, non-greasy, easy to apply. The flat container means that it fits easily into a pocket of my handbag wherever I go for easy touch ups. Both the sheer and tinted versions are great. I have fair, very sensitive skin and it’s enabled me to (finally!) crack incorporating sunscreen application into my daily routine.
      Would also add please don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your neck. Skin on the neck is often neglected and in my experience it ages first because of this.

  51. Kay says...

    I love the focus on sunscreen! Way to go! However, there are a few misconceptions in this post, I think. First, physical (or inorganic) sunscreen are also absorbed by the skin and they also work by transforming UV to a small amount of heat. They only deflect about 5% of UV radiation so it’s not likely that they will keep your skin any cooler than a chemical (organic) sunscreen. Dermatologists often get this wrong so it’s a good idea to ask a biochemist. Second, you might want to distinguish between inorganic sunscreens that utilize nanotechnology and those that don’t as I don’t think the safety profiles are quite the same, although the nano ones are more cosmetically elegant (i.e., less Spicoli like!). Lastly, I’d like to give another shoutout to Michelle Wong, @labmuffinbeautyscience, for getting into the weeds of this debate on YouTube! She’s amaze.

    • Kiki says...

      Thanks for posting this! Thought the same.

  52. Em says...

    Love your recs Caroline! I’ve always preferred mineral spf, I spend far too much time researching mineral sunscreens than I care to admit! I’ve been curious about the Avene spf, I’m currently using Cotz mineral spf 40 for face and body (found online at Ulta). It’s a really gentle formula for my sensitive skin.

  53. Kate says...

    Trader Joe’s has a great mineral spray this summer.

  54. Rika says...

    How effective is sunscreen throughout the day after I apply it at 8am in the morning? How often do I need to reapply? And do people do that? I always wonder.

    • Becky says...

      It depends on your activity but you shouldn’t wait more than 2 hours to reapply. More frequently if sweating or in the water. I reapply because if I don’t I pay the short term price, a bad burn, and the long term price of rosacea and potentially cancer.

    • meghan says...

      I work outdoors all day everyday and am on a strict sunscreen reapplication program hahaha. I apply first thing in the morning, then again mid morning, then after lunch and mid afternoon. I think the suggestion is every 80 minutes and this is a compromise that works for me!

  55. Lindsay says...

    I am obsessed with Frank Ocean’s mom’s dewy mineral sunscreen, Unsun! It’s a great non-white casting sunscreen option for all my fellow darker complexion folks out there.

  56. patty says...

    In the review of the various products, ‘burning eyes’ wasn’t mentioned. If someone can tell me that one or another won’t lead to my eyes burning, I’ll be grateful.

    • Kay says...

      I have the same problem! Try any of the European formulations of La Roche Posay’s Anthelios line. They are excellent, photostable chemical sunscreens with no burning at all! (Says a former Neutrogena user who once cried her way home from Bed, Bath & Beyond due to sunscreen burning her eyes!).

    • C says...

      I am super sensitive to sunscreen and use the Badger. Never a reaction of any sort and no burning eyes!
      It is a bit greasy but I find that it moisturizes my skin and gives it a smooth, even look. Two in one as the ingredients are certified organic and contain jojoba which I’ve found is also excellent for my sensitive skin.
      I noticed online that they have a new product that is spf 40, reef safe, and in a metal tin. Win win win!

  57. Laurie says...

    I bought the mineral sunscreen recommended by Michelle Zauner in her beauty uniform post, on a whim, because I have a shelf full of sticky, stinky, pasty mineral sunscreens… and it is a lovely, lovely thing,

    MDSolarSciences SPF 50Mineral Creme! It seems to have more finely ground particles, so it feels like velvet on your skin. It’s a light tan color, and blends with no chalkiness. It feels like a lotion that transforms into a powder as you apply. It is (gulp) expensive so I use cheapo stuff for workout/beach days and save this for when I want the Porsche 911 of sunscreens. Go forth and purchase so that the MDSolarMagicians never stop making it! Ha!

    • C says...

      Porsche 911 of sunscreens = lolololol

    • Megan says...

      Super goop has a really good one that feels silky and isn’t too expensive! Surprised not to see them mentioned more in the comments

    • Rachel says...

      I was also influenced and am obsessed with that MD Solar Sciences sunscreen. I’ve been recommending it to all my friends. I’ve never had a mineral sunscreen go on so nicely!

  58. Sasha L says...

    Here’s my actual review of the Badger sunscreen, after a vacation in Costa Rica a couple years back:

    Sticky, doesn’t rub in or dry, sand sticks to skin, super hard to wash off (not fun if covered in abrasive sand), burned despite using plenty and repeated apps, leaves you comically ghostly white, despite rubbing in. Truly awful. Yay for being reef safe, but there has to be something more user friendly.

    I’ll add: I’ve been back since, using Target generic for Coppertone sport and zero sunburn for either my husband, me or my daughter after a week at the beach. It’s cheap, applies like lotion, no scent, no white cast, water proof but easily washes off and lasts and lasts, even in tropical sun on very pale people. My skin is worth a decent sunscreen, and Badger is awful. I’m shocked it made this list. My review isn’t the only one that’s brutally bad.

    • C says...

      I love it Sasha and in a farmer so out in sub all the time! I believe they changed their formula a few years back… maybe you’d like it better now?
      I love supporting good companies that use excellent ingredients ☺️

    • Sasha says...

      C, I’m glad it works for you. I love Target’s generic sport sunscreen. I only ever tried Badger because we were going on vacation and it came in a bigger small bottle, and it claimed to be reef safe. But after wrestling with it all of one beach day, burning right through it, destroying my skin getting it off (husband and daughter having the exact same experience), it went straight into the trash and we bought a bottle of banana boat (which worked great, and was also approved by the Costa Rican government as reef safe). I can’t imagine ever trying another product after all that. Also, mineral sunscreens aren’t really better, safer, more environmentally friendly anyways, just way more trouble and more expensive. Green washing at it’s worst imho.

  59. em says...

    diggin’ trader joe’s new mineral spray sunscreen!

  60. Laura says...

    Glow Screen by Supergoop!

  61. D.Morgendorffer says...

    Let me do my sunscreen good deed of the summer by passing on a useful tip I read in a customer review years ago. You can decant the Colorescience powder sunscreen into a loose powder container with a mesh sifter and apply as needed with a sponge or powder puff. I share this with anyone who has ever had trouble a) getting the powder to flow through the brush applicator or b) getting the brush thoroughly clean.

    • Meg says...

      WOW! This is BRILLIANT! I have a barely used powder sunscreen that I never use because I detest the brush applicator. A powder puff would be so much better! Thank you

    • Carol Barclay says...

      Thank you for the tip, D. A cosmetologist showed me to leave the cap on the Colorescie3nce powder, bang it a few times on the counter, and it fills up the brush beautifully.

  62. Ashley says...

    I’m a big fan of beauty counter face and body sunscreens.

  63. Elizabeth says...

    Cera Ve tinted!

  64. Amy says...

    Caroline!!! ❤️❤️
    I swear by the Badger Clear Zinc! (the regular kind is fine too but very white)

    This stuff is impenetrable. I slather it on my kids and these pasty white Irish kids do just fine. No burning!! We use this at the pool and beach and for everyday and my kids have NEVER had a sunburn. It’s amazing and so are the ingredients!

    • Amy says...

      Thank you for that Sage! I’m going to pass that around!

    • Hi Sage! I have a blog post on mineral sunscreen for kids if you’re looking for more info- I included EWG scores, % zinc oxide and price per ounce. I have 2 teens and we’re incredibly picky about mineral sunscreen- it has to rub in easily and not leave a white cast. What’s good for kids is also good for adults! If you’re interested, here’s the link: https://umbelorganics.com/mineral-sunscreen-for-kids-babies/

    • Sage says...

      Thank you for that addendum, Rachel! :)

      Susie, that is SO very helpful, thank you. We’re doing our first beach trip next month!

  65. Kate says...

    Elta MD UV Clear 47 forever and ever, amen. (And Supergoop Play 50 for the bod, and Skinbetter Science stick for sweaty park runs!)

    • M says...

      Elta MD! Recommended by a dermatologist friend and swear by it.

    • Heather says...

      Same for Elta – I use their tinted one actually and its great! Goes on light, but gets good coverage – not oily at all.

    • Veerle says...

      Amen indeed! Elta MD all the way, every day of the year, holy grail, never using anything else! I’ve used it for over 5 years now.

    • LLBR says...

      I’m an Elta MD sunscreen lover too. I give it at Christmas as a stocking stuffer to our daughter and son-in-law and it has become a favorite for both of them as well.

    • Marybeth says...

      Yes! I use the tinted EltaMD which is basically doubles as my foundation – i LOVE it. Just ordered the Supergoop powdered/dry sunscreen for an afternoon reapply.

    • laura says...

      is supergoop play not good for face as well? that’s what i’ve been using 😬

    • Rue says...

      hard agree, re Elta MD! my go-to body sunscreen is Blue Lizard sensitive or Blue Lizard face (which I don’t use on my face, go figure)

    • EB says...

      Same, my dermatologist friend recommended elta md (and i watched him slather himself and his child at our last backyard get-together). I just bought some at the dermstore sale.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes!!!! My derm recommended eltaMD and I love it. (But it’s not mineral right?)

    • Anna says...

      Joanna, they do have a couple of mineral sunscreens! At least UV Elements and UV Pure, anyway! ❤️

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Oh thank you, Anna!

  66. Jess. says...

    Physical/mineral sunscreens also tend to not contain the chemical that damages coral: Oxybenzone [Benzophenone-3, BP-3], which is great! xox

  67. rme says...

    Thank you for not parroting a lot of the “clean” rhetoric out there re: skincare and sunscreen. I’ve learned so much from Michelle Wong (@labmuffinbeautyscience) and Charlotte Palermino (@charlotteparler). Huge recommendations for both, if you’re wanting to dig into it all.

    I will say, they are emphatic that a makeup with SPF à la Ilia is not sufficient for UV protection. Great to layer on another sunscreen, but it’s highly unlikely that any of us apply a tinted serum in the necessary quantity or with adequate coverage.

    • Anonymous says...

      I was hoping someone would mention Charlotte Palermino! I just discovered her myself and am learning so much.

    • Elizabeth says...

      Came here to say the same thing! Charlotte has taught me so much. Also chemical and physical sunscreen both work by creating a film on the skin, not by being absorbed :)

  68. Theresa says...

    LOVE Marie Veronique tinted sunscreen for everyday wear!

    • Hilary says...

      This sunscreen is the absolute BEST. And I’ve tried everything!

  69. Keeley says...

    A great alternative to the Badger SPF 30 that is much less sticky (but equally invisible + effective for outdoor, full-body use) is Babo SPF 30. I just bought a tube to use for a long weekend in Miami and I didn’t get sunburned, even with hours in the sun.

    • Mindy says...

      Bought this for my baby and now slather it on me. Highly recommend as well.

  70. Michelle says...

    The powder ones are also really great for kids who are fussy about smearing it on their faces!

  71. Would love a similar post but focused on kids! Maybe for a Monday parenting post?

    • Maria says...

      YES PLEASE!
      I’ve used Badger baby on my daughter and really liked it, if you’re looking for an immediate recommendation. But would love a full post on the topic

    • Amy says...

      The Badger brand is AMAZING for kids. I have almost exclusively used this on my pale children and they have NEVER burned! Get the Clear Zinc kinds though unless you want them to be very white 😬

      I’m wondering if the clear zinc works well for darker skinned people…..
      it rubs in really well for us but we are pale people.

    • Michaela says...

      YES! Especially for kids with brown skin. My loves look pretty purple with most mineral sunscreen.

    • Katey says...

      Badger is also an admirable company. Listen to this old episode of The Longest Shortest Time ( https://longestshortesttime.com/episode-143-its-a-real-mother-part-3-the-cliff/ ) to hear how they support new parents.

      Two criteria I look for when buying beach sunscreen: is it safe for waterways and reefs? Is it packaged in something other than plastic? I love swimming and I want my kids to have the opportunity to share lake, river, sea swimming with their grand kids. I refer to it as beach sunscreen because it is not suitable for everyday use. However, people are doing amazing things so perhaps someday there will be a formula in non-plastic packaging that I could wear everyday. Badger, incidentally, uses a lot of non-plastic packaging. Another reason to buy their stuff!

    • Emily says...

      Yes second the request for kid friendly sunscreens AND those that work well for darker skinned people. I don’t think there is one out there that doesn’t make my beautiful brown babies have a whitish tinge – I’ve tried them all! I like supergoop the best so far.

    • Victoria says...

      Love all things Badger! They are a family-owned, B Corp that makes everything in New Hampshire. Walking the talk!

    • EH says...

      I made a longer comment about Avasol (avasol.com) already, but thought I’d reply here too because I think it’s great and safe for kids as well. The Surfer’s Barrier Stick, which is a (plastic free) zinc stick is the only sunscreen my picky nephew with tolerate being put on him. The FAQs on their site are really informative especially about safety and the advantages of opaque sunscreen.

  72. Mariah says...

    Thank you for making a post about this. I’ve felt so lost looking for a good sunscreen and have been disappointed with the supergoop options which still have chemicals and unwelcome feel to them. This is really helpful!

  73. Claire says...

    I’ve missed your beauty posts, Caroline! (I have reread the lipstick and deodorant posts many times!). Please bring them back into the regular rotation! My special request? A post on long-wearing mascaras with clean ingredients (I’m not wild about many of the petroleum, coal tar, and preservative ingredients getting into my eyes) that don’t lead to raccoon eyes by midday. Your research and writing style are always so fun to read!

    • Rachel says...

      I looooove Ilia mascara for this exactly!

    • Haley RH says...

      As someone who didn’t realize mascara WITHOUT these harmful ingredients or raccoon eyes was out there, I second this!!

    • Erin says...

      Try Mascara 101 from Saie! Best mascara I’ve ever tried, and no raccoon eyes.

  74. Liz says...

    COOLA tinted mineral sunscreen is sooooo lovely. Silky smooth to apply and gives just the perfect little bit of coverage.

    • Liz, I so agree! I love the cucumber scent, but the ease is just unbelievable. It truly feels like a regular ol’ daily moisturizer, yet it’s sunscreen. I’ve been singing COOLA’s praises ever since I sampled the product via Birchbox years ago. And I saw that it’s sold at Target now, too!

    • Theresa says...

      Agreed – I love it!

    • Angel says...

      Me too! My daughter and I love the cucumber scent. (we use the untinted Coola mineral sunscreen)