Zinc Oxide Sunscreen: The 18 Best Products for Your Face - The Skincare Edit

Editor's Picks: The 18 Best Zinc Oxide Sunscreens for Your Face

Because all SPFs are not created equal.
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It's no secret that I'm an advocate of mineral sunscreens—especially when it comes to your face.

Not only are they MUCH safer for your health than chemical sunscreens, they're also less likely to trigger skin reactions and heat-induced pigmentation. That's because zinc oxide and titanium dioxide work by sitting on the skin's surface to reflect away the light, instead of penetrating into the bloodstream (where chemical filters actually absorb UV energy).

But guess what? It's not enough to simply grab any SPF with "mineral" on the label! As I explained here, most products on the market don't include high enough levels of actives, lack true broad-spectrum protection, or contain other damaging ingredients. 

That's why I've done all the work for you. I've scoured the ingredients lists at every mainstream retailer and in EWG's annual guide to pull together this guide to the BEST sunscreens available for your face. (Body sunscreens to follow!)

Here's what I look for in a face sunscreen:

  • High-zinc: The single best and safest UVA and UVB filter. Sunscreens should contain at least 20 percent zinc oxide, or 15 percent zinc oxide with 7.5 percent titanium dioxide or encapsulated octinoxate.
  • PUFA-free or low-PUFA: Polyunsaturated oils, a.k.a. PUFAs, oxidize with heat and light, generating harmful free radicals and even cellular damage. Ideally, sunscreens should be PUFA-free, but I've included a few low-PUFA options which should be fairly low-risk. (I've defined "low-PUFA" as products without PUFAs in the first 10 ingredients—that far down the list, there'd only be traces of them.)
  • AHA-free and vitamin A-free: Alpha-hydroxy acids and vitamin A derivatives can increase UV sensitivity, so they should not be present in any significant amounts (which is the case for all of my selections here).
  • Silicone-free or low-silicone: There's no safety reason to avoid silicones, but I think it's a good idea to limit them if possible. Their film-forming action can be comedogenic and dehydrating, and interferes with the skin's natural regulatory processes. 
  • Non-whitening: The most cosmetically elegant sunscreens use micronized forms of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide because their smaller particle sizes are less likely to leave a white cast. But what about nanoparticles, you ask? According to EWG, nearly ALL sunscreens would be considered nanomaterials despite their "non-nano" claims—but there is no evidence that they penetrate the skin or cause any significant harm. For that reason, "non-nano" isn't one of my criteria.

Ready to see which sunscreens measure up? Here we go!

CyberDerm Simply Zinc Sun Whip SPF 30

✓High-zinc ✓PUFA-free ✓Silicone-free ✓Non-whitening

CyberDerm Simply Zinc Sun Whip SPF 30

CyberDerm Simply Zinc Sun Whip SPF 30

CyberDerm Simply Zinc Sun Whip SPF 30 is one of my all-time favourite beauty products, and the first TRULY effective sunscreen I ever discovered. (Now, there are a lot more high-zinc offerings, but a few years ago, that wasn't the case at all!) Made in Canada, it has one of the highest zinc contents on the market, in a moisturizing, non-whitening olive base.

Where to buy: The Detox Market • CyberDerm

Active Ingredient: (w/w) 22% Zinc Oxide. Other Ingredients: Aqua, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Isostearate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Methylcellulose, Tetrapeptide-21, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Xanthan Gum, Butylene Glycol, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid. 

Derma E Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Face

✓High-zinc ✓PUFA-free ✓Low-silicone ✓Non-whitening

Derma E Natural Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Oil-Free Face

Derma E Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Face

The Derma E Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Face has JUST been reformulated, and now it's even better! They bumped up the zinc content, but it still has the same lightweight, oil-free lotion texture. That's why I think it's one of the better options for acne-prone skin. Note: If you can't find it, grab the baby version because the ingredients are exactly the same!

Where to buy: Well.ca • Dermstore • Amazon.com • Amazon.ca • Derma E

Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 20%. Other Ingredients: Purified Water, Coco-Caprylate (Coconut Derived), Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Lauryl Glucoside (Plant Derived), Polyglyceryl-2 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Glycerin (Vegetable Derived), Microcrystalline Cellulose (Plant Derived), Cellulose Gum (Plant Derived), Organic Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract*, Panthenol (Provitamin B5), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Phytic Acid, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Benzyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tocopherol. *Certified organic 

Attitude 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30

✓High-zinc ✓PUFA-free ✓Silicone-free ✓Non-whitening

Attitude 100 Percent Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30

Attitude 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30

Attitude 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 may be intended for kids and families, but it also makes a fantastic face sunscreen for all ages—because of its high-zinc, fragrance-free formula with minimal ingredients. It's also Canadian! The cream-gel texture requires a bit of blending, but leaves a nice semi-matte finish.

Where to buy: Well.ca • Amazon.com • Attitude Living

Active Ingredient:Zinc oxide (20%). Other Ingredients: Aqua, caprylic/capric triglyceride, cetearyl alcohol, cetearyl glucoside, glyceryl isostearate, glyceryl stearate, C10-18 triglycerides, glycerin, polyhydroxystearic acid, ethylhexylglycerin, caprylyl glycol, xanthan gum, sodium gluconate.

Attitude Sensitive Skin 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30

✓High-zinc ✓PUFA-free ✓Silicone-free ✓Non-whitening

Attitude Sensitive Skin 100 Percent Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30

Attitude Sensitive Skin 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30

Attitude Sensitive Skin 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 is a brand-new formula made with dry and sensitive skin in mind. Certified by the National Eczema Association, it's enriched with one percent colloidal oatmeal, which reduces itching, redness and inflammation. The texture is creamier and initially, a tad stickier than their regular SPF, but it dries down beautifully. If your skin tends to be reactive, this is perfect for you. 

Where to buy: Well.ca • Attitude Living

Active Ingredient: Zinc oxide (20%). Other Ingredients: Aqua, caprylic/capric triglyceride, cetearyl alcohol, cetearyl glucoside, avena sativa (oat) kernel flour, glyceryl isostearate, glyceryl stearate, C10-18 triglycerides, glycerin, polyhydroxystearic acid, ethylhexylglycerin, caprylyl glycol, xanthan gum, sodium gluconate.

Rocky Mountain Soap Company Vanilla Coconut Natural Sunscreen SPF 31

✓High-zinc ✓PUFA-free ✓Silicone-free ✓Non-whitening

Rocky Mountain Soap Company Vanilla Coconut Natural Sunscreen SPF 31

Rocky Mountain Soap Company Vanilla Coconut Natural Sunscreen SPF 31

Rocky Mountain Soap Company Vanilla Coconut Natural Sunscreen SPF 31 is a new, 100 percent natural sunscreen with a subtle vanilla scent. It has a creamy texture, but is easily spreadable. It also has a slight beige tint, so it doesn't go on white. Once massaged into the skin, there's a little dewiness, but I find that goes away after about 20 minutes or so.

Where to buy: Well.ca • Rocky Mountain Soap Company

Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 20.1%. Other Ingredients: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Isostearate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Aqua, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Glycerin*, Coco-Glucoside, Arachidyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Glucoside, Natural Vanilla Flavour/Aroma, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Hectorite, Natural Coconut Flavour/Aroma, Xanthan Gum. *Organic 

Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer

✓High-zinc ✓PUFA-free ✓Silicone-free ✓Non-whitening

Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer

Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer

The Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer is not only chock-full of zinc, but tons of antioxidant-rich botanical extracts and hyaluronic acid as well. The texture is light and the white hue disappears really fast. I have no idea why some reviews are describing it as "greasy," because I wouldn't say that at all. I can't even feel this on my skin! It's one of my top picks for anyone who is oily or who only wants lightweight hydration.

Where to buy: SephoraAmazon.comUltaBloomingdale'sDermstoreSkinStoreSkinCareRxFree PeopleJuice Beauty

Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 20%. Other Ingredients: Organic juices of aloe barbadensis (aloe juice)*, pyrus malus (apple juice)*, vitis vinifera (white grape juice)*, capric caprylic triglycerides, sorbitan stearate, polyglycerol-10 laurate, magnesium sulfate, tocopherol (vitamin E), magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (vitamin C), hyaluronic acid (vegetable derived), punica granatum (pomegranate fruit juice), algae extract, cucumis sativus fruit extract (cucumber), panthenol (vitamin B5), citrus limonum (lemon bark), iron oxides, phenethyl alcohol, ethylhexylglycerin, Blend of citrus reticulata (mandarin orange); citrus aurantium (petitgrain). *Certified Organic

Attitude 100% Mineral Face Stick SPF 30

✓High-zinc ✓PUFA-free ✓Silicone-free ✓Non-whitening

Attitude 100 Percent Mineral Face Stick SPF 30

Attitude 100% Mineral Face Stick SPF 30

Attitude 100% Mineral Face Stick SPF 30 is the stick version of the brand's lotion-textured sunscreen. It has the same percentage of zinc oxide, but in natural oils and butters that help it glide across the skin. I always like having a stick in my handbag for on-the-go protection. It's also ideal for the lips!

Where to buy: Well.ca • Attitude Living

Active Ingredient: Zinc oxide (20%). Other Ingredients: Olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax, theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, glyceryl stearate se, polyhydroxystearic acid.

Badger All Season Face Stick SPF 35

✓High-zinc ✓PUFA-free ✓Silicone-free

Badger All Season Face Stick SPF 35

Badger All Season Face Stick SPF 35

Your other stick choice is the Badger All Season Face Stick SPF 35, which has an even higher level of zinc, and an even more edited ingredients list. This is the single cleanest, most natural sunscreen formula I've found. Just keep in mind that the finish isn't the most elegant—it goes on thick and white, so needs lots of rubbing in.

Where to buy: Well.ca • Amazon.ca • Amazon.com • Badger Balm

Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 22.5%. Other Ingredients: *Extra virgin olive oil, *Beeswax, *Cocoa butter, *Shea Butter, *C02 Extract of Rosemary. * = Certified Organic.

CyberDerm Every Morning Sun Whip SPF 25

✓High-zinc ✓PUFA-free ✓Low-silicone ✓Non-whitening

CyberDerm Every Morning Sun Whip SPF 25

CyberDerm Every Morning Sun Whip SPF 25

CyberDerm Every Morning Sun Whip SPF 25 is the only sunscreen I've seen that combines zinc oxide with encapsulated octinoxate. Although a chemical filter, the encapsulation makes it behave like a mineral, sitting on top of the skin. Compared to Simply Zinc, this has a lighter, more matte texture that you may like better if you have oily skin. 

Where to buy: Well.ca • CyberDerm

Active Ingredients: (w/w) 15% Zinc Oxide (ZinClearTM), 7.5% Octinoxate (Encapsulated). Other Ingredients: Aqua, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Isostearate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-75 Stearate, Ceteth 20, Steareth-20, Glycerin, Cetyl, Dimethicone, Methylcellulose, Trisodium Ethylenediame Disuccinate, Xanthan Gum, Sclerotium Gum, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Silica, PVP, Chlorphenesin, Cetyl Alcohol, Sodium Citrate, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA.

bareMinerals Prep Step SPF 50 Mineral Shield Daily Prep Lotion

✓High-zinc ✓PUFA-free ✓Low-silicone ✓Non-whitening

bareMinerals Prep Step Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Mineral Shield Daily Prep Lotion

bareMinerals Prep Step SPF 50 Mineral Shield Daily Prep Lotion

The new bareMinerals Prep Step SPF 50 Mineral Shield Daily Prep Lotion is only available in the US right now, but it's one of the best mainstream sunscreens I've seen. In fact, it has the highest percentage of zinc oxide on this list! It has shade-adjusting pigments, so it doesn't go on white, and the texture is thin and spreadable, similar to their Serum Foundation (which I rate highly). It's low in silicone, and is oil-free.

Where to buy: Nordstrom • Sephora • Amazon.com • Ulta • Spring • bareMinerals

Ingredients: Titanium dioxide 4.1%, Zinc oxide 23.8%. Other Ingredients: Coconut Alkanes, Caprylyl Caprylate/Caprate, Water, Squalane, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol Crosspolymer, Polyglyceryl-2 Diisostearate, Silica, Glycerin, Propanediol, Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate, Isostearic Acid, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Gentiana Urnula Flower Extract, Moringa Oleifera Seed Extract, Butylene Glycol, Magnesium Hydroxide, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Polyester-1, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Disodium Phosphate, Phenoxyethanol. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides.

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30

✓High-zinc ✓Low-PUFA ✓Silicone-free ✓Non-whitening

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30

So many of you guys have asked me what I think of the Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30. And my answer is... it looks pretty good! Of course, it hasn't arrived in Canada yet, but ingredients-wise, it ticks off all my boxes except the PUFA one. It's not PUFA-free, but at least it's low-PUFA. The trace amounts of seed oil are probably not a huge risk, and I know it's the cool brand right now, so... you have my blessing! It's still going to be a hundred times better than any chemical SPF.

Where to buy: Sephora • Amazon.com • Dermstore • Drunk Elephant

Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 20%. Other Ingredients: Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Steareth-2, Propanediol, Steareth-21, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Silica, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Haematococcus Pluvialis Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Sprout Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Raspberry Seed Oil/Tocopheryl Succinate Aminopropanediol Esters, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Sea Water, Acetyl Glucosamine, Cetearyl Glucoside, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Glycine, Sucrose, Lecithin, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Xanthan Gum, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Mica, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491).

Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense SPF 30

✓High-zinc ✓Low-PUFA ✓Silicone-free ✓Non-whitening

Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30

Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense SPF 30

There's also new Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense SPF 30—a tinted form of their original! Same comments here; it would be better if it didn't have the seed oils (the marula is okay), but it's far from a bad choice. From the reviews, it sounds like the tinted version is best for medium-to-dark skin tones, but possibly too deep for fair types, who should stick with the original.

Where to buy: Sephora • Drunk Elephant

Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 20%. Other Ingredients: Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Steareth-2, Propanediol, Steareth-21, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Silica, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Haematococcus Pluvialis Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Sprout Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Raspberry Seed Oil/Tocopheryl Succinate Aminopropanediol Esters, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Sea Water, Acetyl Glucosamine, Cetearyl Glucoside, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Glycine, Sucrose, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Lecithin, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Xanthan Gum, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Mica, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499).

Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF 50+ WetForce for Sensitive Skin & Children

✓High-zinc ✓PUFA-free 

Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Plus WetForce for Sensitive Skin and Children

Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF 50+ WetForce for Sensitive Skin & Children

Surprisingly, the only department store sunscreen that lives up to my standards is Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF 50+ WetForce for Sensitive Skin & Children. This would be my top recommendation if you're swimming or sweating a lot, as it is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, and apparently becomes MORE effective when wet. I'm guessing the high silicone content helps it stay on the skin better. It's also more whitening than most. But for its intended purpose, it really does the job!

Where to buy: Nordstrom • Sephora • Saks Fifth Avenue • Ulta • Neiman Marcus • Birchbox • Bloomingdale's • Bergdorf Goodman • Shiseido

Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 9.1%, Zinc Oxide 19.3%. Other Ingredients: Dimethicone, Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Diisopropyl Sebacate, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Peg-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Bis-Butyldimethicone Polyglyceryl-3, Peg-6, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Peg-32, Peg/Ppg-14/7 Dimethyl Ether, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Thymus Serpillum Extract, Aluminum Distearate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Isostearic Acid, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Hydrated Silica, Sodium Metaphosphate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Stearic Acid, Dextrin Palmitate, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Tocopherol, Syzygium Jambos Leaf Extract.

Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Face SPF 50

✓High-zinc ✓PUFA-free ✓Non-whitening

Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Face SPF 50

Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Face SPF 50

With Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Face SPF 50, there's finally a decent sunscreen from a mainstream drugstore brand! I'm so pleasantly surprised at how much zinc they put in here—it's the highest I'm aware of at this price point. As usual, they packed it with silicones, but like the Shiseido, it is water-resistant for 80 minutes, and oil-free.

Where to buy: Well.ca • Amazon.com • Ulta

Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide/Oxyde de zinc (21.6%). Other Ingredients: Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Caprylyl Glycol, Cetyl Dimethicone/Bis-Vinyldimethicone Crosspolymer, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Chlorphenesin, Chrysanthemum Parthenium (Feverfew) Flower/Leaf/Stem Juice, Colloidal Oatmeal, Dimethicone, Ethyl Methicone, Glycerin, Glyceryl Behenate, Octyldodecyl Citrate Crosspolymer, Phenethyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Silica, Sodium Chloride, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Water (eau).

Kosmea Moisturising Lotion SPF 30

✓High-zinc ✓Low-PUFA ✓Silicone-free ✓Non-whitening

Kosmea Moisturising Lotion SPF 30

Kosmea Moisturising Lotion SPF 30

Although the brand is best-known for its rose hip oil (which I DON'T recommend!), Kosmea Moisturising Lotion SPF 30 is a great little discovery. It's all-natural, with zinc oxide in a slightly tinted lotion. The PUFA content is really negligible—there's more frankincense oil than PUFA in here!

Where to buy: Well.ca • Amazon.com • Kosmea

Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 20% w/w. Other Ingredients: Aqua, Caprylic/capric triglyceride, Caprylyl Glycol, Cerearyl Alcohol, Hydroxypropyl starch phosphate, Phenethyl alcohol, Sorbitan stearate, Boswellia, cateril oil, Cetearyl glucoside, Citrus sinensis Peel Essential Oil, Lavender Essential Oil, Pelagonium, graveolens Flower oil, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Rosa canina Seed Extract, Sucrose cocoate, Xantham Gum, Aloe barbadensis leaf extract, Cameillia sinensis Leaf Extract, Carthamus tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Cucumis sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Glycerin, Isoamyl laurate, Rosa canina Fruit Oil, Citric Acid.

Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen & Primer SPF 30

✓High-zinc ✓Low-PUFA ✓Low-silicone ✓Non-whitening

Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen and Primer SPF 30

Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen & Primer SPF 30

The Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen & Primer SPF 30 is a hydrating sunscreen that should easily allow you to skip moisturizer. Thanks to the silicone mid-way down the list, it also acts as a primer under makeup. While it's low-PUFA, the coconut and jojoba would hopefully somewhat offset the sunflower oil. 

Where to buy: The Detox Market • Amazon.com • Credo Beauty • Dermstore • LeVert Beauty • Free People • Suntegrity

Active Ingredient: Zinc oxide 20%. Other Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Capric Caprylic Triglycerides (Coconut Oil Extract), Sorbitan Stearate (Plant Derived), Glyceryl Stearate (Plant Derived), Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate (Plant Derived), Hexyl Laurate (Plant Derived), Simmondsia Chinensis (Organic Jojoba) Seed Oil, Cetyl Dimethicone (Mineral Derived), Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt), Helianthus Annuus (Organic Sunflower) Seed Oil, Cucumis Sativus (Organic Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Astaxanthin (Algae Source), Hyaluronic Acid (Plant Derived), Chlorella Emersonii (Red Algae) Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Organic Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Punica Granatum (Organic Pomegranate) Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Essential Oil, Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange) Essential Oil,Citrus Reticulata Blanco (Tangerine) Essential Oil, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide*, Ethylhexylglycerin*. *Paraben-free anti-microbial agent

Suntegrity 5-in-1 Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen SPF 30

✓High-zinc ✓Low-PUFA ✓Low-silicone ✓Non-whitening

Suntegrity 5-in-1 Natural Moisturizing Tinted Face Sunscreen SPF 30

Suntegrity 5-in-1 Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen SPF 30

The more well-known SPF from Suntegrity is their 5-in-1 Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen SPF 30. This is a like a tinted BB cream, available in four shades. I used to wear this in Light before I discovered the others at the top of this list, and found the texture, colour and finish quite amazing. The only reason I don't use it now is because I'd rather use completely PUFA-free, silicone-free products.

Where to buy: The Detox Market • Amazon.com • Credo Beauty • Dermstore • Free People • Suntegrity

Active Ingredient: Zinc-Oxide 20%. Other Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Capric Caprylic Triglycerides (Coconut Oil Extract), Water (Aqua), Sorbitan Stearate (Plant Derived), Glyceryl Stearate (Plant Derived), Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate (Plant Derived), Hexyl Laurate (Plant Derived), Simmondsia Chinensis (Organic Jojoba) Seed Oil, Cetyl Dimethicone (Mineral Derived), Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt), Helianthus Annuus (Organic Sunflower) Seed Oil, Cucumis Sativus (Organic Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Astaxanthin (Algae Source), Hyaluronic Acid (Plant Derived), Chlorella Emersonii (Red Algae) Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Organic Green Tea) Extract, Punica Granatum (Organic Pomegranate) Seed Oil, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide*, Ethylhexylglycerin*, Iron Oxide. *paraben-free preservative

Block Island Organics Natural Face Moisturizer SPF 30

✓High-zinc ✓Low-PUFA ✓Silicone-free ✓Non-whitening

Block Island Organics Natural Face Moisturizer SPF 30

Block Island Organics Natural Face Moisturizer SPF 30

Finally, we have the Block Island Organics Natural Face Moisturizer SPF 30, which I discovered via EWG. I love that it's got one of the highest zinc contents in an aloe base. I consider it low-PUFA, since the sunflower oil is not in the top 10. Not a bad option at all!

Where to buy: Amazon.com • Block Island Organics

Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 22%. Other Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera Gel) Juice*, Aqua (Deionized Water), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cetearyl Olivate, Gluconolactone, Glycerin*, Glyceryl Isostearate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Lecithin*, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Laurylglucosides Hydroxypropylsulfonate, Sorbitan Olivate, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Zemea (Corn) Propanediol (*Certified Organic)

Conclusion

Choose a high-zinc mineral sunscreen for the best and safest level of protection.

Now, you're up to speed on all the best sunscreens available for your face! 

You'll notice that I didn't include powder sunscreens, which exist in a bit of a regulatory grey area, and should only be used to top up your existing protection. (More on those over here.) I'd always recommend applying one of these high-zinc lotions FIRST, to ensure you have a proper base on that blocks out both UVA and UVB.

I also want to acknowledge that I understand the aesthetic challenges with using mineral sunscreens, even the so-called "non-whitening" formulas. I get it, and I know I have it easy as a pale person! But if the only alternative is to wear a harmful chemical SPF, I think it's worth the effort trying to work with them. 

That may mean spending more time letting your sunscreen sink in and/or blending out the initial white cast. I've had the best luck with silicone-free makeup on top, which doesn't cause any pilling for me. I usually wear my favourite SPFs with my beloved RMS Beauty "Un" Cover-Up and some silica powder to get rid of the excess dewiness. And I try to pat the makeup on, not buff it, so I don't disturb the layer of sunscreen.

Hopefully, this helps guide you toward some great sunscreen choices this summer. Next up, check out the best high-zinc BODY formulas!

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