Editor's Picks: 14 of the Best Zinc Oxide Sunscreens for Your Body

Mineral formulas you can trust.
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This article was last updated in January 2019.

Now that I've shown you the best sunscreens for your face, here's Part Two—the best SPFs for your body!

Once again, I'm recommending all mineral formulas, which are the safest and most effective option we have available here in North America. 

I'd argue that it's even MORE important to choose a zinc-based sunscreen for your body than your face. Since you’re covering a much larger surface area, you apply more SPF on your body than you do on your face. As you know, there are many health concerns with chemical sunscreens, so it's safer to use filters that remain on the skin surface and reflect away the light, instead of absorbing into your bloodstream.

Of course, like I keep saying, not all mineral sunscreens are made equal. Many companies are using inadequate amounts of active ingredients, which puts you at risk of sun damage.

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

  • High-zinc: The only filter that gives you complete protection against UVA and UVB rays. 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: I suggest avoiding polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)—they're unstable oils that easily oxidize in UV light. PUFA-free sunscreens are safest, but I've listed some low-PUFA options here which shouldn't be too harmful. (By "low-PUFA," I mean products without PUFAs in the first 10 ingredients.)
  • Lotion format: Sprays may be convenient, but they make it extremely hard to tell where you've applied the product and if you used enough of it. (That might be the reason this little guy got burned, poor thing.) None of the products below are sprays.
  • AHA-free and vitamin A-free: These ingredients shouldn't be in sunscreens because they increase photosensitivity. None of the options here include them.
  • Non-whitening: For the least amount of whitening, choose formulas with micronized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Yes, these would be considered "nano," but so would nearly ALL sunscreens, according to EWG (even if labels say otherwise). The good news is, they've been shown NOT to penetrate the skin regardless.

You'll notice I haven't included silicone on this list. Since it may clog pores, I definitely avoid it on my face. But I don't think it's a big deal in a body sunscreen. 

So here are my top picks for the best high-zinc body sunscreens on the market:

Attitude Sensitive Skin 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30

✓High-zinc ✓PUFA-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 my new favourite all-over sunscreen (it was on the face list, too!). The creamy texture is great for dry limbs, and the one percent colloidal oatmeal will help soothe over-exposed skin. There's 20 percent zinc oxide in here.

Attitude 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Fragrance-Free

✓High-zinc ✓PUFA-free ✓Non-whitening

Attitude 100 Percent Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Fragrance-Free

Attitude 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Fragrance-Free

I also love Attitude 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30, their original formula with 20 percent zinc oxide. This one has more of a cream-gel texture, which won’t leave you feeling greasy. 

Rocky Mountain Soap Company Vanilla Coconut Natural Sunscreen SPF 31

✓High-zinc ✓PUFA-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 like a non-greasy body butter, thanks to its thicker texture and yummy scent. It's super-hydrating and all-natural. There's 20.1 percent zinc oxide in here.

DeVita Solar Body Moisturizer SPF 30+

✓High-zinc ✓Low-PUFA ✓Non-whitening

DeVita Solar Body Moisturizer SPF 30

DeVita Solar Body Moisturizer SPF 30+

DeVita Solar Body Moisturizer SPF 30+ has a decent 19 percent zinc oxide and the most lightweight texture of any body sunscreen I've tried. There's absolutely no oily feel, nor does it whiten the skin.

Neutrogena Sheer Zinc SPF 50

✓High-zinc ✓PUFA-free ✓Non-whitening

Neutrogena Sheer Zinc SPF 50

Neutrogena Sheer Zinc SPF 50

Neutrogena Sheer Zinc SPF 50 is the body version of the face formula we already talked about. Although the ingredients are similar (21.6 percent zinc oxide), this is quite a bit more moisturizing, and oddly, less whitening. This is a good choice for sports as it's water-resistant for 80 minutes.

Aveeno Baby Sensitive Skin Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50

✓High-zinc ✓PUFA-free  

Aveeno Baby Sensitive Skin Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50

Aveeno Baby Sensitive Skin Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50

New Aveeno Baby Sensitive Skin Sunscreen SPF 50 is not just for babies! It's another excellent drugstore choice, with a very similar formula to Neutrogena. It, too, has 21.6 percent zinc oxide and is oil-free and water-resistant. It's more whitening, but that dissipates as you blend it out.

Block Island Organics Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30

✓High-zinc ✓PUFA-free ✓Non-whitening

Block Island Organics Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30

Block Island Organics Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30

Block Island Organics Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 is a great pick I discovered this year through EWG. This formula features a high amount of zinc (22 percent) in an aloe vera base. There's no reason why you couldn't use this on your face as well as body.

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

✓High-zinc ✓PUFA-free

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

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

Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF 50+ WetForce for Sensitive Skin & Children gives you complete UVA and UVB protection with 19.3 percent zinc and 9.1 percent titanium dioxide. It is water-resistant for 80 minutes, and gets even more effective when wet. So I'd choose this for any swimming activities, where you really want your SPF to be locked on.

Derma E Sun Defense Mineral Oil-Free Sunscreen SPF 30 Body

✓High-zinc ✓Low-PUFA ✓Non-whitening

Derma E Sun Defense Mineral Oil-Free Sunscreen SPF 30 Body

Derma E Sun Defense Mineral Oil-Free Sunscreen SPF 30 Body

Derma E Sun Defense Mineral Oil-Free Sunscreen SPF 30 Body is similar to the brand's face formula—although it's not actually oil-free (there's a small amount of sunflower oil in here). This protects you with 20 percent zinc oxide.

Juice Beauty SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen

✓High-zinc ✓Low-PUFA 

Juice Beauty SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen

Juice Beauty SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen

Juice Beauty SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen is a good sunscreen for sports. Not only does it contain 20 percent zinc oxide, but it also gives you 80 minutes of water-resistance. VERY rare for a silicone-free formula!

Suntegrity Natural Mineral Sunscreen for Body SPF 30

✓High-zinc ✓Low-PUFA ✓Non-whitening

Suntegrity Natural Mineral Sunscreen for Body SPF 30

Suntegrity Natural Mineral Sunscreen for Body SPF 30

Suntegrity Natural Mineral Sunscreen for Body SPF 30 is an elegant, non-greasy choice that still packs 20 percent zinc oxide. The antioxidants like green tea extract bump up your protection.

Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30

✓High-zinc PUFA-free

Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30

Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30

With 19 percent zinc, Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 gives you good protection (it’s just one percent shy of my criteria). You also get 40 minutes of water-resistance with no silicones.

Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Mist SPF 30

✓Low-PUFA ✓Silicone-free

Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Mist SPF 30

Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Mist SPF 30

If you're looking for a spray-on sunscreen, Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Mist SPF 30 has you covered. It's slightly low in zinc oxide (14.5 percent), so I'd use this more for topping up your protection when you're outside for several hours.

MDSolarSciences Mineral Moisture Defense Body SPF 50

✓High-zinc ✓PUFA-free ✓Non-whitening

MDSolarSciences Mineral Moisture Defense Body SPF 50

MDSolarSciences Mineral Moisture Defense Body SPF 50

Finally, we have MDSolarSciences Mineral Moisture Defense Body SPF 50 with 17 percent zinc oxide and two percent titanium dioxide (which is very close to my criteria). It's water-resistant for 80 minutes, thanks to the silicones.

Conclusion

These zinc oxide sunscreens won't let you down.

So there you have it—my complete guide to all the SPFs you should know about! If you missed Part One, head over here to discover the best high-zinc formulas for your face. 

You could obviously use any of the body ones on your face, too. Just keep in mind that they're likely to be a little heavier/oilier in texture.

I hope this helps you stay sun-safe from head to toe this summer. If you discover any other amazing zinc formulas, I'd love to hear about them!

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