Editor’s Picks: The 26 Best Mineral Sunscreens (and How to Choose the Right One for Your Skin)

Your guide to complexion protection.
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Best mineral sunscreen

You already know that daily sunscreen is essential to shield your skin from sunburn, skin cancer and premature aging. But unless you're using a mineral formula, your sunscreen may not be as safe or as effective as you think. 

Get this—out of the 16 different sunscreen filters used in the US, the FDA regards only the mineral ones, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, to be "GRASE" (Generally Recognized As Safe and Effective). The other, chemical sunscreen filters (including avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene and ecamsule) were recently delisted.

Also consider that zinc oxide is the single most effective ingredient for filtering out UVA rays, which are the most harmful and account for more than 90% of the UV light that reaches our skin. So without zinc oxide in your sunscreen (and at a high enough concentration), you're going to be much more vulnerable to sun-related skin damage.

That's why I've put together this guide to the best mineral sunscreens on the market. Here's what to look for, and how to choose the right one for you. 

What to Look for in a Mineral Sunscreen

Before we take a look at my product picks, here are the most important considerations when choosing a facial sunscreen. (My sunscreen ingredients tutorial covers these in more detail!)

  • High in zinc oxide: To get full broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB, you have two choices. You can look for a formula that contains at least 20% zinc oxide on its own. Alternatively, a combination of 15-20% zinc oxide along with at least 5% titanium dioxide will be equally effective.
  • Low in PUFAs: Oils with a high proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are easily oxidized in UV light, releasing free radicals and triggering cellular damage. So they shouldn't be present in high quantities—I avoid them in the first five ingredients, which typically make up about 80% of a product. (Note: If the ingredients are listed in alphabetical order, there's no way to gauge the concentration, so I've excluded such products from this guide.)
  • Low in fragrance: Since they're a common cause of irritation, fragrances and essential oils are best to be avoided or at least limited, especially if you have sensitive skin. 
  • Low in silicones: Although it's a matter of personal preference rather than safety or efficacy, I prefer to limit silicones because they congest and dehydrate my skin. That's because they form an occlusive seal over your skin, which can trap pore-clogging debris and slow down cellular renewal.
  • Reef-safe: Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide will not do damage to coral reefs. 
  • Water-resistant (optional): If you plan to swim or sweat a lot, you may want a water-resistant sunscreen. Just keep in mind that many brands don't make this claim, even if their products are water-resistant, because they have to pay to perform the test.

Note: I've included both tinted and non-tinted options below, but if you're looking for a wider range of shades and coverage levels, check out my tinted sunscreen guide here.

The Best Mineral Sunscreens of 2021

EleVen by Venus Unrivaled Sun Serum SPF 35

EleVen by Venus Unrivaled Sun Serum SPF 35

EleVen by Venus Unrivaled Sun Serum SPF 35

  • Details: EleVen by Venus Unrivaled Sun Serum SPF 35 is an innovative serum sunscreen that not only feels weightless, but is also invisible on all skin (including the darkest tones). Born out of a collab between Venus Williams, Credo Beauty and The Sunscreen Company, it gives you incredible protection with the highest possible concentration of zinc oxide. Since it's transparent, non-greasy, silicone-free and fragrance-free, it's ideal for even people who hate sunscreen.
  • Active ingredient: 25% zinc oxide. 
  • Other ingredients: Coconut fatty acids, coconut alkanes, safflower oleosomes, prickly pear extract. 
  • Best for: All skin. 

Ava Isa Sun-é-Serum Drops SPF 35

Ava Isa Sun-e-Serum Drops SPF 35

Ava Isa Sun-é-Serum Drops SPF 35

  • Details: Ava Isa Sun-é-Serum Drops SPF 35 is a weightless, invisible sunscreen serum with the maximum level of sun protection. This formula is almost identical to the EleVen by Venus Unrivaled Sun Serum SPF 35 (both are made by The Sunscreen Company). As such, it is transparent on all skin tones, and both fragrance-free and silicone-free. Bonus: This version includes Micah, an antioxidant that prevents free radicals before they are formed.
  • Active ingredient: 25% zinc oxide.
  • Other ingredients: Coconut fatty acids, coconut alkanes, safflower oleosomes, Micah.
  • Best for: All skin.

EleVen by Venus On-the-Defense Sunscreen SPF 30

EleVen by Venus On-the-Defense Sunscreen SPF 30

EleVen by Venus On-the-Defense Sunscreen SPF 30

  • Details: EleVen by Venus On-the-Defense Sunscreen SPF 30 is a highly protective, non-whitening sunscreen lotion with a semi-matte finish. Just like the brand's Unrivaled Sun Serum SPF 35, it contains the highest concentration of zinc oxide, and is totally transparent, even on dark skin tones. (I just find it takes a little more work to blend out—but it's totally worth it.) This formula is also non-greasy, silicone-free and fragrance-free.
  • Active ingredient: 25% zinc oxide.
  • Other ingredients: Coconut fatty acids, propanediol, fermented yeast.
  • Best for: All skin.

CyberDerm Every Morning Sun Whip SPF 30

CyberDerm Every Morning Sun Whip SPF 30

CyberDerm Every Morning Sun Whip SPF 30

  • Details: CyberDerm Every Morning Sun Whip SPF 30 is a transparent sunscreen lotion that gives maximum sun protection with a semi-matte finish. Developed by The Sunscreen Company, the formula is in fact identical to the EleVen by Venus On-the-Defense Sunscreen SPF 30. So you're getting the same concentration of zinc oxide, a lightweight texture and an invisible finish on all skin (even the deepest tones). Plus, it is fragrance-free and silicone-free.
  • Active ingredient: 25% zinc oxide.
  • Other ingredients: Coconut fatty acids, propanediol, fermented yeast.
  • Best for: All skin.

Ghost Democracy Invisible Lightweight Daily Face Sunscreen SPF 33

Ghost Democracy Invisible Lightweight Daily Face Sunscreen SPF 33

Ghost Democracy Invisible Lightweight Daily Face Sunscreen SPF 33

  • Details: Ghost Democracy Invisible Lightweight Daily Face Sunscreen SPF 33 is an ultra-light sunscreen and skin treatment in one. In addition to zinc oxide, it has niacinamide to reduce redness, minimize pores and fortify the skin barrier, and botanical extracts to up the antioxidant protection. It's also silicone-free, oil-free and fragrance-free.
  • Active ingredient: 20% zinc oxide.
  • Other ingredients: 4% niacinamide, 1.5% artichoke leaf extract, 1.3% turmeric extract, coconut fatty acids, glycerin, vitamin B5 (panthenol).
  • Best for: All skin.

REN Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30 Mattifying Face Sunscreen

REN Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30 Mattifying Face Sunscreen

REN Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30 Mattifying Face Sunscreen

  • Details: REN Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30 Mattifying Face Sunscreen is a thin, ultra-light sunscreen lotion with a matte finish, so it's perfect for oilier skin. Besides a generous amount of zinc oxide to shield you from UVA and UVB, it contains rice starch to help absorb excess oil, control shine and minimize pores. This formula is also silicone-free and (at least in my experience) non-whitening.
  • Active ingredient: 22% zinc oxide.
  • Other ingredients: Coconut fatty acids, aloe, glycerin, fatty alcohols, rice starch.
  • Best for: Normal to oily skin.

Kinship Self Reflect Probiotic Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF 32

Kinship Self Reflect Probiotic Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF 32

Kinship Self Reflect Probiotic Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF 32

  • Details: Kinship Self Reflect Probiotic Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF 32 is a lightweight sunscreen lotion made with acne-prone skin in mind. So it has a high percentage of zinc oxide, and a subtle beige tint to help blur imperfections and prevent a white cast. The addition of probiotics helps to support a healthy skin barrier. Plus, it is non-greasy and silicone-free. 
  • Active ingredient: 22.4% zinc oxide.
  • Other ingredients: Coconut fatty acids, coconut alkanes, fatty alcohol, glycerin, aloe, probiotics.
  • Best for: All skin, especially acne-prone skin.

Pipette Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50

Pipette Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50

Pipette Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50

  • Details: Pipette Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 is a gentle and affordable sunscreen created for babies and adults alike. It protects from head to toe with zinc oxide in a base of simple, non-toxic hydrators. Your skin is left plump and dewy (so this could definitely replace a moisturizer), with little to no white cast. This formula is also silicone-free and fragrance-free.
  • Active ingredient: 20% zinc oxide.
  • Other ingredients: Coconut fatty acids, squalane, glycerin, fatty alcohol.
  • Best for: Normal to dry skin.

NUORI Mineral Defence Sunscreen SPF 30

NUORI Mineral Defence Sunscreen SPF 30

NUORI Mineral Defence Sunscreen SPF 30

  • Details: NUORI Mineral Defence Sunscreen SPF 30 is an all-natural sunscreen that doubles as a primer for makeup application. It has a slightly thicker but non-sticky texture, and once it dries down, it becomes matte and clear, with a smooth finish. Like all the brand's products, it's made in small batches every 10 to 12 weeks for maximum freshness and potency. It's also fragrance-free and silicone-free.
  • Active ingredient: 23% zinc oxide.
  • Other ingredients: Coconut fatty acids, glycerin, silica, fatty alcohols, karanja oil, sunflower seed oil, carrot seed oil.
  • Best for: Normal to dry and sensitive skin.

Éminence Organic Skin Care Lilikoi Daily Defense Moisturizer SPF 40

Eminence Organic Skin Care Lilikoi Daily Defense Moisturizer SPF 40

Éminence Organic Skin Care Lilikoi Daily Defense Moisturizer SPF 40

  • Details: Éminence Organic Skin Care Lilikoi Daily Defense Moisturizer SPF 40 is an all-natural sunscreen and moisturizer that's packed with a long list of botanicals. Think: humectants like aloe, emollients like avocado oil, and antioxidants like green tea. Together with zinc oxide (and no silicones), they give this formula a light, non-greasy texture.
  • Active ingredient: 20% zinc oxide.
  • Other ingredients: Linden tea, aloe, green tea extract, avocado oil, glycerin, fatty alcohol, shea butter, hyaluronic acid.
  • Best for: All skin.

Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer

Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer

Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer

  • Details: Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer gives you oil-free hydration plus sun protection in a light lotion. In addition to zinc oxide, it contains an array of antioxidant-rich botanicals that soothe, hydrate and protect your skin. I've found that it has a white cast initially, but this fades after a few minutes, leaving a slightly dewy finish. As an all-natural product, it is also silicone-free.
  • Active ingredient: 20% zinc oxide.
  • Other ingredients: Aloe, coconut fatty acids, apple juice, grape juice, vitamin E, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, pomegranate juice, algae extract, cucumber extract, provitamin B5 (panthenol).
  • Best for: Normal to oily and acne-prone skin.

Cocokind Daily SPF Facial Sunscreen Lotion SPF 32

Cocokind Daily SPF Facial Sunscreen Lotion SPF 32

Cocokind Daily SPF Facial Sunscreen Lotion SPF 32

  • Details: Cocokind Daily SPF Facial Sunscreen Lotion SPF 32 is a lightweight and non-greasy sunscreen infused with rice starch to absorb excess sebum. While the zinc oxide shields skin from UV rays, marine extracts deliver additional antioxidant protection. This formula is also fragrance-free and silicone-free.
  • Active ingredient: 21% zinc oxide.
  • Other ingredients: Coconut fatty acids, coconut alkanes, fatty alcohol, glycerin, aloe, argan oil, vitamin E, algae extract, plankton extract, rice starch.
  • Best for: All skin.

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30

  • Details: Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30 is a lightweight cream sunscreen enriched with antioxidants and the brand's signature marula oil. Initially, it can seem a bit whitening, but I've found that goes away—at least on light skin—as it sets. The finish is slightly dewy, with a hint of barely-there shimmer. This formula is also free of fragrance and essential oils, and low in silicone. 
  • Active ingredient: 20% zinc oxide. 
  • Other ingredients: Coconut fatty acids, pentylene glycol, glycerin, fatty alcohol, silica, marula oil, aloe, seaweed extract, algae extract, sunflower sprout extract.
  • Best for: All skin. 

Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense SPF 30

Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense SPF 30

Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense SPF 30

  • Details: Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense SPF 30 gives you the same high protection as the brand's Umbra Sheer sunscreen, but with a sheer, medium-toned tint. While it doesn't offer coverage, the tint eliminates any whitening effect, making this a great option for medium to deep skin tones. (Fair skin will find it too warm and too dark.) This formula is also free of fragrance and essential oils, and low in silicone.
  • Active ingredient: 20% zinc oxide.
  • Other ingredients: Coconut fatty acids, glycerin, pentylene glycol, fatty alcohol, silica, marula oil, aloe, seaweed extract, algae extract, sunflower sprout extract.
  • Best for: All skin.

Suntegrity 5-in-1 Tinted Sunscreen Moisturizer SPF 30

Suntegrity 5-in-1 Tinted Sunscreen Moisturizer SPF 30

Suntegrity 5-in-1 Tinted Sunscreen Moisturizer SPF 30

  • Details: Suntegrity 5-in-1 Tinted Sunscreen Moisturizer SPF 30 is a multitasking sunscreen that protects, hydrates, rejuvenates, primes and covers your skin with a dewy tint. It comes in four shades (which unfortunately only go as dark as a medium), and the coverage is light—just enough to even out imperfections. This formula is also fragrance-free and low in silicone.
  • Active ingredient: 20% zinc oxide.
  • Other ingredients: Aloe, coconut fatty acids, jojoba oil, Epsom salt, sunflower seed oil, cucumber extract, hyaluronic acid.
  • Best for: All skin.

Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen & Primer SPF 30

Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen Primer SPF 30

Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen & Primer SPF 30

  • Details: Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen & Primer SPF 30 is a rich but non-greasy sunscreen, moisturizer and makeup primer. It's non-tinted, with zinc oxide to protect, and a mix of humectants and emollients to hydrate and prep your skin for makeup. Although it goes on white, it fades quickly to become sheer and dewy. This formula is also low in silicone.
  • Active ingredient: 20% zinc oxide.
  • Other ingredients: Aloe, coconut fatty acids, glycerin, Epsom salt, jojoba oil, sunflower oil, cucumber extract, hyaluronic acid.
  • Best for: Normal to dry skin.

CyberDerm Simply Zinc Ultra Tinted Transparent Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50

CyberDerm Simply Zinc Ultra Tinted Transparent Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50

CyberDerm Simply Zinc Ultra Tinted Transparent Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50

  • Details: CyberDerm Simply Zinc Ultra Tinted Transparent Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50 is possibly the most protective mineral sunscreen on the market. In addition to the maximum percentage of zinc oxide, it contains Bio UVA Ultra, a patented organic material that increases the UVA protection by up to 60%. It has a thin, fluid texture and a sheer nude-beige tint, so it could easily replace a tinted moisturizer. It's also free of fragrance and silicones.
  • Active ingredient: 25% zinc oxide.
  • Other ingredients: Coconut fatty acids, coconut alkanes, safflower oleosomes, Norwegian spruce extract.
  • Best for: Normal to dry skin.

CyberDerm Simply Zinc Lite Untinted Transparent Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50

CyberDerm Simply Zinc Lite Untinted Transparent Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50

CyberDerm Simply Zinc Lite Untinted Transparent Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50

  • Details: CyberDerm Simply Zinc Lite Untinted Transparent Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50 is a light, fluid sunscreen that gives you the same phenomenal protection as the original Simply Zinc Ultra, but without any tint. You'll also find Bio UVA Ultra in here to further shield your skin from UVA, along with Norwegian spruce extract, a powerful antioxidant. Although it goes on white, I find it becomes invisible after a few seconds of blending. This formula is both fragrance-free and silicone-free.
  • Active ingredient: 25% zinc oxide.
  • Other ingredients: Coconut fatty acids, coconut alkanes, safflower oleosomes, Norwegian spruce extract.
  • Best for: Normal to dry skin.

Obagi Medical Sun Shield Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Suncreen Lotion

Obagi Medical Sun Shield Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Suncreen Lotion

Obagi Medical Sun Shield Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Suncreen Lotion

  • Details: Obagi Medical Sun Shield Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Suncreen Lotion is a gentle sunscreen lotion that was made with sensitive, post-procedure skin in mind. Recently reformulated, it now offers comprehensive UVA and UVB protection thanks to both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. It's also sheer, fast-absorbing, fragrance-free and silicone-free.
  • Active ingredient: 15.6% zinc oxide, 6.2% titanium dioxide.
  • Other ingredients: Coconut fatty acids, pentylene glycol, glycerin, silica, fatty alcohol, stearic acid.
  • Best for: All skin, especially sensitive skin.

Solara Suncare Time Traveler Ageless Daily Face Sunscreen SPF 30

Solara Suncare Time Traveler Ageless Daily Face Sunscreen SPF 30

Solara Suncare Time Traveler Ageless Daily Face Sunscreen SPF 30

  • Details: Solara Suncare Time Traveler Ageless Daily Face Sunscreen SPF 30 is a water-resistant sunscreen that treats the signs of aging while it protects your skin from sun. Besides zinc oxide, it's infused with copper peptides, ceramides and antioxidants to work on cellular repair, brightening and hydrating. It is also fragrance-free, silicone-free and water-resistant for 40 minutes. 
  • Active ingredient: 20% zinc oxide.
  • Other ingredients: Coconut fatty acids, glycerin, shea butter, coconut oil, Epsom salt, copper peptides, ceramides, squalane.
  • Best for: Normal to dry skin.

Naturally Serious Mineral Sun Defense Moisturizer SPF 30

Naturally Serious Mineral Sun Defense Moisturizer Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30

Naturally Serious Mineral Sun Defense Moisturizer SPF 30

  • Details: Naturally Serious Mineral Sun Defense Moisturizer SPF 30 is a tinted lotion that provides excellent protection, thanks to its combination of both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. The tint will probably only be suitable for light to medium skin tones, giving sheer coverage while eliminating the usual white cast. This formula is also silicone-free.
  • Active ingredients: 25% zinc oxide, 4% titanium dioxide.
  • Other ingredients: Coconut fatty acids, glycerin, pentylene glycol, fatty alcohol, argan oil, vitamin E.
  • Best for: All skin.

Kypris Pot of Shade: Heliotropic SPF 30

Kypris Pot of Shade Heliotropic SPF 30

Kypris Pot of Shade: Heliotropic SPF 30

  • Details: Kypris Pot of Shade: Heliotropic SPF 30 is a two-in-one sunscreen and makeup primer. Housed in a pot, it contains zinc oxide and moisturizing botanicals, which give it a velvety texture. Once blended out, it becomes translucent, leaving you with a smooth, semi-matte finish that plays perfectly with makeup (sans pilling). This formula is fragrance-free and silicone-free.
  • Active ingredient: 20% zinc oxide.
  • Other ingredients: Coconut fatty acids, coconut alkanes, glycerin, silica, rose extract.
  • Best for: All skin.

Jan Marini Marini Physical Protectant Untinted SPF 30

Jan Marini Marini Physical Protectant Untinted SPF 30

Jan Marini Marini Physical Protectant Untinted SPF 30

  • Details: Jan Marini Marini Physical Protectant Untinted SPF 30 is a lightweight but water-resistant sunscreen to suit all skin types. It wards off UV rays with zinc oxide, while antioxidants fight free radicals and oil-controlling ingredients prevent shine. This formula is also silicone-free, and you're getting 40 minutes of water resistance.
  • Active ingredient: 20% zinc oxide.
  • Other ingredients: Coconut fatty acids, squalane, shea butter, glycerin, Micah.
  • Best for: All skin.

Kerstin Florian Correcting Multi-Vitamin Day Crème SPF 30

Kerstin Florian Correcting Multi-Vitamin Day Creme SPF 30

Kerstin Florian Correcting Multi-Vitamin Day Crème SPF 30

  • Details: Kerstin Florian Correcting Multi-Vitamin Day Crème SPF 30 is a vitamin-rich sunscreen that doubles as a nourishing anti-aging moisturizer. It's got vitamin C to brighten, provitamin B5 to hydrate, and vitamin E to defend from free radicals. Initially, it can be a bit whitening, but after it sinks in, it leaves skin soft and dewy. This formula is also low in silicone.
  • Active ingredient: 20% zinc oxide.
  • Other ingredients: Propanediol, glycerin, cucumber extract, vitamin E, squalane, vitamin C (sodium ascorbyl phosphate), provitamin B5 (panthenol). 
  • Best for: Normal to dry skin.

Think Everyday Face SPF 30+

Think Everyday Face SPF 30

Think Everyday Face SPF 30+

  • Details: Think Everyday Face SPF 30+ is an inexpensive sunscreen cream that gives you high protection plus 80 minutes of water resistance. Unlike most SPFs at this price point, it is fragrance-free, low in silicones and lightweight on the skin. The finish is slightly dewy, with a sheer tint that should blend seamlessly with light to medium skin tones.
  • Active ingredient: 20% zinc oxide.
  • Other ingredients: Aloe, coconut fatty acids, glycerin, castor seed oil, sunflower oil, jojoba oil, vitamin C, vitamin E.
  • Best for: All skin.

The Inkey List SPF 30 Sunscreen

The Inkey List SPF 30 Sunscreen

The Inkey List SPF 30 Sunscreen

  • Details: The Inkey List SPF 30 Sunscreen is a tinted sunscreen that promises not to pill when you layer it over other skincare products or underneath your makeup. There's just one shade, which will be best for medium skin tones, and reduces any whitening effect. This formula also has 1% Pollustop (a polysaccharide) for additional protection from pollutants, and silica for a matte finish. Plus, it is fragrance-free and low in silicone.
  • Active ingredient: 22% zinc oxide.
  • Other ingredients: Coconut fatty acids, coconut alkanes, glycerin, silica.
  • Best for: All skin.

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