10 Natural Face Sunscreen Brands for All-Year Wear
Mineral sunscreen: what is it and why does it matter? Is it simply fancy marketing jargon or does it actually make a difference in the health of your skin?
Put simply, mineral sunscreen uses light-reflecting minerals that sit on top of the skin, such as zinc & titanium dioxide, to effectively block UV rays. Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, actually absorb the sun’s rays; meaning that even though you’re avoiding a sunburn, your body is absorbing the chemicals. What a trade-off…
When it comes to our faces, we want to take even more care; especially if the sunblock will be a daily addition to your skincare routine (newsflash: your mom was right and you really DO need to wear sunscreen every day, rain or shine).
Things we want in our face sunscreens: 100% mineral-based ingredients & sheer, non-pore-clogging formulas. Things we definitely don’t want: toxins, filminess and that dreaded white cast on skin. Years ago that may have been too much to ask, but thankfully now there are plenty of hard-working sunscreen brands on the market that meets those above requirements.
After some intensive hunting, here are my curated picks for the best clean sunscreens that are gentle enough for your face on the market right now:
1. Juice Beauty
Safeguard your skin (and morals) knowing that this sunblock is toxin-free & reef-friendly, while reaping the benefits of skin-plumping ingredients in this multi-tasking moisturizer. Made with mineral zinc oxide and algae-rich nutrients, it’s rich yet blendable and deliciously fruity-smelling.
2. Babo Botanicals
Babo Botanicals’ formulations are ideal for super sensitive skin or those prone to allergic reactions, making it a definite contender for this list. Designed to be worn daily, it’s sheer, lightweight and packed full of potent antioxidants & gentle, skin-soothing ingredients. Non-greasy and free from fragrance, your skin won’t have a freak-out moment but will thank you for that major SPF 40 protection.
3. raw elements
This super-hydrating sun cream is packed with nourishing plant oils & butters—such as sunflower, hemp and cocoa— that protect against UVA and UBA rays, while providing a glowing base that’s perfect as a primer under makeup or simply on its’ own. Reef-safe with biodegradable packaging, it’s an ideal choice for daily use that you can feel really good about.
4. kari gran
I initially ordered the trial size of this and almost immediately updated to the full-size as I adored the velvety texture. Mostly though, it was the fact that it left no white residue or even a sensation that I had anything on the skin. Winner, winner. Made with naturally-derived ingredients, this broad spectrum sunscreen is designed to be worn 365 days a year, rain or shine.
The words '“mattifying” & “facial sunscreen” aren’t usually used in the same sentence, but Ren Clean Screen has changed the game with their newest mineral SPF. Made with 22% zinc oxide to block harmful rays and hard-working rice starch to stop shine, this silicone-free formula will keep your skin protected from sun damage and free from shine all day long.
The minimalist in me loves an all-in-one product and this tinted mineral sunscreen from Suntegrity is no exception. Chock-full of antioxidants such as green tea & pomegranate, the reef-safe sunscreen provides SPF 30 protection while evening out the complexion with the help of organic aloe vera and hydrating plant oils such as jojoba & sunflower.
This tinted moisturizer from clean beauty revolutionaries, BeautyCounter, may be the ultimate ‘no-makeup’ product; providing skin with the ultimate ‘lit-from-within’ look with its sheer, subtle coverage. While titanium and zinc oxide work hard to keep those rays from damaging skin, rosehip and almond oils deliver intense moisture to skin.
8. drunk elephant
Isn’t it just a joy when you come across a product that actually does what it was advertised to do? Well, Drunk Elephant’s transparent sunscreen claims are 100% true to their word. The cult-favorite sunblock blends seamlessly into skin with a lightweight, breathable finish—never that dreaded filmy feeling. Plus, with the addition of raspberry seed and marula oils, you’ll reap the added benefit of a nourished glow.
9. true botanicals
One pump of this sunscreen is enough to cover the face with mattifying tinted coverage that’s perfect for daily use. With a serum-like consistency, it nourishes skin with the help of powerful antioxidants such as green tea, while protecting from damage with hardworking non-nano zinc oxide.
If you’d rather your SPF sunscreen feel like a luxurious addition to your already-perfected daily skincare routine, this multifunctional sunscreen is one to keep on your radar. With a translucent veil of SPF 30 and moisturizing botanicals to prime skin, your skin will appear luminous and radiant, making it the perfect layer to wear under makeup.
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