One of the most crucial things to keep in mind when choosing a sunscreen is the difference between mineral and chemical formulas. Despite chemical sunscreens’ appealing absorbable texture, new research shows that certain active ingredients, such as oxybenzone, can not only do a disservice to your skin (and be absorbed into your bloodstream), but they can have a damaging impact on the environment, bleaching coral and killing reefs altogether. Mineral sunscreen—which is non-toxic and tends to rely on zinc or titanium oxide—will, on the contrary, not only be kinder to your skin in protecting you against the sun’s harmful rays, but it is also reef-safe and won’t have a detrimental effect on Mother Nature.
Pro tip: Look for formulas that use non-nano zinc particles. While the smaller size of nanoparticles reduces the unwelcomed white caste usually associated with mineral sunscreen without compromising its effectiveness, some suggest that nanoparticles can irritate the lungs, be absorbed into your bloodstream, and collect on corals. Although more research needs to be done to determine the true harm of nanoparticles, we don’t think it’s worth the risk.
To make your summer a little easier, we’ve rounded up the best non-nano zinc mineral sunscreens that blend in easily—whether you’re spending time at the beach, the park, or simply reading a book in your garden. Better yet, they’re all female-founded.
The No-Fuss Formulas
Include these in your everyday routine.
TATCHA Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen
This best-selling SPF 35 face sunscreen is lightweight and will blend effortlessly and invisibly for matte, poreless-looking skin.
Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30
An ultra-sheer SPF 30 sunscreen with moisturizing cocoa butter and carrot seed oil that won’t leave skin with a sticky residue or white cast.
Solara Sunscreen Pout Protector Moisturizing Lip Serum SPF 15
Don’t forget your lips! This ultra-light, non-sticky zinc oxide lip serum will plump, hydrate and protect delicate lips with a subtle, sheer shine.
Ursa Major Force Field Daily Defense Lotion with SPF 18
A silky-smooth, nourishing, unscented moisturizer with broad-spectrum mineral sun protection to use every day, all year round.
Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense
The award-winning SPF 30 sunscreen that delivers powerful broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection. Better yet, its sheer formula and mineral composition makes it ideal for darker complexions.
Supergoop! Bright-Eyed 100% Mineral Eye Cream
A daily eye cream with SPF 40 to protect the thin, sensitive skin around your eyes from UV damage, aging, and hyperpigmentation.
Suntegrity Mineral Sunscreen Unscented SPF 30
A powerful yet safe, unscented 20 percent non-nano zinc oxide sun protection that’s ideal for full-body use for adults, kids, and babies.
Love Sun Body Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Fragrance-Free
A fast-absorbing, sheer, water-resistant SPF 30 formula for the ultimate full-body daily defense.
Kari Gran Three Sixty Five SPF 28
A broad-spectrum facial formula that protects against UVA and UVB rays while deeply nourishing the skin with ingredients like plum, avocado, and jojoba oils.
The Protective Tints
Moisturizers and serums for the finishing touch.
Marie Veronique Everyday Coverage Tinted Sunscreen
A lightweight, zinc-oxide only SPF 30 sunscreen that will leave your skin with a naturally tinted coverage. For ideal wear, use over your face oil and under (or in lieu of) your makeup.
Beautycounter Dew Skin Moisturizing Coverage
A sheer, moisturizing cream with SPF 20 that comes in four different hues and will give you the ultimate no-makeup-look.
ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40
A lightweight and light-coverage tinted mineral SPF 40 serum that protects the skin from UVA, UVB, UVC, and bluelight damage.
Suntegrity 5-in-1 Tinted Moisturizing Face Sunscreen
A multi-use tinted facial sunscreen that not only contains protective zinc-oxide, but also hydrating aloe vera, jojoba, sunflower, pomegranate, cucumber, and green tea.
ILIA Moondance Radiant Translucent Powder SPF
The ideal barely-there finishing powder for days when you want a lighter coverage without having to apply a cream.
Juice Beauty Stem Cellular CC Cream SPF 30
A moisturizing CC cream with SPF 30 that provides an even layer of tinted coverage and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines by evening skin tone and texture.
The Waterproof Solutions
Stronger protection for your more active days.
EiR NYC Surf Mud Pro
The ultimate sun protectant for longer sessions in the water. Made of zinc and beeswax, the stick has a chalky consistency that will stay on whether you’re in the slopes or in the ocean.
Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion
A hydrating, water-resistant zinc oxide formula that’s gentle on the skin whilst giving it proper SPF 30 protection from UVA, UVB, and bluelight.
Suntegrity Sport Mineral Sun Stick SPF 30
A water-resistant sun stick that’s convenient to apply and is formulated with protective non-nano zinc oxide and hydrating organic coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa seed butter.
Sonrei Sea Clearly Gel Sunscreen
A translucent gel-form, water-resistant sunscreen with SPF 50 that contains three powerful antioxidants: Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Ferulic Acid.
Juice Beauty SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen
A SPF 30 sunscreen that’s water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, making it ideal for athletic activities in the sun.
Babo Botanicals Sheer Zinc Continuous Spray Sunscreen
A sheer zinc SPF 30 sunscreen spray that’s fragrance-free and perfect for extra sensitive skin, while providing 80 minutes of water and sweat resistance.