Ingredients To Look For
Learning the difference between physical and chemical sunscreens, and the ingredients in both types can help you keep a baseline of what sunscreens could be best for you. The two types arent really what they seem at first. This guide will help you remember how to choose between the two.
The Food and Drug Administration has classified ingredients in sunscreens in categories:
- Category I: GRASE, which stands for generally recognized as safe and effective. Only titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are Category I.
- Category II: non-GRASE. Two ingredients are classified as Category II: para-aminobenzoic acid and trolamine salicylate, which have been banned by the FDA.
- Category III: requires further evaluation. Category III ingredients include dioxybenzone, sulisobenzone, oxybenzone, avobenzone, cinoxate, octinoxate, octisalate, homosalate, padimate O, ensulizole, meradimate, and octocrylene. All these ingredientes are being re-evaluated by the FDA due to systemic absorption, as well as not being reef-safe.
Isdin Eryfotona Actinica Daily Mineral Spf 50+ Sunscreen
Isdins Eryfotona Actinica SPF is easily one of the most lightweight, water-like consistencies of any mineral SPF Ive ever tried. Its also incredibly blendable, though it does have a bit of a scent. Not only will it protect you from the sun, but it also works to repair existing sun damage thanks to a special blend of DNA repairsomes.
Best Overall: Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint Spf 40 Foundation
What We Love: It offers a nice amount of coverage.
What We Don’t Love: The formula can cling to dry patches.
The multi-award-winning pick from Ilia is a fan favorite for a reasonit offers great coverage, has an impressive ingredient list, and comes in a whopping 30 shades . The Skin Tint incorporates ingredients you’d find in your favorite serum, like hydrating hyaluronic acid, moisturizing, plant-based squalane, and soothing niacinamide for a makeup product with benefits.
This pick uses non-nano zinc oxide to protect against the sun and blue light, and is free of silicones, fragrance, and oils. The Skin Tint won best overall because it offers the best coverage of the bunchit’s a medium coverage formula that can be built up to full coverage.
Although this pick does a great job of covering up imperfections, it might not be ideal for those with super dry skin, as the formula tends to cling onto dry patches. If you do skew more towards a dry dermis, consider applying a thick moisturizer or hydrating primer pre-application for a finish that won’t look drying.
Active Ingredient: 12% Zinc Oxide | SPF: 40 | Size: 1 fl oz
You May Like: Is Superficial Basal Cell Carcinoma Serious
Are Mineral Sunscreens Safe For Children
When choosing a sunscreen for children, it is always best to look for products labelled suitable or safe for children these sunscreens come in both mineral and chemical formulas. As always, it is best to consult with your doctor or dermatologist to determine which sunscreen is best for your child.
Best Face: Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense Spf 30
Courtesy of Amazon
Moisturizes skin with botanical extracts
Despite an impressive 20% concentration of zinc oxide, this never leaves your complexion white or chalky and has a sheer texture that melts beautifully into the skin. Its a great option for the face, as its also rich in antioxidants like raspberry seed oil, astaxanthin-rich algae extract, and sunflower seed extracts to help protect against free radical damage, says Garshick. Think of sunscreen and antioxidants as peanut butter and jellyeach is good on its own, but even better when combined.
Type: Physical | Active Ingredients: Zinc oxide, titanium dioxide | SPF: 30 | Size: 3 oz | Free of: Fragrance, essential oils, silicones, octinoxate, oxybenzone | Water-Resistant: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Yes
Recommended Reading: What Is Cystic Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Best Hydrating: Naturally Serious Mineral Sun Defense Moisturizer Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Spf 30
Naturally Serious Mineral Sun Defense Moisturizer Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30
- What it is:Naturally Serious Mineral Sun Defense Moisturizer Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30 is a hydrating moisturizer and broad-spectrum sunscreen that shields skin from aging UV rays.
- Active ingredients: 19.03% zinc oxide, 4.28% titanium dioxide.
- Other ingredients: Ethyl macadamiate, capric triglycerides, saccharomyces ferment, coco-caprylate, octyldodecyl erucate, candelilla wax.
- Editors notes: Think of this product as both a highly protective sunscreen and a nourishing moisturizer. It has a thicker texture, but isnt greasy or sticky, and it wards off UV rays with a combination of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Its also free of what the brand calls B.A.D. ingredients , including silicones. Thanks to its sheer beige tint, it blends in to match most skin tones without any white cast.
What Sunscreen Ingredients To Avoid When Treating Melasma
Avoid sunscreens that contain:
All these ingredients carry a risk of allergy and skin irritation.
Melasma is a common skin condition that turns your skin into blue or brown patches. And such conditions might get worse due to exposure to UV rays. So your skin needs specially formulated sunscreens that will not aggravate your skin condition. Besides protecting your skin from sun rays, the best sunscreens for melasma improve your skin tone, reduce pigmentation and discoloration and hydrate your skin. Consider sunscreens formulated with no nasty chemicals as they are safe for your skin and suitable for your skin type. And stay away from the sunscreens that sting the eyes.
Also Check: How To Know If You Have Skin Cancer On Face
Product Features And Benefits
100% Mineral Filter Sunscreen
100% mineral sunscreen forms a physical barrier to help reflect UVA/UVB rays from the skinâs surface. UVA rays cause aging. UVB rays cause burning.
Because the ingredients in a mineral sunscreen stay on the surface of the skin to help protect it, a white cast can sometimes remain after applying the product.
How to Apply
Best Hydrating: Odacit Sun Guardian Oceanic Glacial Water Day Crme Spf 30
Odacité Sun Guardian Oceanic Glacial Water Day Crème SPF 30
- What it is:Odacité Sun Guardian Oceanic Glacial Water Day Crème SPF 30 is a natural sunscreen that doubles as a hydrating, antioxidant-rich day cream.
- Active ingredients: 22% zinc oxide, 2.3% titanium dioxide.
- Other ingredients: Sea silt extract, aloe, propanediol, capric triglycerides, undecane, glycerin, fatty alcohol, sunflower seed oil, vitamin E.
- Editors notes: If youd rather not have to apply a separate moisturizer underneath your sunscreen, consider this SPF day cream, which hydrates and protects in one step. It shields skin with both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, and is packed with skin conditioners, soothers and antioxidants . Its suitable for all skin types, and has a matte finish with a soft blurring effect that helps to even out your skin tone.
Also Check: What Are The Early Stages Of Melanoma
How Are Mineral Sunscreens Better Than The Chemical Ones
For how mineral sunscreens do not get absorbed into the skin, they make for a better choice for people with oily, acne-prone and sensitive skin. For instance, the CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen is a great pick for people with sensitive skin. Similarly, The Derma Co Matte Sunscreen Gel works well for acne-prone and oily skin. The key ingredients of such mineral sunscreens are mostly of natural origin which are safer for use.
On the other hand, chemical sunscreens might further irritate sensitive and acne-prone skin owing to their ingredients. However, they make a better choice for people with dry skin. Ultimately, it all narrows down to which type of sunscreen youre comfortable wearing and would actually use.
Mineral Vs Chemical Sunscreen
Surprisingly, all sunscreen is not created equal. The active ingredients found in sunscreen fall into one of two categories chemical or mineral and sometimes a combination of the two. According to Dr. Gmyrek, Mineral based sunscreens include the active ingredients titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide. They are not absorbed by the skin and work by reflecting the ultraviolet light away from the skin. She goes on, Chemical sunscreens utilize active ingredients such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate, which are absorbed by the skin and work by absorbing the ultraviolet rays.
Dr. Green explains that with chemical sunscreens, chemicals convert the UV rays into heat, which the body then releases. She adds that mineral sunscreens act more as a physical blocker. Interesting, right? Despite both protecting your precious skin from harmful rays, recent studies published by the FDA have a lot of people retiring their chemical SPFs. Upon investigating the topic further, the FDA found that the ingredients in chemical sunscreens get absorbed into the body after just one single use . Experts simply dont know the biological effects these chemicals could have on our bodies, which is enough to have people searching for another option, and luckily we have one.
Babo Botanicals Sheer Zinc Spray On Sunscreen
Most mineral sunscreens come in lotion form so finding a spray on version is a priority for some of us. If you dont like rubbing lotion in, this is a great alternative. The reef friendly formula does not include those dangerous chemicals that put the environment at risk and could potentially be harmful to humans as well.
Zinc oxide is the active ingredient in this sunscreen.. Its hypoallergenic and goes on non-greasy. Its also been top rated by the Environment Working Group, an independent organization of scientists that review sunscreens for their effectiveness and environmental impact.
Youll want to make sure you really shake the bottle up before using, and apply it at least 15 minutes before heading out. Though its waterproof, its always a good idea to reapply after swimming.
This formula only uses 12% zinc which is a bit of a double edged sword. On one hand thats very low so you may need to reapply more often. On the other hand, that also means its less likely to leave a noticeable white cast on your skin if you have a darker skin tone.
How To Put On Sunscreen Correctly
We know that wearing sunscreen is essential, especially when it comes to preventing skin cancer. You may still have questions about sunscreen, and it turns out that many people are using sunscreen incorrectly.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using at least 1 ounce, or enough to fill a shot glass, to cover a full body. This amount will vary slightly but is a good place to start.
Typically, an SPF of 30 or higher is considered safe and youll want to apply it to all bare skin. Dont forget the ears and the tops of the feet!
Wait at least 15 minutes from the initial application before going outside, and dont forget to reapply every 2 hours. Its important to wear sunscreen all year, even on cloudy days.
You May Like: Skin Peeling Around Private Area Male Treatment
Sunscreens That Wont Dry Out Your Skin
As amazing as sunscreen is in protecting against skin cancer and preventing visible signs of aging like fine lines, sagging, and uneven skin tone, it isnt always the most pleasant product to use. Among top complaints like the white cast it can leave behind or the distinct scent that it carries, sunscreen has been known to have a less than desirable texture.
Chemical sunscreens, which include active ingredients like avobenzone, oxybenzone, and octinoxate, get absorbed into your skin and can leave it feeling greasy . Then, there are the mineral sunscreens, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, that sit on top of the skin and can make it feel chalky.
Because giving up on sunscreen altogether isnt an option
We made a list of some of our favorite non-greasy, moisturizing SPF products that protect against UVA and UVB waves . From a mess-free mist for your face to a shimmering body lotion that adds an all-over glow, youll find that many of the skin-smoothing sunscreens ahead solve multiple SPF gripes.
Does Spf From The Sunscreen Eliminate Redness
SPF may not eliminate existing redness from rosacea. Continuous flares increase redness and broken vessels, so wearing sunscreen daily will help prevent or decrease this.
A safe and gentle sunscreen formula, like the ones on our list, can keep redness from worsening and may prevent flare-ups, since sun exposure is a trigger for rosacea.
Read Also: New Look Skin Center Groupon
Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint Spf 40
Well never tire of sharing our love for Ilias Super Serum Skin Tint: Fashion editor Mai Morsch even wrote an ode to the multitasking formula because it essentially replaced her entire skin-care routine. On the mineral sunscreen front, though, the tinted serum utilizes zinc oxide to protect skin while providing lightweight, hydrating coverage.
Best Mattifying: Ren Clean Skincare Clean Screen Mineral Spf 30 Mattifying Face Sunscreen
REN Clean Skincare Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30 Mattifying Face Sunscreen
- What it is:REN Clean Skincare Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30 Mattifying Face Sunscreen is a mattifying sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection.
- Active ingredient: 22% zinc oxide.
- Other ingredients: Capric triglycerides, aloe, glycerin, caprylyl caprylate, fatty alcohols, rice starch.
- Editors notes: If most sunscreens leave you looking too shiny, give this one a try. The formula has a thin, non-greasy texture with a matte finish, so its perfect for oilier skin. Besides a generous amount of zinc oxide to shield you from the sun, it contains rice starch to help absorb excess oil, control shine and minimize pores. Its also silicone-free, with less than 1% natural fragrance.
Also Check: What Causes Small Cell Carcinoma
Should I Wear Sunscreen Everyday
Yes, in order to best protect your skin from damaging UV rays, you should wear sunscreen everyday. This still holds true for days when you arent spending a lot of time outside, or days when it is cloudy. This is because UV rays are still able to penetrate through clouds and windows, so youre still exposed to the suns negative effects.
Blue Lizard Mineral Sunscreen For Sensitive Skin
Blue Lizard makes a great sunscreen and this one almost topped our list. In fact, we did highly recommend it as a reef safe brand as well. The formulation offers SPF 50 protection and uses both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide for protection against UVA and UVB rays.
One of the most unique features of Blue Lizard is the bottle itself. It changes color when exposed to UV rays to let you know when youre being exposed to them. If the bottle turns blue, you know you need to have sunscreen on.
As mentioned, this is reef friendly so you dont need to worry about damage to the environment with Blu Lizard. But do remember to reapply after youve been in the water, or after about 80 minutes of sun exposure. That will ensure youre getting maximum protection here.
One thing to be wary of is that this stuff goes on thick. You may be a little stunned at first, actually, it looks like youre putting white makeup on. That said, if you rub it in it will fade away some. However, if you have darker skin its pretty much impossible not to notice you have this sunscreen on. Fortunately, few people seem to react to it so its good for most sensitive skin.
Read Also: Peach And Lily Glass Skin Before And After
Best For Fair Skin: Saie Slip Tint
What We Love: The super clean ingredients.
What We Don’t Love: The coverage is very sheer.
A best-selling tinted moisturizer, the Saie Slip Tint will get you glowing instantly. This hydrating tinted sunscreen has a plethora of shade options for fair skin .
Not only does the Slip Tint offer a seriously glowy effect once applied, but it also features very moisturizing ingredients, too. With hydrating hyaluronic acid, brightening licorice root, and free-radical-fighting pansy flower, the Saie Slip Tint basically acts as a serum, tinted moisturizer, and sunscreen all in one.
This brand prides itself on its clean, gluten-free, and paraben-free ingredients and is a great option for those who are concerned about the products they apply to their bodies. While we love how dewy and hydrating this product is, it also has a very, very sheer tint, and won’t do much in terms of acne or hyperpigmentation coverage. If you prefer a tinted mineral sunscreen that offers a very sheer wash of color, the Saie Slip Tint is calling your name.
Active Ingredient: 15% Zinc Oxide | SPF: 35 | Size: 1.35 fl oz
Juice Beauty Spf 30 Sport Sunscreen
This organic, nontoxic, reef-safe sunscreen with mineral zinc oxide, coconut oil, jojoba oil, and aloe vera is fresh and hydrating for the face and body. The natural ingredients mean that it should be safer for skin types that are sensitive to chemicals and can be used from head to toe. Its the only mineral sunscreen on this list thats labeled as a sport sunscreen, meaning that itll stay put while you sweat for up to 80 minutes, after which you should probably reapply. Its also more affordable than many of the other best-reviewed mineral sunscreens, so its a great option to have on hand for the whole family.
Promising review: As a former lifeguard, Ive used dozens and dozens of sunscreens over the years, and this one quickly became a new fave. There is a bit of a white cast–so I’ll say its perhaps not ideal for darker skin tones, but what I love about it is that it goes on dryyyy. It feels light and is not sticky at all, even with reapplying. Love it. asm via Credo Beauty
What else to consider: Reviewers note that it is harder to blend than other non-mineral options, which is to be expected, and can leave a white cast if youre not willing to rub it in quite thoroughly. Those with medium skin tones noted that even fully rubbed in, it makes them look a shade paler, but since its tricky to find a mineral and sport formula in one thats protective and feels nice on skin, people seem willing to tolerate the color change.