If you’re here looking for a natural sunscreen, you probably already know what a "natural" sunscreen is. But as a quick refresher, sunscreens are divided into two categories: chemical (which use various active chemicals to absorb and disperse UV rays across your skin) and natural (which use active minerals, like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, to reflect rays off your skin). Both are effective, but if your skin is sensitive or you're not into chemicals, natural and organic formulas, often described as mineral sunscreens, are the way to go.
How does a natural sunscreen work?
Dr. Gretchen Frieling weighted in with this nugget of wisdom: "A physical or mineral sunscreen contains ingredients such as titanium dioxide and/or iron oxide and works by sitting on the skin surface and physically blocking UV light, either by reflecting or absorbing the light. For this reason, mineral sunscreens tend to cause less skin irritation and adverse reactions. They have less reports of allergic reactions and tend to be more tolerable." And because we know you don't want to be a skin-cancer statistic (sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but one person dies of melanoma every hour), we're rounded up the very best mineral sunscreen formulas you'll want to slather on a dozen times a day.
For anyone who's worried that a natural sunscreen will dry out their skin, this product from CeraVe will make sure that doesn't happen. With hydrating ceramides and niacinamide, this SPF will protect your skin, from the sun and from dehydration.
A soothing mineral block ramped up with a nourishing botanical blend to keep your skin barrier strong from the neck down.
This shea butter-infused, cream-to-powder sunscreen is ideal for (virtual or IRL) festival season.
We love this formula for its undetectable finish. It's lightweight for acne-prone skin, and boasts winter cherry and blueberry extract for added environmental protection.
An oil-free formula that dries quickly with a slightly matte finish—a perfect substitute from primer, or even foundation, all summer long. To add a flattering tint, we like to add a few drops of our favorite foundation before applying.
This lightweight sunscreen is formulated with brightening vitamin C and soothing green tea extracts, making it gentle enough for even the most sensitive of skin types.
You trust Cetaphil to calm down your skin when it's at peak stress point, so why not trust it with sun protection as well? This water-resistant formula is specifically designed for sensitive skin.
This SPF-packed mineral fluid goes on smoothly and never, ever leaves a white cast. Bonus: It won't clog your pores.
Another baby formula we love for bodies, this creamy sweat-resistant block boasts calming oat extract to soothe redness and irritation.
A little dab of this moisturizing sunblock goes a long way, thanks to jojoba and sunflower seed oils, aloe, and grape extract. Your skin will feel lightly hydrated but never greasy or sticky. Use it on your face and neck and apply the excess on the back of your hands.
This soothing formula does it all. Hyaluronic acid and squalane leave your complexion hydrated and plump; the sheer tint (available in 18 shades) evens out discoloration; and the SPF 40 ensures you're protected along the way.
A personal favorite of Dr. Frieling, this mineral sunscreen has a natural tint so you don't have to worry about pesky white cast. It has SPF 45, and as an added bonus, also contains anti-aging benefits.
This non-irritating, invisible cream formula from upstate New York absorbs quickly and works well under makeup. And if you have oily or combination skin, you might even skip your moisturizer step.
You're heard it time and time again: reapplication is key to sun safety. But really, are you actually doing it? This pre-loaded powder brush makes on-the-go protection easy and has subtle mattifying effects for sweaty summer days.
Formulated with babies and kids in mind, this scent-free clear zinc stick offers supple protection for sensitive areas like eyes, lips and noses.
This Australian formula is formulated to keep you—and ocean life—safe, without any oxybenzone or octinoxate. Take a cue from the bottle: It turns blue in strong UV light and serves as a useful reminder to reapply.
This water-resistant sport block has the goodness of nourishing coconut oil, jojoba and vitamin E, making it the perfect companion for hikes or the beach.