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Five Best Mineral Sunscreens for Face

Reviewed by Marta May 25, 2012 27 Comments

All of my favorite sunscreen picks are based on the mineral actives, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Although titanium dioxide is a photosensitizer, it is used in micronized form is supposed not to penetrate the skin and damage cells. These Five Best sunscreens won’t leave a chalky cast and play well with serums and makeup. However, they are not necessarily your best bet for pool, outdoor sports and beach. Honorable mentions should also go to MD Solar Sciences for creating a mineral sunscreen that is the most cosmetically viable I have come across, Badger and Hydropeptide’s award winning SPF 30 Anti-wrinkle.

Suntegrity All Natural Moisturizing Face Protection SPF30 ($45 in the shop). The active is zinc oxide at 20%. The thing I like best about Suntegrity (there is a body version as well for $29  in the TIA shop), is that it has powerful antioxidants such as astaxanthin. This is a potent radical scavenger, but what makes it useful in analyses have shown that astaxanthin is also an efficient absorber of specific ultraviolet sunlight rays that may contribute to skin aging and cancer. It gets an antioxidant boost from red algae and pomegranate. No nasties and it is paraben free. Read the full Suntegrity review.

DeVita Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30+ ($19.85). The active is zinc oxide. Highly popular within the Truth In Aging community, DeVita’s sunscreen is a simple lightweight formula. As Kim said in her review: “It dries quickly and is not greasy at all. It feels super nice on, and makes for a great daytime moisturizer.” Another reviewer, Anna, uses the DeVita body version for the face as well.

Nutra-Lift Maximum Protection UVA & UVB SPF 30 ($21). The actives are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. As Summer put it in her review, the ingredients read more like an organic smoothie than a sunscreen. There is aloe vera and oat protein to soothe the skin, plus extract of soybean, sunflower seed, almond, white cranberry, pomegranate, carrot, cucumber and green tea all combating free radicals and boosting protection of the skin. Good for even sensitive skins and offers good protection.

ColoreScience Sunforgettable SPF30 or SPF50 ($50). Actives are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Although this is a powder that is brushed on, it is one of the most protecting sunscreens I have ever used. Colorescience claims that it is very waterproof as well. And it never makes me break out. I think many people find the idea of a powder a little odd, but I like that I’m not slathering on yet another layer. The Perfectly Clear version is almost undetectable on fair skin and it works well as a finishing powder, helping to even out skin tone a little. As our reviewer Marsha put it: “a very comfortable, effective and easy to use sunscreen”. Read my full review of ColoreScience.

Lumixyl MoistureLock Sunscreen SPF30 ($58). Active is micronized titanium dioxide and SymHelios. This is rather a clever sunscreen in that SymHelios prevents UVB rays from causing an amino acid, tryptophan, to form a toxic substance. This toxin binds to a protein in our bodies called the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) where it wreaks havoc by destroying collagen and elastin, creating oxidative stress and potentially leading to skin cancers. Enter SymHelios. This binds to the AhR, preventing UVB radiation. Although this is not a chemical free formula, I find it pleasant to use with no adverse reactions. Read the full review on Lumixyl’s sunscreen.

Ingredients in Suntegrity

Active ingredient: Zinc oxide 20% Ingredients: Water (Purified), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Capric Caprylic Triglycerides, Sorbitan Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Hexyl Laurate, Jojoba Oil, Cetyl Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt), Sunflower Oil, Cucumber Extract, Hyaluronic Acid, Tea-Oil Camellia, Pomegranate Oil, Red Algae Extract, Astaxanthin, Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange) Essential Oil, Citrus Reticulata Blanco (Tangerine) Essential Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Essential Oil, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide*, Ethylhexylglycerin* *Paraben-free anti-microbial agent.

Ingredients in DeVita

Active ingredient: micronized zinc oxide: 14% (transparent) Inactive ingredients: Purified Water, Certified Organic Aloe Vera Gel, Capric/Caprylic Triglycerides (derived from Coconut Oil), Stearic Acid, Vegetable Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate (from vegetable oil), Lecithin, Vitamin E (Acetate), Allantoin, Comfrey Root Extract, Grape Seed Extract.

Ingredients in Nutra-Lift

Active ingredients: Zinc Oxide (10.00%), Titanium Dioxide (2.00%). Other Ingredients: Infusion of Aloe Vera gel* (aloe barbadensis), Avena Sativa*( oat protein), Soybean* ( glycine soja) extract, Sun Flower Seed (helianthus annuus) extract, Ascorbly Palmitate ( vitamin C), Lecithin, Coconut extract, Glycerine, Carrot* extract, Green Tea* extract, Avena Sativa* (oat) Betaglucan, natural Xanthan Gum, Almond* extract, natural mixed tocopherols (Vitamin-E), white cranberry* extract, Cucumis Sativus* (cucumber) extract, Punica Granatum*(pomegranate) extract, Eucalyptus extract, citric acid, sodium benzoate. *Certified Organic Ingredients

Ingredients in Colorescience

Active ingredients: Titanium dioxide 22.5%, zinc oxide (24.5%). Other ingredients: Mica, dimethicone/vinyldadimethicone crosspolymer, corallina officianalis, calcium silicate. May contain: iron oxides, titanium dioixide, dimethicone, chromium oxide greens

Ingredients in Lumixyl

Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 8.40% Inactive Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Water (Aqua/Eau), PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Pentylene Glycol, Aluminum Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Chloride, Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Caprylyl Glycol, Stearic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Benzylidene Dimethoxydimethylindanone

  • October 19, 2012

    by Tara Ashwood

    The NIA 24 Mineral Sunscreen has been a favorite for many years with an unbelievable amount of repeat buyers. Image Skin Care has a great line of moisturizers with SPF 30 for all skin types that we can barely keep in stock.

  • July 27, 2012

    by Cairie

    How about larger bottles of body sun block? Most of the mineral sunscreens that I've found are all under 4 fl. oz. That won't cut it for me and my partner during our upcoming 2 week camping trip! Any suggestions?

  • October 10, 2011

    by Marta

    Hi Kat, thanks for sharing your experience with DeVita. Its not my favorite either. As far as protection goes, I've tried all the other ones in this roundup and found them to be very effective.

  • October 10, 2011

    by Kat

    I'm months late to this thread but I felt the need to ask something. Because every time I see another website recommend the DeVita Solar Protective Moisturizer it makes me want to scream. Have any of you who keep recommending this stuff actually worn it out under the sun? I saw it recommended in TONS of beauty sites and I bought it. And sure, it felt wonderful, but it didn't give me any sun protection at all. I was constantly burning and reddening when I wore it. I do end up in the sun a lot with my lifestyle. I never burned with my old chemical sunscreen moisturizer but I've been trying to make the switch to a natural one. I tried tons of ways to wear it making sure to not disturb the layer of sunblock since mineral sunscreens work by sitting on top of your skin instead of sinking in like chemical ones. It didn't matter what I did though: thicker application, not touching my face etc... I still burned with it.
    What a waste of money! So now I'm still looking for a good mineral sunscreen and I keep coming across this one as a "top pick". It makes me so mad!

  • July 6, 2011

    by Marta

    Hi Kristen, I am so glad that you like ColoreScience. It is one of those underrated products. Unfortunately, we didn't sell enough to justify carrying it. But if I suspect there's growing interest then I'll get it back.

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