Reviewed by Tara

Being a conscientious parent, I try to use sunscreen on my two little guys that is rated as both a powerful block against the sun, and not full of crazy ingredients that I’ve never heard of. As a result, my two tykes are smeared with zinc sunscreen every day, all summer. My conscience is clear, but my kids are a sickly shade of gray as they play in the sun – the zinc leaves a distinctive chalky hue that even the lifeguards at the local pool comment on.

So I felt a bit skeptical of the Zenmed SPF 40 Mineral Sunscreen. Much of its power comes from a formulation that includes “micronized zinc oxide.” Still, I dive in. On the outside, I liked the packaging – a simple white tube makes it look more like a cosmetic product than the average tube of sunscreen. I love that it’s all-natural, has a decent amount of SPF, is supposed to have a matte finish (hide those wrinkles!), helps with rosacea (which I have a mild case of), and minimize redness (I once went to a party where a guest asked my then-boyfriend “Who’s the chick with the sunburn?” (It was me, and I hadn’t had a sunburn in years.)

The consistency of this sunscreen was a lot less thick than the stuff I put on my kids, and it spread very easily over my skin. The scent is very faint and almost a bit citrusy, which is nice. As for the chalkiness, I was able to see it, but not to the point where a friend would do a double-take if they saw me. That slight pale tone it added to my skin also seemed to subside over the half-hour after application – I figure either I got used to it in the mirror, or it somehow disappeared. The sunscreen wasn’t as matte as I’d hoped, and I still wore a “mattifier” product over it, especially around my eyes where I think my wrinkles are most noticeable. It toned down the redness a bit, but I’d never buy the product simply for that – the effect was negligible.

The weirdest thing was I seemed to break out on my nose over the month I used this sunscreen. A very minor break out – easily covered with a bit of makeup – but I almost never get pimples anymore, and these lurkers came and went all month. It’s especially strange when it says it’s ideal for acne-prone skin. Go figure.

The price is a bit steep compared to my usual brand. It’s $34.95 CDN for a 70 ml tube, with discounts if you buy more than one. If I felt a bit more flush with cash, I’d probably consider switching, since I like how natural it is and that it’s a Canadian company. But for now, I’m sticking to my regular brand once this runs out.

To check it out for yourself, go to zenmed.com.

Ingredients: Actives: Titanium Dioxide 7.5%, Zinc Oxide 5%; Purified Water, Certified Organic Aloe Vera Juice, Capric Caprylic Trigylcerides, Ethyl Hexyl Palmitate, Glyceryl Stearate, Vegetable Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Argan Oil, Jojoba Oil, Vitamins A, B5, D3, E, Allantoin, Coenzyme Q10, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Hyaluronic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Benzyl Alcohol