5 Best Natural and Mineral Sunscreens

Catch some rays without damaging your skin or clogging it up with chemicals—here are the latest innovations in natural sun protection.
Author:
Publish date:
“I encourage sensible sun exposure,” says Michael Holick, PhD, MD, professor at Boston University School of Medicine, author of The Vitamin D Solution, and a leading international expert on vitamin D.

Melanin, which is mostly overlooked in sunscreen science, may be the key to creating protective, nourishing sunscreens. How so? UV rays that damage the skin also activate melanin production, resulting in uneven skin tone, sunspots, and even skin cancer. However, melanin is also your body’s built-in UV protection.

“Modern science is uncovering the molecular benefits of botanicals that effectively treat the melanin pathway and provide robust defense against sun damage,” says Tanuj Nakra, MD, FACS, of TOC Eye and Face in Austin, Texas. He is also cofounder of AVYA Skincare, a product line that addresses the health of the skin’s melanin cycle.

For better skin health, choose sunscreens with nourishing botanicals plus zinc oxide or titanium dioxide for UV protection. These minerals don’t irritate skin like chemical sunscreens—oxybenzone and octinoxate—can. Mineral sunscreens sit on the skin to reflect UV rays, while chemical sunscreens must be absorbed to work.

“Chemical sunscreens rapidly deactivate with sunlight exposure,” says Nakra. “In contrast, physical sunscreens do not deactivate. The two major ways to protect skin from the sun are to apply a full-spectrum, non-chemical sunscreen, and to incorporate molecular antioxidants to reverse ongoing damage.”

Try It!

MyChelle is giving away 25 Sun Protection Sun Shield Sticks to Better Nutrition readers! To enter, email your name and address to community@mychelle.com. Please put “BN Sun” in the subject line.

1. Have more fun in the sun.

With Australian Gold Botanical Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Mineral Lotion Sunscreen. It provides non-chemical UVA/UVB protection with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide for a powder-like, non-greasy finish. Antioxidant-rich eucalyptus leaf, red algae, and kakadu plum extracts defend skin’s cellular health. It’s water-resistant for 80 minutes.

Australian Gold Botanical Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Mineral Lotion Sunscreen

Australian Gold Botanical Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Mineral Lotion Sunscreen

2. Soften skin and protect from UV rays.

With DeVita Natural Skin Care Solar Body Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen. This all-in-one sunscreen and body moisturizer is packed with micronized zinc oxide and skin-smoothing aloe, green tea leaf extract, shea butter, olive oil, and hyaluronic acid. Fragrance-free and fast-absorbing for sensitive skin.

DeVita Natural Skin Care Solar Body Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen

DeVita Natural Skin Care Solar Body Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen

3. Soothe and protect sensitive skin.

With Paula’s Choice Skincare CALM Redness Relief SPF 30 Mineral Moisturizer for Normal to Oily Skin. Titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, and healing antioxidants in this lightweight sunscreen diminish redness while moisturizing and preventing sun damage. The non-greasy lotion is gentle enough for skin with rosacea.

Paula’s Choice Skincare CALM Redness Relief SPF 30 Mineral Moisturizer for Normal to Oily Skin

Paula’s Choice Skincare CALM Redness Relief SPF 30 Mineral Moisturizer for Normal to Oily Skin

4. Reapply on the go.

With MyChelle Dermaceuticals Sun Protection Sun Shield Stick Broad Spectrum SPF 50. This tinted zinc oxide sunscreen provides powerful UV protection for your face, while antiaging avocado, jojoba, and vitamin E oils moisturize skin. It glides on smoothly with just enough color to enhance any skin tone—and it won’t sweat off

MyChelle Dermaceuticals Sun Protection Sun Shield Stick Broad Spectrum SPF 50.

MyChelle Dermaceuticals Sun Protection Sun Shield Stick Broad Spectrum SPF 50.

5. Keep delicate skin safe from the sun.

With Alba Botanica Baby Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50+. This hypoallergenic, pediatrician-tested zinc oxide sunscreen is not just for babies. Aloe, coconut oil, shea butter, orange peel oil, and chamomile extract gently soothe sensitive skin and provide water-resistant UV defense for 80 minutes.

Alba Botanica Baby Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50+

Alba Botanica Baby Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50+

Related

Suffering from dry eye? Conventional beauty products may be the culprit. Try these natural alternatives—they’re gentle on your eyes and can help minimize wrinkles and puffiness at the same time.

5 Natural Eye Creams

Suffering from dry eye? Conventional beauty products may be the culprit. Try these natural alternatives—they’re gentle on your eyes and can help minimize wrinkles and puffiness at the same time.

dry-lip-products

Kiss Dry Lips Goodbye

Your lips are thin-skinned and lack oil glands to protect them from cracking and chapping—all the more reason to use nourishing lip balms.

BB cream, short for “beauty balm” or “blemish balm,” and CC cream, short for “color correcting” cream, are a genius marriage of makeup and skincare—and their benefits are many.

Best BB and CC Creams

BB cream, short for “beauty balm” or “blemish balm,” and CC cream, short for “color correcting” cream, are a genius marriage of makeup and skincare—and their benefits are many.