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Natural Beauty

Supercharged Mineral Sunscreens

As you're getting back into the great outdoors this summer, catch some rays safely and nourish your skin with all-natural mineral sunscreens.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Why choose mineral sunscreens over conventional products? Because when it comes to protecting your skin, all sunscreens aren’t created equal. Conventional chemical sunscreens must be absorbed by your skin to work. This is a concern because they contain toxic ingredients such oxybenzone and octinoxate—known hormone disruptors—and retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A that may harm skin and possibly lead to skin cancer.

Oxybenzone is also a skin allergen for a significant number of people, as is methylisothiazolinone, a common synthetic sunscreen preservative. As of January 1, 2021, Hawaii banned the sale and use of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate because they can bleach and kill coral reefs.

Plus, you might not even be getting all the UV protection you were promised by a chemical sunscreen. A 2019 report from the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that 67 percent of the sunscreens reviewed failed to offer enough protection against ultraviolet rays or contained harmful chemicals that are absorbed by the body.

Mineral sunscreens, on the other hand, aren’t absorbed into the body. Instead, they physically block the sun’s rays from the surface of the skin. The natural ingredients zinc oxide and titanium dioxide supercharge mineral sunscreens with broad-spectrum UV protection. Both filter or reflect the full spectrum of ultraviolet radiation including sunburn-causing ultraviolet B rays and the elusive ultraviolet A rays, which contribute to skin cancer, wrinkles, dryness, sagging skin, hyperpigmentation, and premature skin aging.

Mineral sunscreens are rated safer on EWG’s sunscreen database than chemical sunscreens because they tend to block ultraviolet A rays better. And mineral sunscreens usually last longer than chemical formulas, too.

A few years ago, the Food and Drug Administration’s labeling rules allowed sunscreens to be labeled “broad spectrum” followed by a sun protection factor (SPF) number if they meet the FDA’s criteria for adequate sun protection. SPF measures how many minutes a sunscreen can protect you from ultraviolet B rays.

Potent Mineral Sunscreens

Illuminate and hydrate your skin while protecting it from the sun with Derma E Vitamin C Weightless Moisturizer SPF 45. This new, multitasking moisturizer brightens skin tone with stabilized vitamin C, reduces wrinkles with antioxidant rooibos leaf extract, reduces inflammation and smooths wrinkles with vitamin B3, and fights free radicals and soothes skin with vitamin E. Non-nano zinc oxide protects skin from UVA and UVB damage. It’s lightweight and oil-free so it won’t clog pores.

Reduce the risk of sunburn and sun aging with Mad Hippie Hydrating Facial SPF 25+. Non-nano zinc oxide provides UVA/UVB protection, and the new formula is 80-minute water resistant. Carrot seed, avocado, and raspberry seed oils help soften and moisturize your skin, while vitamin C and ferulic acid protect against aging UV rays.

Stay sun safe with MyChelle Dermaceuticals Replenishing Solar Defense SPF 30. Non-opaque zinc oxide provides UVA/UVB protection to prevent premature aging and hyperpigmentation. Red algae extract, which contains natural UVA filters, and a blend of healing kukui and macadamia oils restore moisture balance and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Protect sensitive skin with Goddess Garden Sport SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen. Reef-safe, non-nano zinc oxide in this dry-touch lotion offers broad-spectrum UV protection for 50 minutes and water resistance for up to 80 minutes. Organic coconut oil, aloe, and shea butter in the unscented formula keep skin moisturized.

Have more fun in the sun with Alba Botanica Maximum Fragrance Free Clear Spray Sunscreen SPF 70. The quick-dry, air-powered mist can be sprayed on your body at any angle for water-resistant protection up to 80 minutes. Aloe vera, green tea, and ginseng extract help protect against sunburn, skin cancer, and premature signs of aging, while avocado and coconut oils moisturize.