We all know how important sunscreen is when it comes to protecting our skin. It shields our complexion from premature ageing and burning – both of which can up your chances of getting stubborn dark spots and skin cancer. However, finding one that is suitable for your skin type without causing irritation or breakouts can be an absolute minefield.
When you’re shopping for a new one, it’s worth knowing that sunscreens fall into two different camps: chemical sunscreens and physical or mineral sunscreens. The former absorbs UV rays and has been shown to can cause itching, tingling, and inflammatory red rashes for those with sensitive skin. This is where the latter steps in.
If your skin is particularly reactive to chemical sunscreens, you may want to make the switch to mineral sunscreens. Ahead, we’ll dive further into the benefits of mineral sunscreens and why they’re perfect for sensitive skin. To help you narrow down your options, we’ve also rounded up 16 of the best mineral formulas on the market.
What are mineral sunscreens?
Traditionally, mineral sunscreens titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which are able to physically block UV rays rather than filtering or absorbing rays like chemical sunscreens. However, they’re usually seen as less “user-friendly” since they can feel tacky and leave a white cast on the skin.
These days, the technology behind mineral sunscreens has vastly improved and there’s an increasing number of formulas to choose from. In fact, new formulations are made of much smaller particles, so they can rub into the skin effortlessly without leaving a greasy residue.
Mineral sunscreens also come in tinted versions to reduce the risk of turning you into Casper during the day. Moreover, mineral sunscreens may also be gentler on your skin, especially if you’re sensitive or prone to acne and other skin ailments.
Ready to try a mineral-based formula? Have a look at our top picks. We’ve also grouped them according to tinted and untinted mineral sunscreens, so you can browse with ease.
- 8 sunscreen myths debunked – plus, why you still need to wear sunscreen under your face mask
- 19 sunscreens for darker skin tones that won’t leave a ghostly white cast on your complexion
- 22 sunscreens that you can comfortably wear indoors without feeling yucky
Tinted mineral sunscreens
1. Dr. Sam's Flawless Gossamer Tint SPF 50
Created by UK-based cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Sam Bunting, the Flawless Gossamer Tint SPF 50 delivers a silky smooth, soft-focus veil that gives you that “your skin but better” complexion. It makes an excellent base for your makeup and leaves your skin looking and feeling hydrated all day long without drying it out.
There’s a blend of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that delivers powerful UVA and UVB protection. Enriched with Dr. Sam’s triple-hydration combination of shea butter, sodium hyaluronate, and squalane, the sunscreen moisturises but won’t ever clog your pores.
Dr. Sam Flawless Gossamer Tint SPF 50 is available at these retailers below. Click through for the most updated price.
2. Supergoop! Matte Screen 100% Mineral Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 40
When your pores look extra large, the last thing you want is for a thick, oily sunscreen to accentuate their appearance. That’s what makes this ultra-light, tinted SPF such a great pick.
In addition to being a 100% mineral sunscreen with SPF 40, the Supergoop! Matte Screen dries to a blurring matte finish that helps smooth the skin’s appearance and reduce the look of pores.
Wear it under your foundation as a skin-protecting primer or on its own for a shine-free “no makeup” makeup look.
Supergoop! Matte Screen 100% Mineral Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 40 is available at these retailers below. Click through for the most updated price.
3. SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50
One of the lightest mineral sunscreens around, SkinCeuticals’ Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 is a weightless fluid that provides a high level of protection against UV rays.
The zinc oxide sunscreen contains artemia salina, a plankton extract that increases skin’s resistance to UV- and heat-induced stress. On top of that, its translucent colour spheres adapt to every skin tone for an even tone, radiant finish, so you can skip the foundation.
SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 is available at these retailers below. Click through for the most updated price.
4. Elizabeth Arden PREVAGE® City Smart Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Hydrating Shield
Take care of your skin with Elizabeth Arden’s PREVAGE® City Smart SPF 50 Hydrating Shield. It’s a hydrating, anti-ageing sunscreen that utilises triple action protection to safeguard your skin from pollution, UV rays, and visible signs of ageing.
Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide deliver SFP 50 protection, while polymers form an invisible and undetectable shield on your skin to block out skin-damaging pollution particles.
Incredibly lightweight, it feels almost more like a tinted moisturiser than a sunscreen, and layers beautifully under any kind of other skincare products or makeup. Plus, the subtle tint and glowy finish is perfect for days when you want to go without makeup.
Elizabeth Arden PREVAGE® City Smart Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Hydrating Shield is available at these retailers below. Click through for the most updated price.
5. Peter Thomas Roth Max Mineral Naked Broad Spectrum SPF 45 UVA/UVB Protective Lotion
The Max Mineral tinted Sunscreen from Peter Thomas Roth is a lightweight cream formula that provides water-resistant, broad-spectrum SPF 45 UVA/UVB protection for sensitive skin with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
It ups the ante with safflower extract and antioxidants like vitamins A, C, & E to nourish and comfort the skin, while the universal vanishing tint neutralises the look of any redness.
Though it only comes in one shade, it works well with most light to medium skin tones. We’re especially big fans of the subtle luminosity it imparts, thanks to the addition of diamond (yes, diamond) powder.
Peter Thomas Roth Max Mineral Naked Broad Spectrum SPF 45 UVA/UVB Protective Lotion is available at these retailers below. Click through for the most updated price.
6. Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense Sunscreen SPF 30
If you consider yourself a clean beauty buff, you’ll love Drunk Elephant’s Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense Sunscreen SPF 30 – one of the most popular mineral sunscreens on the market.
Designed for all skin types, the silky cream moisturises with marula and raspberry seed oil without leaving a chalky white cast behind. Zinc oxide and algae extract defend the skin against harmful UV rays.
There’s also sunflower sprout extract that neutralises skin-damaging free radicals and environmental aggressors. The formula is free of fragrances, dyes, parabens, and silicones to minimise irritation and congestion.
Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense Sunscreen SPF 30 is available at these retailers below. Click through for the most updated price.
7. CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 30 Face Sheer Tint
CeraVe’s Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 30 Face Sheer Tint is packed with ceramides for hydration, niacinamide to reduce redness, as well as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide for top-notch mineral sun protection.
The moisturising formula leaves behind a healthy glow and blends in beautifully, sans white cast. Plus, it’s made to work with sensitive skin, so you don’t need to worry about irritation with this one.
CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 30 Face Sheer Tint is available at these retailers below. Click through for the most updated price.
8. The INKEY List SPF 30 Daily Sunscreen
One of our favourite wallet-friendly skincare brands has done it again with its new SPF 30 Daily Sunscreen. Providing broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection, this sunscreen isn’t just reef-safe, but it’s also vegan, fragrance-free, and cruelty-free.
Thanks to a formula that unites 22% non-nano zinc oxide, 1% Pollustop®, and 2% shea butter complex, the sunscreen moisturises, calms, and protects the skin from pollutants while preventing premature skin ageing.
The tinted sunscreen is also suitable for all skin types, including acne-prone and sensitive complexions. To top it off, its tube is made from 30% recycled plastic, while the cap is made from 98% recycled plastic.
The INKEY List SPF 30 Daily Sunscreen is available at these retailers below. Click through for the most updated price.
Untinted mineral sunscreens
9. Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defence SPF 30
Despite an impressive 20% concentration of zinc oxide, the Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defence SPF 30 never leaves your complexion white or chalky, no matter your skin tone. Its sheer texture melts beautifully into the skin and wears comfortably all day.
Along with powerful sun protection, it contains two different types of antioxidants to counteract free radical damage caused by sun exposure. Enriched with raspberry seed and marula oils, it moisturises and nourishes your skin during the day.
Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defence SPF 30 is available at these retailers below. Click through for the most updated price.
10. Supergoop! Mineral Sheerscreen SPF 30
Like its name suggests, the Supergoop! Mineral Sheerscreen is a sheer skin protector that provides SPF 30 protection while it shields the skin from blue light.
One of our favourite derms on TikTok, Dr. Alexis Stephens, says the sunscreen’s initial white cast disappears in about five minutes, so you’ll want to leave it on for a while before applying your makeup. As with most Supergoop! sunscreens, this one also makes a great base for your makeup.
It’s one of the newer mineral sunscreens on the block and will be coming soon to Sephora SG, so watch this space!
Supergoop! Mineral Sheerscreen SPF 30 is available at these retailers below. Click through for the most updated price.
11. REN Clean Skincare Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30
Your “all sunscreens leave my face feeling greasy” excuse isn’t going to fly anymore – not while the REN Clean Skincare Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30 is around.
This mattifying sunscreen uses zinc oxide to deliver your daily dose of sun protection, while natural rice starch absorbs oil, controls shine, and minimises the look of pores. We also like that the packaging is made to be fully recyclable.
REN Clean Skincare Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30 is available at these retailers below. Click through for the most updated price.
12. Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry Touch Sunscreen SPF 50+ PA++++
An oil-free mineral sunscreen, Neutrogena’s Sheer Zinc Dry Touch Sunscreen features the brand’s breakthrough Purescreen® naturally sourced 100% zinc oxide technology. The gentle formula delivers superior broad-spectrum protection, and it’s mild even on sensitive skin.
Like many mineral sunscreens, it might leave a bit of a white cast at first while it settles, so it may be better suited for fairer skin tones.
Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry Touch Sunscreen SPF 50+ PA++++ is available at these retailers below. Click through for the most updated price.
13. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Ultra-Light Fluid Broad Spectrum SPF 50
With more than 60 beauty awards and thousands of reviews on Amazon US, La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios sunscreen is one of the most popular mineral sunscreens out there. While many sunscreens are thick, this lightweight formula has a liquid consistency, much like a serum.
The brand’s exclusive Cell-Ox Shield technology – a combination of physical sun filters and antioxidants – provides broad-spectrum protection and further protects the skin from free radicals, which can cause photoageing.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Ultra-Light Fluid Broad Spectrum SPF 50 is available at these retailers below. Click through for the most updated price.
14. EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
Another derm favourite, EltaMD’s UV Clear Facial Sunscreen shields your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. In addition to being fragrance-free and non-comedogenic, this sunscreen is rich in antioxidants that help protect against skin-damaging free radicals.
It also includes niacinamide, a vitamin B3 derivative with anti-inflammatory properties that can fight breakouts. On top of that, there’s sodium hyaluronate to moisturise and lactic acid to clear pores and reduce shine.
EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 is available at these retailers below. Click through for the most updated price.
15. Everyday Humans Rosé S'il Vous Plait SPF 30 Gentle Mineral Sunscreen
Got sensitive, oily, acne-prone, or angry skin? What you need is a sunscreen that soothes as it protects, like Everyday Humans’ Rosé S’il Vous Plait SPF 30 Gentle Mineral Sunscreen. It has a velvety, matte consistency that won’t give you a ghastly white cast.
Armed with SPF30, the sunscreen contains rose extract, aloe water, and vitamin E. These ingredients help replenish and restore your skin’s moisture-sebum balance as well as minimise inflammation.
Everyday Humans Rosé S’il Vous Plait SPF 30 Gentle Mineral Sunscreen is available at these retailers below. Click through for the most updated price.
16. Pyunkang Yul Ato Mild Sun Cream
Keep your skin moisturised and protected with Pyunkang Yul’s Ato Mild Sun Cream. It’s fitted with a titanium dioxide-based, broad-spectrum SPF 45 PA+++ protection, which fends off harsh UV rays and free radicals.
Enriched with hyaluronic acid, the lightweight, fragrance-free gel-cream also contains barrier-strengthening ceramides and plant-based extracts to soothe and moisturise the skin.
It doesn’t feel tacky on the skin or leave a white cast too, making it one of the best mineral sunscreens for skincare novices. Each tube holds 75ml of product too, which is way more sunscreen than other ones on this list.
Pyunkang Yul Ato Mild Sun Cream is available at these retailers below. Click through for the most updated price.