Mineral sunscreen—that is, SPF that relies on zinc or titanium dioxide—is skyrocketing in popularity. Not only are the formulas reef-safe, but they also tend to be gentler on skin. “Mineral sunscreens are sunscreens that use zinc oxide by itself, or in combination with titanium dioxide to block UV light,” explains New York City-based dermatologist Joshua Zeichner. “Many people think that zinc-only based sunscreens are more natural and feel more comfortable applying those types of sunscreens on their skin.”
Related article: 8 Products To Make You Look Fresher And More Awake
Mineral Sunscreens Protect Against UV and Blue Light
Zinc sunscreens may be a better choice from an overall skincare perspective as well. “I will typically recommend a zinc-oxide-based or mineral blocker for sensitive skin, because they tend to be a little more gentle on the skin,” says Zeichner. This type of sunscreen also helps protect against HEV, or high-energy visible light, a.k.a. blue light. “Light within the blue visible spectrum has been shown to deeply penetrate the skin and promote premature aging, including sun spots and wrinkles,” explains Dr. Zeichner. “Mineral blockers like zinc oxide protect against some level of HEV light, while chemical blockers do not.”
But Does It Apply Clear on Darker Skin?
In the past, the downside to mineral sunscreens has been their opaque, white consistency, which has made it harder to blend into skin (and therefore, making you less likely to use or reapply it). But science has finally caught up with user behavior. “The newest generation of mineral sunscreens use micronized technology so that they fully rub into the skin, not leaving behind a white cast, or an ashy appearance on darker complexions,” explains Zeichner. Read on for 7 easy-to-wear, easy-to-blend zinc sunscreens we recommend for spending time at the beach, the park, or just in front of your laptop.
Related article: The Best Peel-Off Masks That Are Actually Good For Your Skin
Fans of Supergoop’s chemical offerings will be happy to know their mineral options are just as effective (and easy to wear). This lotion, in particular, is extra lightweight, making it ideal for acne-prone skin.
Despite a high concentration of zinc oxide (25 percent), this silky sunscreen serum(!) remains sinks in remarkably easily.
A mix of 10 antioxidants and nutrients give this zinc-only lotion a boost of skin-soothing powers.
The fresh, glowy tint and antioxidant-packed formula satisfy both makeup-at-the-beach and makeup-free types alike.
Unlike, well, pretty much all sunscreens, this formula has WetForce technology that makes it more effective when it’s wet. (Still, don’t forget to reapply when you towel off.)
A blend of coconut oil and shea butter create the base of this non-greasy stick, which is handy for keeping on the go for hands-free application or for smaller areas like the ears.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.