11 Gentle Mineral Sunscreens That Won't Aggravate Your Sensitive Skin
Jamie Schneider is the Associate Editor at mindbodygreen, covering beauty and health. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.
You know slathering on a daily sunscreen is a no-brainer—but if you have sensitive skin, testing out formulas may give you some pause. Understandable: Plenty of sunscreens contain chemical filters, color-correcting tints, and preservatives that can trigger irritation upon first swipe. For folks with skin that flares from even the slightest whiff of fragrance, we can sense your hesitation.
If you have hypersensitive skin, you'll want to opt for a non-nano mineral formula—particularly one with zinc oxide. "Zinc oxide is arguably the most skin-calming of all the active sunscreen ingredients," board-certified dermatologist Loretta Ciraldo, M.D., FAAD, tells us about the active, and it has even been shown to impart a soothing effect on the skin. Sensitive skin, meet zinc oxide: We sense a beautiful, budding relationship.
That's exactly why we rounded up a few of our favorite mineral-only players—not only does each product on this list contain zinc oxide, but they also contain gentle, high-quality, moisturizing ingredients that won't aggravate your complexion. Below, find our top picks.
Pipette Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50
Generally, any product fit for delicate baby's skin is just as stellar for sensitive complexions. Sugar-cane-derived squalane and glycerin make the goop spreadable and moisturizing, too, for a finish that dries down dewy.
Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50, Pipette ($16.50)
Versed Guards Up Daily Mineral Sunscreen
This sunscreen is tinged peach to help it blend easier than an opaque white—all trace of pigment will disappear once you rub it in. Along with zinc oxide, it includes moringa seed extract and sea fennel extract, both of which are great for neutralizing free radicals caused by environmental stressors.
Guards Up Daily Mineral Sunscreen, Versed ($21.99)
Unsun Cosmetics Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen
One of the main gripes against zinc oxide formulas is the dreaded foggy cast—this one leaves zero residue. And with moisturizing players like aloe, shea butter, coconut oil, and olive oil? It's a dream for sensitive skin.
Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen, Unsun Cosmetics ($29)
Eleven By Venus Williams On-The-Defense Sunscreen SPF 30
A lightweight sunscreen with a semi-matte finish—not too shiny yet not at all chalky. In fact, it dries down quite sheer, like a perfect veil under your makeup.
On-The-Defense Sunscreen SPF 30, Eleven By Venus Williams ($42)
Kinship Self Reflect Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 32
Sensitive skin, by definition, has a compromised skin barrier—that makes probiotic-rich formulas a worthy grab. Kinship's sunscreen contains a signature lactobacillus strain, which research shows is particularly effective at dealing with inflammation and skin barrier function. Plus, the goop is chock-full of antioxidants like apple fruit extract, vitamin E, and licorice root extract.
Self Reflect Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 32, Kinship ($25)
Tatcha Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen
The texture of this sunscreen truly can't be beat—silky (it actually contains silk extract), spreadable, and oh-so rich. Considering the lightweight, never-greasy feel, it functions as a primer as well.
Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen, Tatcha ($65)
Saie Sunvisor Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF 35
Hyaluronic acid, glycerin, grapeseed oil, and aloe help this dewy number melt into your complexion with ease. It has a fluffy, mousse-y consistency with a peach tint for a more seamless blend that won't ever pill.
Sunvisor Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF 35, Saie ($34)
Supergoop! Mineral Sheerscreen SPF 30
The brand calls this the "100% mineral twin" to their ever-popular Unseen Sunscreen. Meaning, it's a sunscreen that feels barely-there, yet puts in all the work. In addition to the mineral workhorse, it features squalane, glycerin, and aloe juice for a burst of hydration, as well as blush clover extract to help stave free radicals.
Mineral Sheerscreen SPF 30, Supergoop! ($38)
Biossance Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 PA +++
Considering squalane's primary goal is to support and enhance the skin barrier, it's a surefire win for sensitive skin. The texture glides on seamlessly, and the formula is exceptionally cooling, with water lily and glycerin to calm the skin.
Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 PA +++, Biossance ($30)
REN Clean Skincare Clean Screen Mattifying Face Sunscreen SPF 30
For oily friends who also run sensitive, this mattifying sunscreen is a must. It features rice starch to absorb and control shine, while aloe and glycerin simultaneously hydrate. The result? A cushiony finish that appears almost velvety.
Clean Screen Mattifying Face Sunscreen SPF 30, REN Clean Skincare ($38)
Honua Hawaiian Skincare Malu SPF
In addition to Hawaiian botanicals, like plantain and noni, this number also contains oat bran extract—a known soother for irritated, angry skin that even helps protect the skin barrier. The texture is also divine—it reads sheer, never sticky.
Malu SPF, Honua Hawaiian Skincare ($42)
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