I Tested Supergoop's Mineral Sheerscreen For 3 Weeks & Here Are My Honest Thoughts
Gone are the days of greasy, goopy sunscreens. Now, you can find scores of texturally appealing, high-performing SPF options—like serums loaded with complexion-enhancing actives, skin tints that rival your favorite foundations, and sticks that glide on with ease. One of the brands leading the charge toward elevated sun care is none other than Supergoop!, which came onto the scene 15 years ago with a mission to make sunscreen more comfortable, safe, and, well, fun.
I'll admit, when it comes to Supergoop!, I'm more of a Glowscreen girl (that highlighter-slash-sunscreen is truly unbeatable). However, I do try to stick to mineral formulas whenever I can, so I decided to give the Supergoop! Mineral Sheerscreen SPF 30 a go. After testing the formula for three weeks, here are my honest thoughts.
The brand calls Sheerscreen the "100% mineral twin" to their ever-popular Unseen Sunscreen. Meaning: It has the same spreadable texture and undetectable payoff, but instead of chemical filters (which may come with some skin and environmental concerns), the formula relies on zinc oxide as the only SPF active.
Zinc oxide, in case you need a refresher, physically shields you from the sun's rays by blocking UV; this is different from chemical sunscreens, which absorb the UV light and turn it into heat. Not to mention, zinc oxide protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. "Zinc oxide is a mineral that reflects light, including longer wavelength UVA, from the skin's surface," board-certified dermatologist Loretta Ciraldo, M.D., FAAD, tells mbg about the ingredient. It's also the best option if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin: The mineral has been shown to have a soothing effect on the skin, and research has shown that zinc oxide is an effective treatment for zits1 (it's even an ingredient in many natural spot treatments).
I could dedicate a whole article to raving about the benefits of zinc oxide (in fact, mbg already has), but let's shed some light on some other star players: Just like the Unseen Sunscreen, the formula features a SheerMatrix technology that stretches out those dense, mineral zinc oxide actives to achieve a sheer payoff without compromising its efficacy. Holly Thaggard, founder of Supergoop!, compares it to your favorite sheer white T-shirt: "Still white, but whispery thin and perfect." And just as versatile—you can easily wear Sheerscreen alone or layer it under makeup.
Then for a splash of moisture, you'll find squalane and aloe leaf juice; these ingredients also help thin out the consistency and make the formula deliciously creamy, without imparting a greasy film. Antioxidant-rich bush clover extract also makes an appearance, which helps stave off free radicals from UV rays and other environmental aggressors.
I applied this sunscreen every morning for three weeks, and I would consider it an overall enjoyable experience. First things first: As soon as I uncapped my free sample, I fell in love with the formula's consistency. It has a creamy, almost whipped texture that applies more like a moisturizer than a sunscreen. While many SPF products can feel sticky—like I'm tugging at my skin to cover the entire surface area—Sheerscreen stays spreadable, never tacky. It's also super lightweight and easy to layer under makeup; I can apply my subsequent primer and concealer without any pilling (a major beauty pet peeve of mine).
The sunscreen also does not have your typical beach bag stench. Rather, it smells a bit toasted and almost…nutty? I can't quite put my finger on the exact scent profile, but I do appreciate its subtleness. I predict the bush clover extract has something to do with it, as the plant comes from the legume family and may offer an earthy aroma. Whatever it is, it definitely doesn't scream vacation, which I see as a plus. (Sometimes I don't want to smell like an overripe coconut, you know?)
I have textbook combination skin: a dry forehead and cheeks, while being oil-prone around my chin and nose. That said, my skin care products need to be airy and lightweight—the mere thought of a heavy, greasy product makes me break out—yet hydrating enough to nurture any parched areas. This sunscreen straddles both camps quite beautifully: My skin drinks up the moisturizing formula, and I haven't experienced any breakouts during my three-week trial run.
While Sheerscreen is one of the most texturally appealing mineral SPFs I've tried, do not expect it to be 100% invisible. Zinc oxide is made of tiny white mineral powders, so it's nearly impossible to go on completely clear, especially without any tints. It did leave a slight white cast upon application, which became less noticeable as the formula settled into my skin. I should note: I have a fair skin tone, and it took quite a bit of rubbing to fully blend out the white cast. It did settle in after a few minutes (no ghostly appearance for me), but reviewers with medium to deep skin tones have noted a lingering purple-gray hue.
Some reviewers also don't appreciate the scent. I thought the smell was actually a bonus (to each their own!), but some people say it smells not toasty but stale. You may have to sniff it out for yourself.
If you're looking for a mineral sunscreen with a creamy texture, the Supergoop! Mineral Sheerscreen SPF 30 is worth the buy. It is a bit pricey for a 1.5-ounce bottle of sunscreen at $38, but the brand offers two smaller sizes if you'd like to test it before you splurge. Granted, the formula doesn't have a completely invisible payoff (so if you're loyal to Unseen, know that the two are not identical), but the added skin care benefits and delicious consistency make it a winner in my book.
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. 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. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.