The Best Mineral Sunscreens for Face and Body

Trust these ‘physical’ SPFs to keep your skin protected.

We all know how important sunscreen is for protecting our skin – both from burning and premature ageing – but finding a product you like enough to actually use on a daily basis isn’t always easy. A winning sunscreen needs to be suitable for your skin type, apply without causing a white cast or breakouts, and pleasant enough to ensure you actually slather it on every single morning.


If you’ve struggled to find your SPF match among the shelves of traditional ‘chemical’ sunscreens, your perfect product may lie in the mineral realm. Where chemical sun filters, like oxybenzone, absorb harmful rays once they hit the skin, mineral filters such as zinc oxide work to deflect them, batting them away before they can do any damage. A sunscreen can contain solely chemical filters, solely organic ones, or a combination of both.

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Mineral sunscreens used to be considered less user-friendly, as they often left a thick white residue on the skin. Nowadays though, the technology behind mineral sunscreens has vastly improved and there’s an increasing number of formulas to choose from. “New formulations are made of much smaller particles, so can be rubbed into the skin without leaving residue,” explains the consultant dermatologist at the Cadogan Clinic, Dr Anjali Mahto.


Moreover, mineral sunscreens may also be “better for the skin than chemical sunscreens, especially if you’re prone to acne or other skin ailments,” she explains. Sensitive types, take note.


To help keep you protected, we’ve tracked down the best mineral sunscreens for face and body. Here are the formulas to trust both at home and on holiday.

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The best mineral sunscreens to trust now.

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Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defence SPF 30

Free from chemical filters, this physical defence cream is safe for marine life and your skin. Enriched with moisturising raspberry seed and marula oils, the sheer fluid sits comfortably on the skin, both on its own and under make-up. While this one is virtually undetectable once applied, the tinted version is ideal for anyone after a subtle bronzed glow.

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