In honor of Skin Cancer Awareness month, it’s time for my annual mineral sunscreen testing video!
This is my 6th annual Mineral sunscreen testing video and I tried another 12 sunscreens totaling almost 100 sunscreens tested. I’m starting to forget which I’ve tried so I made a list of all of them ranked from best to worst here.
I’m looking for an all-mineral sunscreen that doesn’t leave a white cast, doesn’t feel greasy, and isn’t too shiny, so it can be worn on its own on no-makeup days and also doesn’t affect the wear or look of my makeup.
I use only 100% mineral sunscreens because my skin is sensitive to chemical sunscreen ingredients and they tend to sting my skin, so the only sunscreen ingredients in most of these products are Titanium Dioxide & Zinc Oxide (except for 2… I bought the wrong version).
I’ll be applying ¼ teaspoon of each sunscreen to test it for my face & neck, it’ll look like a ton of sunscreen but that’s how much you need to apply to get the spf on the label, applying less cuts the spf down substantially. So I could probably get all of these sunscreens to look better if I put on far less, but the point is to protect my skin by getting the spf on the label.
Here are the 12 contestants vying for the chance to be my new favorite in order from worst to best.
This Year’s Worst:
Supergoop Play 100% Mineral Lotion Sunscreen SPF 50 ~ $32 for 3.4 oz.
2% Titanium Dioxide, 24% Zinc Oxide, Non-nano, reef safe, water resistant to 80 minutes, vegan.
Thick white cream goes on purplish, difficult to rub in. Really greasy, heavy & thick. Not good around hair, strong white cast, very shiny. Fragrance free. After 20 minutes still white & shiny, feels oily & wet. Gross, I really hate it. Completely unwearable.
Naturally Serious Mineral Sun Defense Moisturizer Sunscreen SPF 30 ~ $34 for 2 oz.
4% Titanium Dioxide, 25% Zinc Oxide, Not water resistant.
Lightly tinted whipped lotion, strong lemon/citronella scent. Rubs in quickly feels super greasy and is really shiny. Good around hair. After 20 minutes still feels sticky & greasy, is still really shiny, and smells like lemon pledge, with slight pale cast. Not wearable.
Dr Dennis Gross Instant Radiance Sun Defense SPF 40 ~ $42 for 1.7 oz.
4.9% Titanium Dioxide, 4.42% Zinc Oxide, Not water resistant, cruelty free & vegan, comes in 2 shades.
Thick tinted cream takes work to rub in. Medium tan tint goes on paler. Strong smell, not a fragrance. Feels thick, heavy & greasy. Doesn’t blend well, looks streaky, patchy, settled into pores. Very shiny finish and not good around hair. After 20 minutes tint lightens more leaving pale cast. Still feels thick, sticky & greasy. Looks awful, settled into wrinkles & pores! Completely unwearable on its own.
Trader Joe’s Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Lotion SPF 40 ~$17.99 for 5 oz.
20.5% Zinc Oxide, 40 min. water resistant, Non-nano, vegan.
Heavy, thick white cream goes on like diaper paste. Difficult to rub in. Slight white cast, not good around hair. Feels thick and greasy. Fragrance free. After 20 minutes has white cast, feels very greasy and looks very shiny. Makeup doesn’t stick well, white cast shows through. Major settling into wrinkles. Not wearable on its own or under makeup.
Suntegrity Impeccable Skin Moisturizing Face Sunscreen SPF 30 ~ $55 for 2 oz.
15% Zinc Oxide, not water resistant, blue light protection, cruelty free.
Thick tinted cream with no fragrance. Comes in 6 shades, I’m using Sand. Takes work to rub in, blends well but streaky in spots, good around hair. No white cast. Tint looks good but super greasy and thick with very shiny finish. After 20 minutes still feels greasy & looks very shiny. Makeup looks thick & waxy. Foundation creases and slides around & looks SO Shiny!! Shortens wear of makeup. Not wearable on its own & not good under makeup.
Good Alone but not Great Under Makeup:
SuperGoop Zinc Screen SPF 40$42 for 1.7 oz.
https://bit.ly/3cdvEUx (Nordstrom), https://bit.ly/2PySrDs (Sephora)
13% Zinc Oxide, Not water resistant, reef safe, vegan.
Peach tinted runny lotion, glides over the skin, rubs in easily. Fragrance free, good around hair. Feels lightweight, but oily on hands and face, shiny finish, no white cast. After 20 minutes it still feels oily and damp but the shine has decreased. Under makeup shine comes through. Makeup looks broken up on the surface with less coverage than normal. Major settling in wrinkles, shortens wear time. Ok on its own, bad under makeup.
Thrive Daily Defense Sunscreen Balm SPF 30 ~ $20.95 for 2 oz.
20% Zinc Oxide, Not water resistant, Non-nano, reef safe.
Greyish lotion, strong lemon scent, takes work to rub in. Once rubbed in looks fairly sheer, no problems around hair, soft luminous finish. After 20 minutes, skin is red and irritated from the botanicals. Slight pale cast, feels set. Makeup doesn’t sit right & looks mottled yet heavier than normal. Shinier and oilier at 4 hours than it usual, more worn off at 8 hours. Wearable on its own but just ok under makeup.
DRMTLGY Broad Spectrum 45 ~ $19.95 for 2 oz.
12% Zinc Oxide, 7.5% Octinoxate
White lotion that goes on purplish white and leaves a slight cast. Feels really greasy going on and has a luminous finish. After 20 minutes it dries a bit but still feels a little tacky, white cast is diminished, not overly shiny. Doesn’t ever dry down completely so makeup doesn’t dry and set either. Foundation goes on sheerer than normal, white cast and luminosity come through foundation. Doesn’t make foundation settle into wrinkles but shortens wear time of makeup.
Wearable on its own but not great under makeup.
Purito Centella Green Level Unscented Sun SPF50+ PA++++ ~ 18.90 for 2 oz. https://amzn.to/35GKiBi (Amazon), https://bit.ly/3cdOACT (YesStyle)
Not mineral, uses European filters we don’t have in the US. Uvinul A Plus & Uvinul T 150.
Slightly green lotion with slightly oily feel, goes on clear. Very easy to rub in, fragrance free, good around hair. After 20 minutes it feels a little tacky but not bad & is clear with only slight luminosity. Seems irritating around my eyes (red and blotchy) but feels fine. Makeup goes on over it just ok… I tried it with 3 different foundations and each one went on weird. Looked fine from a distance but speckled up close. No settling into wrinkles or pores. Shortened the wear of makeup by a few hours. Very wearable on its own, but not great under makeup.
Not Good on its Own but Good Under Makeup
Clinique Pep Start Daily UV Protector Tinted SPF 50 ~ $19.50 for 1 oz.
6.3% Titanium Dioxide, 4% Zinc Oxide, not water resistant, unscented.
Thin lotion texture with peach tint. Rubs in easily and quickly leaves slight white cast. Really greasy feeling and very shiny. Good around hair. After 20 minutes it still feels super greasy, has a white cast and is ridiculously shiny. But it looks great under makeup, looks natural and skin like and the shine doesn’t come through. A little settling into wrinkles. Didn’t shorten wear time of makeup. Not wearable on its own, but good under makeup.
Good on its Own & Good Under Makeup
StriVectin Advanced SPF Full Screen SPF 30 $39 for 1.5 oz.
https://bit.ly/2L8o5m6 (Nordstrom), https://bit.ly/35IsJ3H (Ulta)
16% Zinc Oxide, Not water resistant, non-nano, reef safe, pollution & blue light defense.
Lightly tinted thin lotion, glides over skin and is very easy to rub in. Light lemony fragrance dissipates quickly. No white cast and good around hair. Lightweight and not greasy (even on hands), has a soft luminosity… I really like it! Feels dry and set after 20 minutes! Looks really good under makeup! Slight settling into wrinkles & shortened wear time of makeup. VERY wearable on its own and pretty good under makeup.
This Year’s Winner
CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen Sheer Tint SPF 30 ~ $13.97 for 1.7 oz.
5.5% Titanium Dioxide, 10% Zinc Oxide, Not water resistant.
A tinted lotion with a whipped texture. Easy to apply, rubs in quickly leaving no white cast and no problems around hair. Feels greasy on application, but dries a bit over 20 minutes. Doesn’t feel heavy, but never quite sets either. Nice luminous finish. Contains the usual CeraVe hydrating ingredients. Liquid makeup goes on well over it and it doesn’t cause settling into wrinkles or pores but did shorten wear time by 3-4 hours. Looks great under powder foundation. Very wearable in its own, pretty good under makeup!
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