Mineral sunscreens are rising in popularity, and there’s more to choose from than ever before.
Daily. That’s how often you should be wearing sunscreen, and that’s also how often patients ask Dr. Julia Carroll, a dermatologist based in Toronto, for mineral options. Formulated using physical filters (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) rather than chemical ones (such as avobenzone, octinoxate and practically any chemical ending in -one or -ate), mineral sunscreens sit on top of the skin, blocking UV rays rather than absorbing them like chemical sunscreens do. That’s one of the reasons they’re often preferred: People are concerned about chemical filters being potential endocrine disrupters. Physical sunscreens are also favoured by anyone with skin sensitivities, as chemical filters can sting. What’s more, zinc oxide in particular provides full-spectrum protection from UV light, so that ingredient alone has got you covered. “I’ve always loved mineral sunscreens,” says Carroll, who uses a tinted powder by Colorescience for SPF touch-ups. “It’s a go-to for a lot of people, but there weren’t [always] great options.” Many versions were so thick and white that they were impossible to wear. But now there are new products with improved textures that blend in better than their predecessors. Carroll also prefers mineral sunscreen because you’re less likely to miss a spot, as you can see it initially upon application. “When I put on a sunscreen that I can see, there’s some reassurance in that,” she says.
1. MYCHELLE DAILY DEFENSE CREAM SPF 17 ($24) 2. BIODERMA PHOTODERM COMPACT SPF 50+ ($30) 3. BIOLOGIQUE RECHERCHE PROTECTION U.V. BROAD SPECTRUM SPF 25 ($134 ) 4. JOUVIANCE SPF LOTION 30 100% MINERAL SUNBLOCK ($35 ) 5. CLINIQUE SPF 50 MINERAL SUNSCREEN FLUID FOR FACE ($34 ) 6. AVèNE HIGH PROTECTION SPF 50+ ULTRA-LIGHT MINERAL LOTION ($28 ) 7. NEUTROGENA SHEER ZINC MINERAL SUNSCREEN SPF 50 ($20) 3 1 4 2 7 6 5