These are sunscreens that I have personally tried and have checked the ingredients for safety.
- Juice Beauty CC Cream: Shoutout to my childhood friend @tarapham for the rec from this brand which is from our hometown — Marin County, CA. It has UVA, UVB, and visible light protection and comes in 5 different colors, maximizing the chance you’ll find your match. Great for darker skin tones and those fed up with a milky white sheen. It’s not oil free so may exacerbate acne. $39/1.7 oz. https://juicebeauty.com/collections/skincare-shop-by-category-sun-protection-spf/products/stem-cellular-cc-cream
- CeraVe mineral sunscreen for body or face (both have identical ingredients!). Oil free and excellent for acne prone skin and affordable at ~$15 for 2.5 oz. https://www.cerave.com/sunscreen/face/hydrating-sunscreen-face-lotion-spf-30
- Avene mineral sunscreen, which also comes in a tinted version that contains iron oxide for visible light protection. $28 for 1.3 oz. https://www.aveneusa.com/skin-care/sun-care/mineral-sunscreen-fluid-spf-50
- Neutrogena Sheer Zinc, which is oil free and also a great choice for acne-prone skin. Very affordable at ~$12 for 3 oz. https://www.neutrogena.com/sun/sheer-zinc-dry-touch-sunscreen-broad-spectrum-spf-50/6811080.html
- La Roche Posay has several options of mineral sunscreens. About $40 for 1.3-1.7 oz. https://www.laroche-posay.us/sunscreen/sunscreen-product-type/mineral-sunscreen
- SkinCeuticals eye cream with mineral protection: for the delicate skin around your eyes – $30 for 0.3 oz, which lasts several months https://www.skinceuticals.com/physical-eye-uv-defense-spf-50-3606000400504.html?cgid=sunscreens
- Vanicream lip protectant/sunscreen. Has a white tint, recommend for wearing when exercising outside or mixing with lipstick for women. $5 for 0.35 oz, which lasts months. https://www.psico.com/product/vanicream-lip-protectant/
- Trader Joe’s Zinc Oxide Lotion – no link available but can get at your local TJ’s! I’m currently hooked. It’s 20% zinc and rubs in relatively clear, even on darker skin types.
- Neutrogena Sheer Zinc may be used on the body — can be generous since it is the least expensive option!
- CeraVe mineral sunscreen for body (as above – has identical ingredients as the face version) and is also affordable.
Tips for using sunscreen
- Be generous: 1 shot glass full of sunscreen is required to protect your entire body.
- Sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours to remain effective.
- SPF 30 or above. SPF is calculated as a ratio, so the theoretical percentage of UV filtering levels off at SPF 30 and above.
- Broad spectrum. If you stick to zinc, you don’t have to worry since it always protects against both. But it’s good to be aware that SPF only refers to UVB protection. In the US, there is no scale for UVA protection but the label “broad spectrum” is the best way to know that you are getting coverage if you end up choosing a chemical sunscreen.
- Mix with foundation. The zinc and titanium containing sunscreens tend to be white which can be cosmetically challenging. I recommend applying the sunscreen followed by immediately applying foundation matched to your skin tone it’s not noticeable.
- Avoid spray or powdered sunscreens — spray formulations with titanium may be carcinogenic when inhaled, with manufacturers of these products at highest risk.
- No sunscreen for infants. It is not recommended to use sunscreen in children less than 6 months of age.
- Don’t forget your neck, ears, lips, and tops of your hands. Hotspots for cancer and for aging!
- Just because it’s cloudy, or you’re in the shade, doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. UVA/UVB rays can easily penetrate clouds and umbrellas!