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2021 Best Mineral-Based Sunscreens For Runners

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The Winners

Mineral Sunscreen FAQs

What is the minimum recommended SPF for sunscreens?

The United States Food and Drug Administration recommends broad-spectrum coverage with an SPF of at least 15. The American Academy of Dermatologists endorses a minimum SPF of 30.

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What does mineral-based sunscreen mean?

Mineral-based sunscreen is completely free of chemical ingredients and typically includes zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as their active ingredients.

Is mineral sunscreen or chemical sunscreen better?

It depends on your definition of better. Both are better than using nothing at all, but mineral sunscreen provides protection against both UVB radiation and UVA rays while chemical sunscreens solely protect against UVB.

Many also prefer mineral sunscreen when protecting babies and small children from the sun since it tends to work well with sensitive skin.

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What does UVA mean?

Ultraviolet A is sun radiation with long wavelengths that lead to tanning and skin aging.

What does UVB mean?  

Ultraviolet B is radiation with shorter wavelengths that cause skin burning.

What is non-comedogenic?

Non-comedogenic sunscreens do not clog pores. 

What does SPF mean?

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. Paired with a number, it indicates the time frame you’re effectively protected from the sun with one application of sunscreen.

What does a high SPF mean?

The higher the SPF, the longer you can stay in the sun without burning and being protected against harmful rays. It also indicates the percent of UVB rays that impact your skin. 

SPF 30 provides 2-5 hours of protection depending on your skin type and only lets in 3% of UVB rays. SPF 50’s protection ranges from 3-5 hours depending on skin type and lets in 2% of UVB rays.

What does a low SPF mean?

Low SPF provides limited protection from the sun and less blocking of harmful UVB ranges. SPF 8 provides between 1-2 hours of protection and only is effective on medium or dark skin. SPF 15 offers 1-3 hours of protection.

What is zinc oxide?

An active ingredient in mineral-based sunscreen, zinc oxide is a natural, powdery white material commonly used to treat rashes, including diaper rash, and other minor skin irritations. It is insoluble in water and frequently used in medicinal ointments.

What is titanium dioxide? 

A fine white powdery substance commonly used in industrial products such as paints, plastics, and coated fabrics, Titanium dioxide is the other common mineral-based sunscreen active ingredient. 

What does cruelty-free mean?

Cruelty-free products are those that did not involve animal experimentation in the development or manufacture stages.

Are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide FDA approved?

Yes, they are the only two ingredients in sunscreens that the FDA recognizes as effective and safe. 

What does non-mineral-based sunscreen mean?

Non-mineral sunscreens have chemical ingredients that are widely considered toxic to certain degrees. Among the ingredients considered toxic: oxybenzone, octinoxate, nanoparticles, and

Aveeno

5/5

Remarkably lightweight, Aveeno also boats one of the highest SPF levels for a non-comedogenic facial mineral sunscreen. It also includes some novel moisturizing agents, vitamin E, feverfew, and oat that nourish extremely well.

Aveeno also works well with makeup, layering invisibly and suitable to use every day. Its 80-minute sweat- and water-resistant formula lowers reapplying time.

  • Sweatproof/waterproof: Up to 80 minutes for both
  • SPF level: 50 
  • Minerals used: Zinc oxide
  • Size: 2 oz.
  • Durability (how long it lasts on the skin): 2 hours
  • Cruelty-free: Yes 
  • Free of: Fragrance, paraben, phthalate, dye
  • Gentle on skin: Yes
  • Complexion after application: Dries sheer with a matte finish
  • Spray-on option: No
  • Stick option: Yes, for kids and babies
  • Kid version of product: Yes

Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen

5/5

The No. 1 sunscreen recommended by pediatricians; Blue Lizard reflects UV ways away from your body as it protects you through broad-spectrum UVA/UVB.

Blue Lizard’s line offers products for sensitive skin, sunscreen designed for the face, active sunscreen, and items for babies and children.

The SPF 30+ protects skin from 97% of the sun’s rays. A big bonus: Blue Lizard’s changes color to blue when you’re in harmful UV light.

Those with sensitive skin rave about Blue Lizard, especially in relation to other sunscreens that gave them rashes or cause itching, and those who typically burn easily say it offers instant physical protection.

  • Sweatproof/waterproof: Water resistant up to 40 minutes
  • SPF level: 30+ 
  • Minerals used: Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide
  • Size: 5 oz. 
  • Durability (how long it lasts on the skin): About 5 hours
  • Cruelty-free: Yes 
  • Free of: Oxybenzone, octinoxate, paraben, fragrance
  • Gentle on skin: Yes
  • Complexion after application: Starts white, rubs in clean 
  • Spray-on option: Yes 
  • Stick option: Yes, for children
  • Kid version of product: Yes

Sun Bum Mineral Based

5/5

Sun Bum’s zinc-based mineral line comes in lotion, stick, and lip balm options. Also vegan and reef-friendly, Sun Bum offers a fantastic broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection as well. Though it sits on top of your skin, it’s still lightweight and silky.

Sun Bum’s SPF 30 lip balm is also highly regarded and a top seller.

  • Sweatproof/waterproof: No/no
  • SPF level: SPF 30 spray ad SPF 50 stick
  • Minerals used: Zinc oxide
  • Size: 6 oz for spray, 0.45 oz. for stick
  • Durability (how long it lasts on the skin): Should be reapplied every two hours when swimming or sweating.
  • Cruelty-free: Yes
  • Free of: Oxybenzone, octinoxate, paraben, gluten, sulfate
  • Gentle on skin: Yes
  • Complexion after application: Matte finish with white tint
  • Spray-on option: Yes 
  • Stick option: Yes
  • Kid version of product: Babies

Colorescience Sunforgettable Brush-On Shield

4.8/5

A unique entry into the mineral-based sunscreen market, Colorescience’s Sunforgettable brush is geared toward acne-prone skin and effectively reduces shine, absorbs oil, and minimizes pores. It also helps that the powder is very natural-looking.

The powder formula works just as effectively as more traditional sunscreens, offering broad-spectrum protection. It’s also easy to apply, using circular motions with the brush right on the skin.

It also protects against other environmental toxins, including pollution and infrared radiation. The bristles are antimicrobial, making them hypoallergenic.

  • Sweatproof/waterproof: 80 minutes
  • SPF level: 50 
  • Minerals used: Zinc oxide
  • Size: 0.21 oz.
  • Durability (how long it lasts on the skin): Reapply every two hours. 
  • Cruelty-free: Yes
  • Free of: Paraben, sulfate, phthalate, oil, dye, fragrance
  • Gentle on skin: Yes
  • Complexion after application: Applies sheer on well-moisturized or oily skin
  • Spray-on option: No
  • Stick option: It’s a brush
  • Kid version of product: No

CoTZ Face Prime Mineral sunscreen

4.5/5

CoTZ’s versatile sunscreen can be used both alone or under make-up, boasting broad-spectrum UVB and UVA protection. It gets bonus points for both tinted and non-tinted options and its lightweight finish. It can be used daily to prevent sunburn or signs of aging. 

CoTZ enhances complexions rather than hides them, and you can even combine the non-tinted and tinted versions to get the right finish for your unique skin type. 

  • Sweatproof/waterproof: Water-resistant 80 minutes
  • SPF level: 40
  • Minerals used: Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide 
  • Size: 1.5 oz.
  • Durability (how long it lasts on the skin): Reapply after 80 minutes of swimming or sweating.
  • Cruelty-free: Yes 
  • Free of: Chemicals, dye, fragrance, oil, preservative, gluten, phthalates
  • Gentle on skin: Yes
  • Complexion after application: Silky and translucent
  • Spray-on option: No 
  • Stick option: Yes
  • Kid version of product: No

Supergoop

4.7/5

Another unique sunscreen approach with stellar results. Supergoop Mattescreen blends its broad-spectrum SPF with a sunscreen that also smoothes the skin and reduces pores. It’s perfect for those with either oily or sensitive skin.

The mineral formula is effective on a broad range of skin tones, as well. For a product that works with all skin tones, Supergoop! Offers an Unseen Sunscreen product as well. You can even mix Supergoop with your favorite makeup.

  • Sweatproof/waterproof: yes/yes, 40 minutes for both
  • SPF level: 40
  • Minerals used: Butterfly bush extract, bisabolol extract, plant-powered antioxidant blend with resveratrol and peptides
  • Size: 1.5 oz. 
  • Durability (how long it lasts on the skin): 2 hours
  • Cruelty-free: Yes 
  • Free of: Oxybenzone and octinoxate 
  • Gentle on skin: Yes
  • Complexion after application: Translucent, matte finish with shine control
  • Spray-on option: No
  • Stick option: No
  • Kid version of product: No 

SkinCeuticals

4.6/5

With high SPF protection and a skin-tone enhancing tint, SkinCeutical’s mineral radiance works well for all skin types to elevate the skin’s natural brightness. It’s also non-comedogenic, so using it won’t lead to breakouts.

SkinCeuticals earn high marks from users who say that it lasts for the majority of the day and love its natural look, especially when using it with regular makeup powder. 

  • Sweatproof/waterproof: Yes/Yes
  • SPF level: 50
  • Minerals used: Titanium dioxide
  • Size: 1.7 oz. 
  • Durability (how long it lasts on the skin): 2 hours 
  • Cruelty-free: Yes
  • Free of: Chemical filter, paraben 
  • Gentle on skin: Yes
  • Complexion after application: Tinted but light
  • Spray-on option: No
  • Stick option: No
  • Kid version of product: No

Cetaphil

4.2/5

Developed by dermatologists, Cetaphil has your overall skin health in mind with its mineral-based, unscented sunscreen offerings. We love how lightweight the sheer liquid sunscreen feels on the skin and how quickly it blends.

It also holds up superbly under makeup, but won’t clog your pores. It also moisturizes well, using vitamin E and skin conditioners as it protects you from long periods under the sun.

  • Sweatproof/waterproof: Yes/Yes, reapply after 80 minutes of water exposure
  • SPF level: 50
  • Minerals used: Zinc oxide
  • Size: 1.7 oz. 
  • Durability (how long it lasts on the skin): 2 hours 
  • Cruelty-free: Yes
  • Free of: Fragrance, avobenzone, paraben, oxybenzone, octinoxate, PABA 
  • Gentle on skin: Yes
  • Complexion after application: Dries with a matte finish
  • Spray-on option: No
  • Stick option: Yes
  • Kid version of product: No

CeraVe

4.6/5

Another favorite of dermatologists, CeraVe’s face sunscreen is revered for its lightweight, non-greasy feel, suitable for even the most sensitive of skins. You can thank it’s three essential ceramides used in the cream for that. Ceramides 1, 3, and 6-11 lock in moisture.

Also helping to moisturize is CeraVe’s hyaluronic acid, which is not found in every mineral-based sunscreen. CeraVe’s sunscreen is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation and earned a seal of acceptance from the National Eczema Association as an effective broad-spectrum protector.

  • Sweatproof/waterproof: 40 minutes for both
  • SPF level: 30
  • Minerals used: Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide
  • Size: 2.5 oz.
  • Durability (how long it lasts on the skin): 2 hours
  • Cruelty-free: Yes
  • Free of: Oxybenzone, oil, paraben, fragrance, chemical filter 
  • Gentle on skin: Yes, it’s formulated for sensitive skin. 
  • Complexion after application: Dry and clear
  • Spray-on option: No 
  • Stick option: No 
  • Kid version of product: No

REN

4.2/5

REN’s “clean to skin, clean to planet” ethos appeals to many of its adherents, and its sunscreen backs that up. It’s broad-spectrum, but can be a part of your usual skincare routine and won’t irritate sensitive skin.

It also smooths skin, making it perfect to use before makeup, and greatly reduces skin shine. Its ingredients are also unique, including yellow passion fruit seed extract to shield the face from population and oil-absorbing rice starch, which also minimizes the appearance of pores. REN not only acts as a barrier to both UVA and UVB rays, but also blue light.

  • Sweatproof/waterproof: No/no
  • SPF level: 30 
  • Minerals used: Zinc oxide
  • Size: 1.7 oz.
  • Durability (how long it lasts on the skin): 2 hours
  • Cruelty-free: Yes 
  • Free of: Silicone, animal ingredients animal by-products
  • Gentle on skin: Yes 
  • Complexion after application: Matte finish, some white flaking
  • Spray-on option: No
  • Stick option: No
  • Kid version of product: No 
2021 Best Mineral-Based Sunscreens For Runners

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