Both chemical-based and mineral sunscreens block UVA and UVB rays, helping you avoid sunburn, skin aging, and melanoma—but why is one better than the other? Regular sunscreens are absorbed into the skin and create a chemical-based reaction with UV light, dissipating it as heat.(1) Four of the common chemicals in regular sunscreen (avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, and ecamsule) are absorbed into the bloodstream(2), but there are no studies to determine possible toxic effects. In addition, these chemicals may damage coral reefs.(3) On the other hand, mineral sunscreens (made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) sit on top of the skin and block light from being absorbed at all. Plus, they layer well with other skincare products. Better safe than sorry!
BEST BUDGET $0–$15
A great go-to for full-body coverage.
Eco-friendly packaging and glides on smooth.
MIDDLE GROUND $15–$40
Comes in lotion, spray, balm & powder. Tinted and sheer options for face are great for sensitive skin and everyday wear.
Comes in lotion, spray, balm & powder. A favorite of surfers all over the world and great for sensitive skin.
Eleve Vitamin Sea Mineral Antioxidant
This antioxidant-rich formula gives you a healthy glow while protecting your skin.
Vive Sana Daily Protezione
Super hydrating, antioxidant-rich formula that’s tinted and goes flawlessly under makeup.