For a long time, if you wanted to use mineral sunscreens you were stuck with thick, goopy products that left you looking ghostly. The newest crop of mineral sunscreens is changing all that, offering stellar sun protection without the chalky white finish. There are lots of advantages to going with mineral protection, the biggest of which that it works instantly. The physical blockers go on top of skin, reflecting rays, so you don’t have to wait 15 to 30 minutes for them to activate. Another factor is the environment, a 2008 study found that chemicals in sunscreen can bleach and kill coral, threatening coral worldwide. You also don’t have exposure to some questionable, and popular sunscreen chemicals including oxybenzone, which according to the Environmental Working Group can cause reproductive toxicity, endocrine disruption, allergies, and organ system toxicity. Not necessarily appealing.
Ultimately what you want in a sunscreen is one that’s easy to apply, invisible, safe, and will stand up to whatever your day holds. To find the best mineral sunscreens, I tested, slathered, and swam in dozens of formulas. Here are the results, 11 standout sunscreens that will keep you covered.
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