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21 Excellent Zinc Oxide Sunscreens That Blend Like a Dream

Plus, what to look for when choosing your next favorite.

Headshot of Harper's Bazaar StaffBy Harper's Bazaar Staff
zinc oxide sunscreens to shop in 2022

Sunscreen is a non-negotiable every day of the year, rain or shine. You can have a 10-step routine and use the best actives and creams, but products can only go so far if you’re not protecting your skin from the sun. As SPF awareness increases, so has the conversation around chemical versus mineral.

"Mineral sunscreens are those that use zinc oxide by themselves, or in combination with the ingredient titanium dioxide, to block UV light,” New York City-based dermatologist Joshua Zeichner tells BAZAAR.com. “Many people think that zinc-only based sunscreens are more natural, and feel more comfortable applying those types of sunscreens on their skin,” he adds. "I typically recommend a zinc oxide-based blocker for sensitive skin."

Shop the Best Zinc Oxide Sunscreens

  • Hydrating Sunscreen Face Lotion SPF 50

    Best Value Pick

    CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen Face Lotion SPF 50

    $16 at Ulta Beauty
    Read more
  • UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41 Sunscreen

    Best Sunscreen for Oily Skin

    EltaMD UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41 Sunscreen

    Read more
  • Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 PA +++

    Best Fragrance-Free Sunscreen

    Biossance Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 PA +++

    Read more
  • Ultra Sun Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ WetForce

    Best for Sensitive Skin

    Shiseido Ultra Sun Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ WetForce

    Read more
  • ShadeDrops Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Mineral Milk Sunscreen

    Best Sunscreen That Plays Well With Face Makeup

    Summer Fridays ShadeDrops Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Mineral Milk Sunscreen

    Read more

While physical sunscreens conjure thick, goopy formulas that leave a white cast, the latest and best formulas look seamless on the skin and are a breeze to apply. Whether you’re a physical sunscreen expert or need help transitioning from chemical, we’ve gathered 21 zinc oxide sunscreens to wear year-round at the beach or sitting in front of your laptop.

Related: The Best Oil-Free Sunscreens That Won't Break You Out


Best Value Pick

CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen Face Lotion SPF 50

Hydrating Sunscreen Face Lotion SPF 50
Best Value Pick

CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen Face Lotion SPF 50

$16 at Ulta Beauty
Credit: Ulta
Pros
  • Oil-free
Cons

    For more protection, try CeraVe's mineral SPF50 formula that contains ceramides to improve skin barrier and niacinamide to soothe skin.

    Customer Review:

    "If applied properly, this sunscreen does not leave a white cast. Use a small amount at a time, warm in palms first, then gently massage into skin until absorbed. My skin feels really hydrated afterward without feeling sticky and the sun protection is excellent." —Cando

    SPF level50
    Best Sunscreen for Oily Skin

    EltaMD UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41 Sunscreen

    UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41 Sunscreen
    Best Sunscreen for Oily Skin

    EltaMD UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41 Sunscreen

    Now 20% Off
    Credit: Dermstore
    Pros
    • Lightly tinted
    Cons
    • Only one shade option available

    Created for face and body, this oil-free sunscreen contains a combination of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and has a slight tint that instantly blends into skin so there's no white cast.

    Customer Review:

    "I’ve purchased this sunscreen multiple times. It goes on nicely and doesn’t feel greasy nor does it have a scent, which I especially like. The tint is perfect for me (medium tone Asian). Many tinted products are too light for me, especially zinc products. It is not a full coverage product which I like but if you are looking for full coverage this may not enough." —Mari

    SPF level41
    Best Fragrance-Free Sunscreen

    Biossance Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 PA +++

    Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 PA +++
    Best Fragrance-Free Sunscreen

    Biossance Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 PA +++

    Credit: Sephora
    Pros
    • Sheer finish
    Cons

      This squalane and zinc oxide sunscreen from the skincare experts at Biossance is best applied 15 minutes before stepping into sunlight, and is even hydrating enough to replace your go-to moisturizer.

      Customer Review:

      "This SPF lotion is gorgeously lightweight and absorbs quickly. I use it combined with a mineral SPF powder and/or cc cream since I’m fraught with skin cancers and use Retin-A. This is the perfect base to start my day with." –Shell S.

      SPF level30
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      Best for Sensitive Skin

      Shiseido Ultra Sun Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ WetForce

      Ultra Sun Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ WetForce
      Best for Sensitive Skin

      Shiseido Ultra Sun Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ WetForce

      Credit: Ulta
      Pros
      • Water-resistant and sweat-proof
      Cons

        Shiseido sunscreens reign and for good reason: They feel great on the skin and have a thoughtful combination of protective ingredients. This physical version from the brand has a blend of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, and is one of the best to use on children, babies, and those with sensitive skin. Plus, unlike other mineral sunscreens, this one features Shiseido's WetForce technology that makes it more effective when exposed to water or sweat.

        Customer Review:

        "I love it! this is the first time I feel so comfortable wearing sunscreen. My face is not oily or sticky." —EVV13

        SPF level50+
        Best Sunscreen That Plays Well With Face Makeup

        Summer Fridays ShadeDrops Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Mineral Milk Sunscreen

        ShadeDrops Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Mineral Milk Sunscreen
        Best Sunscreen That Plays Well With Face Makeup

        Summer Fridays ShadeDrops Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Mineral Milk Sunscreen

        Credit: Sephora
        Pros
        • Fragrance-free
        Cons

          This culty mineral sunscreen contains hydrating ingredients like squalane and vitamin E, and soothing chamomile in a silky serum formula.

          Customer Review:

          "I have extremely sensitive skin and this sunscreen has been an absolute dream come true for me. It wears so light like a lotion, has zero sunscreen smell, and the best is that it doesn’t irritate me OR clog my pores/break me out. I never thought I’d love a sunscreen so much and have never wanted to follow the rules of wearing sunscreen under makeup until now. " —Evelynnii

          SPF level30
          Best Sunscreen for Oily Skin

          Supergoop! Zincscreen Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 40 PA+++

          Zincscreen Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 40 PA+++
          Best Sunscreen for Oily Skin

          Supergoop! Zincscreen Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 40 PA+++

          Credit: Nordstrom
          Pros
          • Also helps protect against blue light
          Cons

            Fans of Supergoop’s chemical offerings will be happy to know their mineral options are just as effective (and easy to wear). This lotion in particular is extra lightweight, making it ideal for acne-prone skin.

            Customer Review:

            "I am a medical aesthetician and very picky about sunscreen ingredients. I’ve been using this for a few days and it’s one of super goops best. finally a mineral SPF with no silicones or dimethicone! I have light/olive tone skin and this doesn’t leave a white cast at all. Love." —Tanioudi

            SPF level40
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            Best for Combination Skin

            Sun Bum Mineral SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen Face Lotion

            Mineral SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen Face Lotion
            Best for Combination Skin

            Sun Bum Mineral SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen Face Lotion

            Credit: Amazon
            Pros
            • Non-greasy
            Cons
            • Only one shade option available

            “Not all mineral sunscreens are created equally, even if they have the same ingredient list," says Zeichner. "Sun Bum products really do fully rub in.” This tinted face lotion from the brand leaves behind a matte finish, and is vegan and fragrance-free. Plus, its formula is also water-resistant for up to 40 minutes per wear.

            Customer Review:

            "I love this stuff! Sunscreen always makes my face feel greasy but this sunscreen is so smooth and doesn’t even feel like I’m wearing sunscreen at all! I highly recommend!" —Holly Polley

            SPF level30
            Best Scented Sunscreen

            Native Sunscreen

            Sunscreen
            Best Scented Sunscreen

            Native Sunscreen

            Credit: Native
            Pros
            • Formula is dermatologist-tested
            Cons
            • Scent may be off-putting to some

            This 20 percent zinc oxide formula boasts a tropical coconut and pineapple scent that keeps skin supple with glycerin and coconut oil.

            Customer Review:

            "Just came from vacation and the sunscreen was absolutely perfect, love the smell and consistency and will also order the body sunscreen soon!" —Barbora D.

            SPF level30
            Best Tinted Sunscreen

            Saie Sunvisor

            Sunvisor
            Best Tinted Sunscreen

            Saie Sunvisor

            Credit: Saie
            Pros
            • Hydrating
            • Soothing
            Cons
            • Only one shade option available

            Forget everything you thought you knew about tacky, hard-to-rub-in sunscreens. Here's a non-nano formula from Saie that combines the benefits of your favorite serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen into one product.

            Customer Review:

            "Bought Sunvisor as my facial sunscreen for a trip to Mexico. Perfect layer under the Glowy Super Gel for a perfect look. No need for foundation. The dewy look make me feel so much younger. And that's a win!!" —Lori F.

            SPF level30
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            Best Affordable Pick

            Versed Guards Up Daily Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum Spf 35

            Guards Up Daily Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum Spf 35
            Best Affordable Pick

            Versed Guards Up Daily Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum Spf 35

            Pros
            • Protects against pollution
            Cons

              No white cast? Check. Absorbs quickly? Check. Moringa seed extract and sea fennel for added protection against pollution and blue light? Check, check, and check.

              Customer Review:

              "By far the best sunscreen I have ever used! It goes on so light while giving you a little glow for every day wear. It doesn't leave a white chalky feeling either, which is hard to find in sunscreens. I never write reviews but I needed to for this one and to tell you to go buy! You won't be disappointed."

              SPFSPF 35
              FeaturesGlowy finish
              Best for Rosacea

              CALM Redness Relief SPF 30 Mineral Moisturizer for Normal to Oily Skin

              Redness Relief SPF 30 Mineral Moisturizer for Normal to Oily Skin
              Best for Rosacea

              CALM Redness Relief SPF 30 Mineral Moisturizer for Normal to Oily Skin

              If your skin has been through the wringer, this gentle SPF 30 uses aloe leaf juice, glycerin, and anti-inflammatory camellia sinensis leaf extract⁠ (from the same family as green tea) to calm and protect the skin from further damage.

              Customer Review:

              "I use it every morning. It gives a beautiful finish - matte without being dull. Pores appear smaller. No irritating fragrance. No breakouts. I have oily T zone, dry around mouth/cheeks. I have mild rosacea/redness and use retin-a for acne a few nights a week. Non irritating. What a holy grail." – Vanessa

              SPFSPF 30
              FormulaLightweight
              Best for Sensitive Skin

              Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defense Sunscreen SPF 30

              Invisible Physical Defense Sunscreen SPF 30
              Best for Sensitive Skin

              Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defense Sunscreen SPF 30

              Now 17% Off
              Pros
              • Calm irritation
              Cons

                Here's another mineral sunscreen that provides double duty UV and blue light protection. It's especially ideal for sensitive types, as it uses a mushroom complex to soothe skin and minimize redness caused from sun exposure.

                Customer Review:

                "I love this sunscreen! I have somewhat fair skin so I do not find that this leaves a white cast on my face. I have super oily skin and this is the only sunscreen I have found that doesn't make me look like a greasy mess at the end of the day, instead it looks like I have a healthy glow. This also looks great under makeup and helps keep me shine free." – Cindyloves

                SPF level30
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                Best for Over Makeup

                Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Stick SPF 30

                Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Stick SPF 30
                Best for Over Makeup

                Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Stick SPF 30

                Credit: Beautycounter
                Pros
                • Hydrating
                • Reef-safe
                Cons

                  With over 1,400 customer reviews and nearly a five-star rating, this travel-friendly, broad-spectrum sunscreen stick is a hit among Beautycounter shoppers. Plus, the stick format makes it easy to touch up throughout the day (Derms recommend reapplying sunscreen every two hours).

                  Customer Review:

                  "Love this formula - velvety and balmy, gives protection without any white cast, and acts like a primer under any makeup. I also love this stick for my small children in summer." – Klara P.

                  Key IngredientCocoa butter
                  SPFSPF 30
                  Best for Oily and Combination Skin

                  Coola Mineral Sun Silk Crème SPF 30

                  Mineral Sun Silk Crème SPF 30
                  Best for Oily and Combination Skin

                  Coola Mineral Sun Silk Crème SPF 30

                  Credit: Nordstrom
                  Pros
                  • Protects against pollution
                  Cons

                    Nordstrom customers swear by this velvety SPF cream that uses plant stem cells, antioxidants, and niacinamide to boost skin's radiance while protecting it against blue light and environmental stressors like UV rays and pollution.

                    Customer Review:

                    "I have sensitive skin and am acne-prone, but this sunscreen has never caused me to break out. It goes on nice and smooth. My only complaint making me give it 4 stars is that it does leave a faint white residue if you don't massage it onto your face thoroughly. Great protection though!" —Sarah. H

                    SPF level30
                    Best for Acne-Prone Skin

                    Kinship Self Reflect Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 32

                    Self Reflect Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 32
                    Best for Acne-Prone Skin

                    Kinship Self Reflect Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 32

                    Credit: Credo Beauty
                    Pros
                    • Improves dullness
                    • Primes the skin for makeup
                    • Doesn't pill
                    Cons

                      Your complexion will look extra dewy and hydrated after using this plant probiotic-based SPF, which protects against harmful UV rays and the effects of blue light.

                      Customer Review:

                      "This is the best sunscreen. The very light tint helps with the whiteness that naturally occurs with Zinc. It is moisturizing and it improves my skin. The texture is great -- does not pill. No irritation. I have tried tens of natural sunscreens and this one is the definite winner. I have been using for years." – MS

                      SPFSPF 32
                      FeaturesGlowy finish
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                      Best Sunscreen for Blue Light Protection

                      Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare All-Physical Lightweight Wrinkle Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30

                      All-Physical Lightweight Wrinkle Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30
                      Best Sunscreen for Blue Light Protection

                      Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare All-Physical Lightweight Wrinkle Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30

                      Pros
                      • Lightweight
                      Cons

                        This SPF 30 features non-nano zinc oxide that not only protects from UV rays, but mitigates the effects of blue light damage, which we all need. Sea buckthorn works with the zinc oxide to also protect against sun exposure.

                        Customer Review:

                        "Great smooth finish, light weight, and a bit of sheen to the product. Also, does NOT smell like sunscreen." —SDmomma16

                        SPF level30
                        Best Powder Formula

                        Isdin Mineral Brush Powder

                        Mineral Brush Powder
                        Best Powder Formula

                        Isdin Mineral Brush Powder

                        Credit: Amazon
                        Pros
                        • Easy to apply
                        Cons
                        • Pricey

                        For quick touch-ups on the go and over makeup, reach for this Isdin Mineral Powder Brush with SPF 50. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide protect from UV rays while mica adds a radiance to the skin.

                        Customer Review:

                        "Helps with rosacea redness. Hope this product never discontinues. Highly recommend!" —Suelen34

                        SPF50
                        Best for Mature Skin

                        Ourself Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50

                        Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50
                        Best for Mature Skin

                        Ourself Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50

                        Pros
                        • Good for sensitive skin
                        Cons

                          This newcomer brand has created cult-favorite products, including its mineral sunscreen, which boasts SPF 50 and a slew of skin-loving ingredients like niacinamide, firming peptides to address signs of aging, and jojoba esters to soothe. Fans of this SPF praise its beautiful satin finish that doesn't leave any white cast.

                          Customer Review:

                          "Fantastic sunscreen. Tingles a little bit upon application, but nothing too harsh. I really enjoy the consistency of it - it's thin enough to blend in effortlessly with my daily moisturizer, unlike my last SPF which was incredibly thick and goopy. I am of mixed race and I also find that this doesn't leave any white residue behind when I use it on its own. Would recommend." – Shree S.

                          SPF50
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                          Best for All Skin Tones

                          Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30

                          Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30
                          Best for All Skin Tones

                          Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30

                          Credit: Sephora
                          Pros
                          • Glowy finish
                          Cons
                          • Only one available shade option

                          The fresh, glowy tint and antioxidant-packed formula satisfy both makeup-at-the-beach and makeup-free types alike.

                          Customer Review:

                          "I think this is a good product for no makeup makeup days. I am very pale and it makes me look tan but you do have to blend in very well to not have lines" – Haleyc009

                          Skincare ConcernsFine Lines and Wrinkles, Dark Spots, and Dullness and Uneven Texture
                          SPFSPF 30
                          Best Sunscreen Face Drops

                          Indē Wild AM Sunscreen Glow Drops

                          AM Sunscreen Glow Drops
                          Best Sunscreen Face Drops

                          Indē Wild AM Sunscreen Glow Drops

                          Pros
                          • Zero pilling
                          • Good for acne-prone skin
                          Cons

                            These paraben and silicone-free sunscreen face drops feature centella and licorice root to even out skin tone and impart a healthy glow. The sheer formula can be used alone, or as the perfect primer under makeup thanks to zero pilling.

                            Customer Review:

                            "This sunscreen is the best mineral sunscreen i have used so far as it does not have a cast after applying it. Great under makeup and waterproof. None irritating for acne prone skin and has not caused breakouts. It was a sun screen natural scent that goes away after 10 mins. Love it!" – Adriana R.

                            SPF level50

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