10 Best Mineral Sunscreens to Hydrate and Protect Your Skin

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Close your eyes and think of a mineral sunscreen. Now open your eyes and forget everything you thought you knew. If there’s one category in the beauty industry that has a bad rap (aside from stiff hair sprays and chunky highlighters), it’s mineral—also known as “physical”—sunscreen. While the drying, goopy, white cast mineral sunscreens of the past may have turned some people off, there’s no denying the importance of shielding the skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Thankfully, sunscreens of the mineral variety have come a long way in look, feel, and ingredients list. The top zinc oxide and titanium oxide sunscreen products of today (which tend to be gentler on sensitive skin types and work faster than chemical sunscreens) boast a slew of skin-first elements that’ll do way more than just protect. Below, we’ve rounded up the most hydrating physical SPFs on the market that redefine mineral sun protection for good.

With Tatcha’s The Silk Sunscreen SPF 50, the drying, ashy sunscreens of years past are officially archaic. Instead, the formula goes on 100 percent sheer and remains invisible—no pilling, breaking apart, or patchiness to surprise you throughout the day. This product keeps skin feeling moisturized and happy via niacinamide and hyaluronic acid, and the addition of silk extract delivers a smooth, glowing finish—perfect if the day calls for some makeup.

Is it a serum or is it a sunscreen? Innbeauty Project’s Mineral Sun Glow blurs the lines between skincare and SPF, a welcome merger that results in an ultra-hydrated complexion. Using zinc oxide dispersion technology, the formula protects skin with SPF 43 and is available in two shades for a light veil of coverage. As a bonus, you’ll be able to skip those pore-clogging blurring primers, since this delivers a silky-smooth finish.

We love the Live Tinted Hueguard 3-in-1 Mineral Sunscreen, Moisturizer, and Primer SPF 30 for pool days, since it keeps skin extra hydrated under the sun’s harsh rays and you can wear it head to toe, making reapplication a breeze. No matter where you choose to apply it, the product’s airy texture and velvety feel are qualities that’ll make it a mainstay in your routine. It also comes in three sizes—original, jumbo, and mini—so there’s no excuse not to stay protected.

Just when you thought you could never actually enjoy applying sunscreen—in comes the Kopari Antioxidant Face Shield Mineral SPF 30 to prove you otherwise. Its blendable texture sinks right into the skin and strikes the perfect balance of hydrating without feeling sticky. But what really sets this formula apart is that it’s made with a medley of antioxidants like vitamin E and raspberry seed oil to protect skin from free radicals. What’s more, the pump applicator makes it easy (and mess-free) to apply.

Looking for a no-fuss, everyday sunscreen that doesn’t skimp on moisture? Presenting Arcona’s Reozone 30, a feather-light mineral option that prioritizes skin hydration just as much as sun protection. You’ll find superstar hydrators like glycerin and sunflower seed oil, but the fact that you can wear it underneath makeup without the risk of pilling, or on its own as a year-round sunscreen, is what makes this product extra special.

This mineral sunscreen from Coola is just what the doctor ordered for oily, acne-prone skin types. You won’t have to worry about it causing congestion or breakouts since it replaces pore-clogging oils with ingredients like centella asiatica, which soothes inflammation. And, because it’s laced with niacinamide, the product helps brighten skin over time (great for improving the look of those pesky post-acne dark spots).

Sonage’s Protec Plus Mineral Sunscreen is a dream for both dry and aging skin, featuring a buffet of nourishing ingredients to keep flakiness and crepiness at bay. Hyaluronic acid draws water to the skin while shea butter conditions and calms inflammation. All the while, the formula minimizes the look of puffiness using bisabolol (perfect if you just pulled an all-nighter) and keeps skin looking bouncy à la fatty acid-rich cocoa seed butter.

This mineral sunscreen from Suntegrity is quite the over-achiever, performing five different functions in one do-it-all formula. It hydrates, protects, primes, and treats the skin all while providing BB cream-like coverage. Packed with moisturizing ingredients like jojoba seed oil, coconut oil extract, and sunflower seed oil, it’s also ideal for sensitive skin types thanks to the addition of calming aloe vera.

The beauty of this dermatologist-founded sunscreen is that it doesn’t just protect your skin—it helps heal signs of sun damage, too. That’s all thanks to ingredients like photolyase (DNA repair enzymes that work to improve skin texture) and niacinamide (to boost skin radiance). Plus, it’s designed for all skin types: Dry skin will appreciate the dewy finish, while oilier types will revel in the lightweight moisture and barely there feel. While this formula is made with non-nano zinc oxide (the safest choice for marine life), it goes on completely sheer—no white cast in sight.

At first glance, the viscose texture and white appearance of Mary Kay’s Mineral Facial Sunscreen may remind you of the dreaded mineral sunscreens of years past, but a quick blend into the skin and you’ll quickly realize it’s completely sheer. The product isn’t made with any greasy or comedogenic ingredients (oily skin, rejoice), and even though it has a matte finish, your complexion won’t look chalky. Aside from its lightweight consistency, this formula gets major cool points for being fragrance-free (bottom line: you really won’t even know it’s there).

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