• Top 10 Best Mineral Sunscreens in the UK 2021 (Avène, Clinique and More) 1
  • Top 10 Best Mineral Sunscreens in the UK 2021 (Avène, Clinique and More) 2
  • Top 10 Best Mineral Sunscreens in the UK 2021 (Avène, Clinique and More) 3
  • Top 10 Best Mineral Sunscreens in the UK 2021 (Avène, Clinique and More) 4
  • Top 10 Best Mineral Sunscreens in the UK 2021 (Avène, Clinique and More) 5

Top 10 Best Mineral Sunscreens in the UK 2021 (Avène, Clinique and More)

No matter the time of year, you always need to keep on top of your suncare game! The winter sun can be just as damaging, if not more so, than in the summer as we tend to let our guard down around the cooler months. So whether you’re off on your jollies, spending time in your garden or just commuting to work, you’re going to need a good broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays.


Many of us are choosing mineral sunscreens as a safer, environmentally-friendly alternative, and luckily there are a growing number available with brands like Neutrogena, Clinique and Badger getting in on the action. We’ve put together a guide to help you pick the best sunscreen for the face and body, alongside a ranking of our top products including tinted, silicone-free and non-nano options.
  • Last updated: 13-04-2021
  • 16,929 views
Table of Contents

What Are Mineral Sunscreens, and Why Choose Them Over Chemical Sunscreens?

What Are Mineral Sunscreens, and Why Choose Them Over Chemical Sunscreens?
First thing’s first, let’s explain what a mineral sunscreen is. It is in fact just as the name suggests – a sunscreen that uses active mineral ingredients instead of chemical to prevent the sun’s harmful rays from damaging your skin. The particular minerals that are used as filters in these sunscreens are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
Whereas chemical sunscreens work by way of absorption into the skin (which soak up UVA and UVB rays), these minerals remain on top of the skin to prevent the rays from reaching you in the first place. They are sometimes called “physical” sunscreens due to this preventative barrier.
What Are Mineral Sunscreens, and Why Choose Them Over Chemical Sunscreens?
Why use a mineral sunscreen? Some of us are concerned about the harmful effects of chemicals used in regular sunscreens from their absorption into the bloodstream, such as hormone disruption. The ingredients in chemical sunscreens can also be harmful to marine life and coral reefs when transferred from your skin to the ocean and can irritate children’s or sensitive skin.
Additionally, there has been some research to suggest that some chemical sunscreens aren’t actually as high an SPF as they claim, and contain too few active ingredients to block the full spectrum of UV rays. With a mineral sunscreen, on the other hand, the ingredients reflect the sun’s rays, preventing them from reaching your skin at all.

How to Choose a Mineral Sunscreen in the UK – Buying Guide

Now you know the advantages of a mineral sunscreen and how they work, you may be wondering how to identify them and what features to look for and avoid. Let’s check out the important points you need to consider in order to ensure safe and effective protection for you and your family.

Check the Ingredients for the Most Effective Use of Minerals, and Chemicals You May Prefer to Avoid

Check the Ingredients for the Most Effective Use of Minerals, and Chemicals You May Prefer to Avoid
We know the two minerals that make up a non-chemical sunscreen: titanium oxide and zinc oxide. Titanium oxide alone is not enough to completely protect against both UVA and UVB rays, so make sure that your mineral sunscreen contains either just zinc oxide or a combination of both as the active ingredients.
Looking for “100% mineral” sunscreens or those with only titanium and zinc oxide as the “active ingredients” will ensure that you are buying a completely mineral sunscreen, as some products may market themselves as “mineral-based” but actually include other chemical ingredients alongside a small amount of minerals.
Some of the chemical filters common in traditional sunscreen, and therefore the ones to watch out for, are Oxybenzone, Homosalate, Octinoxate and Avobenzone. There are guides available online with full lists of these ingredients if you want to do some extra research to avoid them completely.

Choose Between Nano or Non-Nano Depending on Your Need for Transparency and Health Concerns

Choose Between Nano or Non-Nano Depending on Your Need for Transparency and Health Concerns
The thick, white texture associated with some sunblocks is down to large particles of the zinc and titanium, which take longer to sink in than chemical versions and can leave us looking a little ghostly.
Zinc “nano” particles are the smallest type, as the name implies, and are used in modern mineral sun protection to decrease the chalky qualities and provide a more natural appearance. Their small size does mean that they are more likely to be absorbed into the bloodstream, which may be of concern to some people.
“Non-nano” on the other hand, have larger particles of the active minerals, so will not potentially enter the bloodstream. Current research shows there is no harm in these minerals doing so, but it’s up to you to decide if you don’t favour this. Either way, there are plenty of non-nano mineral sunscreens to choose from nowadays.

Make Sure Your Sunscreen Has Sufficient SPF, Broad Spectrum Protection and Water Resistance

Make Sure Your Sunscreen Has Sufficient SPF, Broad Spectrum Protection and Water Resistance
Let’s break down the difference between the UVs for you: UVB rays are the ones that burn your skin, UVA rays cause ageing of the skin, and too much of either of them can lead to skin cancer.
UVA protection does not have a rating system, but we use SPF to determine UVB protection. Therefore it is best to ensure your mineral sunscreen is “broad spectrum”, which means it shields you from both types of UV light.
Go for the highest protection you can for large amounts of sun exposure, especially for babies and kids, and try to choose water-resistant sunscreens. Even if you aren’t swimming, they will ensure sweat-proof SPF protection. Most will state the minutes they are resistant for, so choose a high number for safer care.

Opt for Oil-Free and Silicone-Free Mineral Sunscreens for Breakout Prone Skin

Opt for Oil-Free and Silicone-Free Mineral Sunscreens for Breakout Prone Skin
If your skin is prone to acne or breakouts, you will want to choose a sunscreen that is oil-free. Oil-free sunscreens will be marketed as such, so this can easily be spotted on the label. They will also sink in more quickly, which is always appealing in a lotion. You could further seek out non-comedogenic products that are formulated not to clog pores for breakout-prone skin.
Although oils can be nourishing, you may want to choose oil-free if you suffer from prickly heat, as they can heat up the skin and leave those with sensitivities feeling uncomfortable.
Some sunscreens add silicones, a type of plastic, to make the skin feel smooth and resist water. They do this by forming a barrier on the skin, but this can block pores by trapping dirt, bacteria, sweat and the like. Simply opt for silicone-free sunscreens if you’re spot prone or prefer a plastic-free product.

Top 10 Best Mineral Sunscreens in the UK

It’s time to dive in to our top picks from those available online, so hopefully you have a better idea of what you do and don’t want to be in your mineral sunscreen. We’ve included options for the face and body as well as those suitable for babies and children, so you’re sure to find the one for you.
10

Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Sunscreen for Face

59ml

£30.00

100% Mineral FiltersYes
Non-Nano/NanoNano
SPF50
Broad SpectrumYes
Water Resistant80 minutes
Oil-freeYes
Silicone-freeNo
9

Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen

148ml

£24.58

100% Mineral FiltersYes
Non-Nano/NanoNano
SPF30
Broad SpectrumYes
Water Resistant40 minutes
Oil-freeNo
Silicone-freeNo
8
100% Mineral FiltersYes
Non-nano/NanoNano
SPF50
Broad SpectrumYes
Water ResistantNo
Oil-freeYes
Silicone-freeNo
7

ThinkSport Mineral Sunscreen

89ml

£11.17

100% Mineral FiltersYes
Non-nano/NanoNon-nano
SPF50+
Broad SpectrumYes
Water Resistant80 minutes
Oil-freeNo
Silicone-freeNo
6

Heliocare 360°Mineral Fluid for Sensitive and Intolerant Skin

50ml

£26.16

100% Mineral FiltersYes
Non-nano/NanoNano
SPF50
Broad SpectrumYes
Water ResistantYes
Oil-freeNo
Silicone-freeNo
5
100% Mineral FiltersYes
Non-nano/NanoNano
SPF50+
Broad SpectrumYes
Water ResistantYes
Oil-freeNo
Silicone-freeNo
4

Derma ENatural Mineral Sunscreen

118ml

£17.80

100% Mineral FiltersYes
Non-nano/NanoNon-nano
SPF30
Broad SpectrumYes
Water Resistant
Oil-freeNo
Silicone-freeYes
3

Badger Unscented Mineral Sunscreen

87ml

£25.50

100% Mineral FiltersYes
Non-nano/NanoNon-nano
SPF30
Broad SpectrumYes
Water Resistant40 minutes
Oil-freeNo
Silicone-freeYes
2

Alba BotanicaSensitive Mineral Sunscreen

118ml

£8.99

100% Mineral FiltersYes
Non-nano/NanoNon-nano
SPF30
Broad SpectrumYes
Water Resistant80 minutes
Oil-freeNo
Silicone-freeNo
1

Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen

89ml

£22.66

100% Mineral FiltersYes
Non-nano/NanoNon-nano
SPF30
Broad SpectrumYes
Water Resistant80 minutes
Oil-freeNo
Silicone-freeYes

Compare the Best Mineral Sunscreens

Image
1
Babo Botanicals  Clear Zinc Sunscreen  1

Babo Botanicals

2
Alba Botanica Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen 1

Alba Botanica

3
Badger  Unscented Mineral Sunscreen 1

Badger

4
Derma E Natural Mineral Sunscreen 1

Derma E

5
Avène  Tinted Mineral Fluid  1

Avène

6
Heliocare 360° Mineral Fluid for Sensitive and Intolerant Skin 1

Heliocare 360°

7
ThinkSport  Mineral Sunscreen  1

ThinkSport

8
Clinique Mineral Sunscreen for Face  1

Clinique

9
Blue Lizard  Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen  1

Blue Lizard

10
Neutrogena  Sheer Zinc Sunscreen for Face  1

Neutrogena

Name

Clear Zinc Sunscreen

Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen

Unscented Mineral Sunscreen

Natural Mineral Sunscreen

Tinted Mineral Fluid

Mineral Fluid for Sensitive and Intolerant Skin

Mineral Sunscreen

Mineral Sunscreen for Face

Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen

Sheer Zinc Sunscreen for Face

Features

An Excellent Value Natural Sunscreen for Children and Adults Alike

Naturally Soothing, Eco-Friendly and Protective

100% Natural Ingredients for Thirsty Skin

Quick Absorbing and Enriched With Vitamins for Mature Skin

A Protective Tinted Facial Sunscreen

Vegan-Friendly and Ideal for Easily Irritated and Sensitive Skins

Perfect for Active Types Wanting High Protection

A Luxurious, Easy to Apply Facial Sunscreen

Effective Sensitive Protection and Kind to Marine Life

A High Protection Facial Sunscreen for Sensitive Skins

Price£22.66£8.99£25.50£17.80£18.50£26.16£11.17£22.00£24.58£30.00
100% Mineral FiltersYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Non-nano/NanoNon-nanoNon-nanoNon-nanoNon-nanoNanoNanoNon-nanoNanoNanoNano
SPF3030303050+5050+503050
Broad SpectrumYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Water Resistant80 minutes80 minutes40 minutesYesYes80 minutesNo40 minutes80 minutes
Oil-freeNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoYes
Silicone-freeYesNoYesYesNoNoNoNoNoNo
Link

Tips for Applying Mineral Sunscreens

Tips for Applying Mineral Sunscreens
You’ve heard us talk about the potential for mineral sunscreens to leave a chalky or white residue on the skin due to the mineral ingredients, but there are some ways you can try to minimise this.
Firstly, bear in mind that you will need a lot less mineral sunscreen than you may be used to. Either dot on small blobs, or take a pea-sized amount and rub it between the hands, then blot it over before rubbing in well. Work bit by bit in each area of your body. This will also help reduce any whiteness from over-application.
You should also apply your mineral sunscreen around 15 minutes before you head outside, due to the fact it may take a little longer to put on the skin, and of course re-apply after swimming and every couple of hours just as you would a traditional sunscreen.

Be Ready for the Sun No Matter the Time of Year

Be Ready for the Sun No Matter the Time of Year

Sun protection doesn't start and end with one bottle of sunscreen. There are plenty of ways to shield yourself from the sun's harsh rays. Take a look at these other products to ensure you don't get caught out at any time of the year.

Summary

Mineral sunscreens can be just as effective, if not more so, than their chemical cousins, but are kinder to our skin and the environment. There are dozens of options for you to choose from, and with both trusted brands and independent ethical companies creating more products to meet our demands, you will be sure to find one to suit you and your family.

Author: Natasha Dziubajlo

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