Be Well

Nine Chemical-Free Sunscreens for the Conscientious SPF Wearer

Just in time for summer.
Reading time 2 minutes

There was a time when wearing a chemical-free “physical” or mineral sunscreen meant slathering on thick, opaque gunk that was about as aesthetically pleasing as Silly Putty or Crisco. Thanks to advancements in science and technology, mineral sunscreens are as light feeling as their chemical counterparts. Sometimes, even better. Here, some of the newest additions to the ever-expanding mineral class.

EIR Surf Mud SPF 30

Former extreme athlete (and present-day surfer) Jun Lee became an herbal practitioner so she could treat the pain she experienced from a surfing injury. Her potions eventually led to creating chemical-free sunscreens that she shared with surf pals like Carolyn Murphy and Kelly Slater. While this grease-less balm can be used anywhere (even on hair!), its soothing texture and light tea tree aroma might also turn it into your favorite lip balm.


Ursa Major Force Field Daily Defense Lotion SPF 18

Beauty execs Erin Doyle and Oliver Sweatman left Manhattan for a cleaner lifestyle in the Green Mountains of Vermont, but, thankfully, their entrepreneurial spirit led them to create this gender-neutral line. Packed with natural but hardy ingredients (Mexican Prickly Poppy stem cells??) this lightweight lotion repairs and hydrates, but protects with an SPF number that makes it ideal for incidental daily exposure.

VIVE SANA Daily Protezione SPF 30

The formula of this rich cream boasts super clean non-nano uncoated zinc, while also packing it with a crateload of botanicals, including avocado, organic apricot, green tea, licorice root, red raspberry, and sunflower.

Kiss My Face KMF Organics Mineral SPF 30 Air-Powered Spray Sunscreen

With the blast of an aerosol without the actual aerosol, this spray’s super light yet water-resistant formula is perfect for withstanding outdoor activities.

Beauty Counter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Mist SPF 30

Also air-powered but in a super cute convenient travel size. We also love that it’s “reef-friendly,” a term that’s popping up more and more.

Bare Republic Mineral SPF 50 Neon Sunscreen Stick

Channel your inner child of the 80’s with a swipe of pink, purple or yellow (we recommend yellow) before hitting the beach. Don’t forget that B-52’s mixtape.

Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense SPF 30

Founder Tiffany Masterson’s mandate of clean ingredients led her to cut out the now-famous “suspicious six,” of which chemical sunscreen is one of them. This is also available in a non-tinted formula, but the sheer consistency of this whipped formula makes it suitable for a fairly wide variety of skin tones.

Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream Tinted SPF 30

This lightweight cream formula has just enough tint to help even out skin tone, and its formula is gentle enough for even sensitive, oily and acne-prone skin.

Soleil Toujours Bardot Hat UPF 50

Ok, an actual hat isn’t exactly mineral, but how can we not include a version that’s as chic as this one. It’s become so popular, in fact, that it keeps selling out. Should a wait-list situation occur, Soleil Toujours Extreme UV Mineral Sunscreen SPF 45 for Face is a very formidable substitute. 

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