The Best Zinc Oxide Sunscreens That Won't Make You Feel Greasy

These sunblock options don't contain oxybenzone, avobenzone, or titanium dioxide. Bonus: They won't leave your skin with white streaks.

person with a floppy sun hat sitting outside and applying suncreen, potentially a sunscreen with only zinc oxide as a main ingredient

If you're looking for a sunscreen with only zinc oxide, you've come to the right place.

Lots of people seek out mineral-based sunscreens, whether for environmental reasons or because of the FDA's findings that chemicals in traditional sunscreens absorb into users' bloodstreams. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide — the two main sun-blocking ingredients used in mineral sunscreens — both provide excellent UVA and UVB protection, so sunscreens containing both ingredients are solid choices.

However, zinc oxide is thought to have a slight edge when it comes to UVA protection, which is why a subset of mineral sunscreen lovers look for a formula that lists zinc oxide as its only active ingredient. (Refresher: UVA rays penetrate skin more deeply than UVB rays and are the main cause of photoaging. Both UVA and UVB rays can cause skin cancer.)

In the past, that meant settling for a thick cream that's impossible to rub in, but now, those who prefer a suncreen with only zinc oxide no longer have to settle. "Mineral sunscreens have come a long way," says Deanne Robinson, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and co-founder of Modern Dermatology of Connecticut. "Many options are pretty lightweight and apply smoothly without the chalky white finish," she adds. Bless.

Convinced? Here are the best zinc oxide sunscreens to add to your skin-care routine.

01 of 08

Ren Clean Screen Mattifying Face Sunscreen SPF 30

Ren Clean Screen Mattifying Face Sunscreen SPF 30 product image
Sephora

Few things are worse than applying sunscreen and feeling like an oil spill, so this SPF that's designed to mattify skin is perfect. It also contains passion fruit seed extract, which might fight the effects of aging caused by UV rays.

02 of 08

Aveeno Positively Mineral Sensitive Skin Sunscreen SPF 50

 Aveeno Positively Mineral Sensitive Skin Sunscreen SPF 50 product image
Target

Like many of Aveeno's products, this sunscreen for sensitive skin contains oats, a soothing ingredient that relieves skin of itchiness and irritation.

03 of 08

Coola Mineral Sun Silk Crème SPF 30

Coola Mineral Sun Silk Crème SPF 30 product image
Sephora

This sunscreen with only zinc oxide is designed to defend your skin from multiple aggressors. In addition to UV-fighting zinc oxide, it has a combination of antioxidants targeted to minimize damage from pollution and blue light exposure.

04 of 08

Sun Bum Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50

Sun Bum Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50 product image
Target

A cruelty-free and vegan option, this lotion has coconut oil and shea butter, two ultra-hydrating ingredients.

05 of 08

Neutrogena SheerZinc Face Sunscreen SPF 50

 Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Face Lotion product image
Target

Love Neutrogena's Dry-Touch sunscreen line but prefer a mineral formulation? Try SheerZinc, which is a mineral sunscreen with only zinc oxide. It's oil-free, water-resistant, and broad-spectrum SPF 50, too.

06 of 08

Mychelle Dermaceuticals Non-Tinted Sun Shield Liquid SPF 50

Mychelle Dermaceuticals Sun Shield Liquid Non-Tinted SPF 50 Non-Tinted product image
Mychelle

This sunscreen doubles as a mattifying primer, so you can use it to prep your face for makeup when it's sweltering outside. It also contains clay, which soaks up excess oil.

07 of 08

Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte SPF 30

Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte product image
Sephora

For a tinted sunscreen with only zinc oxide, try Drunk Elephant's Umbra Tinte. It contains marula and jojoba oils, which are both loaded with antioxidants and vitamin E.

08 of 08

Coppertone Pure and Simple Botanicals Face Sunscreen SPF 50

Coppertone Pure and Simple Botanicals Faces Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50 product image
Target

It might not come in Coppertone's iconic pink bottle, but this face lotion from the brand's Pure and Simple line offers broad-spectrum SPF 50 protection for an unbeatable $5.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles