Finding the Perfect Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Is Hard, But We Found 10

Let's talk sun protection. As a skincare category, sunscreen has attracted a lot of discussion and heat over the past few years. First of all, there's a glaring issue regarding the lack of diversity. Despite the influx of new formulas that hit the market each year, the ratio catering to all skin tones is horrifyingly tiny. Not to mention annoying white residue and unflattering ashen finishes are most synonymous with zinc oxide–based sunscreens, which many tout as the safer, better-for-the-environment option compared to their chemical counterparts. If only a few of said safer zinc oxide sunscreens can effectively cater to consumers of all colors, that's problematic, to say the least. 


(Image credit: @emrata)

And of course, there's a lot of debate about the pros and cons of mineral/physical sunscreens (the kind that feature the aforementioned zinc oxide or titanium dioxide and sit on top of the skin and reflect away the sun's rays instead of being absorbed) and chemical formulas (the kind that contain active sun filters like avobenzone, octinoxate and oxybenzone and penetrate the skin and absorb harmful UV rays to stave off damage).

We'll let you do your own research to decide which kind of sunscreen is best for your own needs. The important thing is that you're wearing sunscreen and that it has an SPF of at least 30. We also highly recommend you take a look at this helpful guide from the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) website when you're reading up on your different options.

However, since my fellow beauty editor, Courtney Higgs, and I are always asked which zinc oxide sunscreens are the best money can buy, we're sharing our top 10 picks below. These are the formulas that have been recommended to us by experts, the formulas we've tried and fallen in love with, and the formulas (and brands) that are putting in the most work to be inclusive in terms of their finish and shade range. Keep scrolling!

Best Overall: Versed Guard's Up Daily Mineral Sunscreen


(Image credit: @salemmitchell)

Best Underneath Makeup: Supergoop! Zincscreen 100% Mineral Lotion SPF 40 PA+++

Best for Acne-Prone Skin: EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46


(Image credit: @emilydidonato)

Best Brush-On Powder: ZO Skin Health Sunscreen + Powder Broad-Spectrum SPF 40

The Best Tinted: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Tinted Mineral Sunscreen for Face SPF 50


(Image credit: @januaryjones)

Best for a Matte Finish: MDSolarSciences Mineral Crème Broad Spectrum SPF 50 UVA-UVB

The Celebrity-Facialist Pick: Control Corrective Oil-Free Sunscreen SPF 30


(Image credit: @winnieharlow)

Best New Kid on the Block: First Aid Beauty Weightless Liquid Mineral SPF 30

Best for Body: Colorscience Sunforgettable Total Protection Body Shield SPF 50


(Image credit: @cassandra.cadwell)

The Best Makeup-Skincare-SPF Hybrid: Suntegrity Impeccable Skin Moisturizing Face Sunscreen

Beauty Director

Erin has been writing a mix of beauty and wellness content for Who What Wear for over four years. Prior to that, she spent two and half years writing for Byrdie. She now calls Santa Monica home but grew up in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and studied writing, rhetoric, and communication at University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. She studied abroad in Galway, Ireland, and spent a summer in L.A. interning with the Byrdie and Who What Wear family. After graduating from UW, she spent one year in San Francisco, where she worked as a writer for Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen before moving down to L.A. to begin her career as a beauty editor. She considers her day-to-day beauty aesthetic very low-maintenance and relies on staples like clear brow serum (from Kimiko!), Lawless's Lip Plumping Mask in Cherry Vanilla, and an eyelash curler. For special occasions or days when she's taking more meetings or has an event, she'll wear anything and everything from Charlotte Tilbury (the foundations are game-changing), some shimmer on her lids (Stila and Róen do it best), and a few coats of the best mascara-type product on earth, Surratt's Noir Lash Tint.