Welcome to sunscreen week at the Cut, where we provide you products reviews, tips, and news you'll need for better sun safety. But first, here's this: Protecting your skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays is the best beauty tip. Ever.
Natural, mineral sunscreens have the worst reputation in the SPF world. They're thick, overly creamy, and known to leave your skin looking ashy-white, since they're basically made of finely ground rocks. So, these zinc-based sun protectors are often left to collect dust on drugstore shelves while their chemical-based cousins with sleeker bottles and quick-absorbing formulas get all the attention. But chemicals can be toxic and, while studies are inconclusive about their possibly dangerous long-term effects, choosing natural, mineral SPFs will always be the absolute healthier route.
For those of you who are curious about the world of zinc and titanium oxides, but didn't know which hippie-endorsed product to choose, we've tested six from Whole Foods, the mecca for this sort of thing. Some are as chalky as you'd expect, but surprisingly none of them smell like coconut (which is usually a fragrant additive). Buyer beware, though: Like expensive organic produce, these creams can also veer into multiple dollar signs; many are not worth their price tag.
Beyond Coastal Active Sunscreen SPF 34
Chalky Residue: None.
When It Touches Water: Droplets will just bead off.
Finish on Skin: A bit sticky and tacky upon application, but it'll dry down into a smooth, matte finish.
Main Takeaway: Each bottle only holds 2.5 ounces of sunscreen, so you'll need a lot of these bottles for a beach vacation. At $10 a pop, just think you're helping a small business?
Nature's Gate Sport Broad Spectrum SPF 30
Chalky Residue: Yes. Expect your skin to turn a shade of Elmer's glue white.
When It Touches Water: You'll towel off milky-white water droplets from your body.
Finish on Skin: Give it a few minutes to "dry" post-application and it'll have a matte, non-sticky finish.
Scent: Subtle. Typically sunscreen-y.
Main Takeaway: It's like putting on a layer of protective-but-gooey armor on your skin.
All Terrain Terra Sport Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Lotion
Chalky Residue: Yes. This formula is even thicker than Nature's Gate and similar to trying to make a glue stick absorb into your skin; a bit gummy, too.
When It Touches Water: Will turn slimy-smooth.
Finish on Skin: Sticky, gluey, and uncomfortable.
Scent: Paste-y, almost like molding clay.
Main Takeaway: Know that you'll be cleaning out the nozzle, which will get gunked up with dried-up cream each time you need a squirt.
Badger "Active" Broad Spectrum SPF 30
Chalky Residue: Yes. You'll break into a sweat trying to rub the cream into your skin.
When It Touches Water: The already chalky residue will make you look like you've grown milky white manatee skin after a dip in the pool.
Finish on Skin: Slightly greasy.
Scent: Weird. Smells like wood chips.
Main Takeaway: We liked the oversizeapplicator spout, which will ensure you apply an ample amount of sunscreen.
Kiss My Face Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40
Chalky Residue: None.
When It Touches Water: You'll look like you bathed in Kalua.
Finish on Skin: Smooth and matte.
Scent: Slightly minty.
Main Takeaway: The soft, mousselike formula makes it easier to rub into the skin.
Alba Botanica Natural Hawaiian Sunscreen SPF 45
Chalky Residue: None.
When It Touches Water: Will turn a little slimy.
Finish on Skin: Subtly gleaming.
Scent: It's labeled as having a "Revitalizing Green Tea" fragrance ... which means it just smells nice in a floral tea kind of way.
Main Takeaway: This is the least "natural"-seeming sunscreen of them all, since the lotion absorbs seamlessly into the skin. The formula also feels comfortable and moisturizing. This could be your gateway to a more natural lifestyle. Maybe.
Most Viewed Stories
Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna Reportedly Broke Up
Donald Trump Spent the Morning After the Debate Fat-Shaming Miss Universe, Again
It’s Finally Possible to Understand What Happened to Amanda Knox
Hillary Clinton’s Sickest Debate Burns
Ask a Boss: My Co-worker Wants Everyone to Call Her Boyfriend Her ‘Master’!
2009 Called — It Wants Its Vogue-Versus-Bloggers Fight Back.
22 Intimate Lost Photos of Marilyn Monroe
Former Miss Universe Becomes U.S. Citizen So She Can Vote Against Trump
Area Woman Interrupted by Man 25 Times in 26 Minutes
Our Scowling Hero Breaks a Smile
From Our Partners
powered by PubExchange
The Cut’s Latest Beauty FeaturesKim Kardashian Says She Developed Thick Skin for the Haters Thanks to Kanye West
She says she used to cry when mean things were said about her.Chelsea Clinton Says She Didn’t Initially Know Her Mom Had Pneumonia Because She Was Trying to Power Through It
She says she found out when her mom showed up at her apartment on September 11.Men Who Protested Ryan Lochte’s Presence on Dancing With the Stars Are Charged With Misdemeanors
Two men were charged with two counts of misdemeanors on Monday.Serena Williams Refuses to ‘Stay Silent’ About Racial Inequality
“It’s not how far we have come but how much further still we have to go.”Young Girl Calls for End to Police Brutality in Heartbreaking Speech
It’s a devastating plea.The Y Has Returned in a Big Way to YSL
This is what Saint Laurent looks like post-Hedi.The Most Dramatic Backstage Photos You’ll See All Fashion Month
Preview the book Landon Nordeman: Out of Fashion.Even 100 Years Ago, People Were Worried About Technology Ruining Relationships
An old cartoon echoes some very modern anxieties.This Lipstick Was Designed by a Woman Who Can See 100 Million Colors
Maureen Seberg can see so many more colors than you.Brad Pitt Skipping Premiere to Focus on ‘Family Situation’
The actor may be gearing up to tell his side of the story in the tabloids this week.
He will be cold without it.The President of NARAL on What Abortion Means in This Election
It signals how the candidates feel about women.YogaToes Cured My Lifelong Fear of Bunions
The stretch feels like a backbend—but for your feet.Amy Schumer Just Broke a Major Milestone for Women in Comedy
She’s the first woman to land on Forbes’s list of the highest-paid comedians.The Very Uncomfortable Experience of Rewatching Election in 2016
An ambitious woman and the angry men who want to stop her.Ivanka Trump Is Great for Women, Says Man Married to Ivanka Trump
Ivanka Trump is the perfect person to handle “women’s issues,” according to her husband.World’s First 3-Parent Baby Is a Healthy Boy
He was born in Mexico to Jordanian parents.Nation Recovers From Post-Debate Hangover With Mary J. Blige and Hillary Clinton Memes
“What will you do to fix the national epidemic of hateration in this dancerie?”The Hottest Party of the Year Is This 6-Year-Old’s Drake-Themed Birthday Party
It has everything: an OVO cake, Drake balloons, fake money.See Haute Couture’s Most Romantic Looks
Intricate pieces, out for a stroll around Paris.