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The Golden State's Best Mineral-Based Sunscreens

The Golden State's Best Mineral-Based Sunscreens

Check out these top California mineral-based sunscreen to protect your skin and the planet all year round. Team


5 min read

February 10, 2022

Whether you’re hitting the trails, venturing to the rushing rivers, or heading to the best beaches in California, we all know wearing sunscreen is critical for protecting our skin. Nevertheless, it can be difficult to find something compatible with our skin, effective in blocking harmful UV rays, and not detrimental to the environment. This is where mineral-based sunscreen brands come to save the day.  

What is Mineral-based Sunscreen? 

Mineral-based sun protection is the best sunscreen for California weather. Not only does it protect you by becoming a physical barrier between your skin and the sun, but it is also far more eco-friendly. Also known as physical sunscreens, mineral sunblocks have taken over the market, providing reef-safe, zinc-oxide sunscreens as an alternative to the chemical-laden ones of our childhoods. Though we once believed a higher SPF meant we would be getting more protection, we now know that simultaneously protecting our coral reefs and our skin is possible with as low as SPF 30. Anything higher is marginally more protective, but using non-nano zinc-oxide lotions that do not contain toxic ingredients is far better for our bodies than a higher SPF. 

While these new, safer lotions have become more prevalent, it can be hard to choose between the many options available. So, we checked out the best mineral-based sunscreen brands from California to make your decision easier—all you have to worry about is which swimsuit to rock at the beach, lake, or river.

Mineral-based skin care products are better for the environment and your skin.

The Best Zinc-Oxide Sunscreen

All Good SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen Lotion

Headquartered in: Morro Bay

The All Good SPF 30 Sport Mineral Sunscreen Lotion is a great mineral sunblock for the face because it provides all the protection you would expect without any of the grease that traditionally comes with sunscreen. While the lotion can go on white, you can easily massage it in and watch as it absorbs into your skin. (Pro tip: Use moisturizer before applying zinc sunscreen, and you will have an easier time smoothing it on.) 

This awesome mineral sunscreen from the woman-owned beauty brand has many benefits that make it one of the best sunscreens for California weather. It is oxybenzone-free, reef-friendly, non-greasy, vegan, cruelty-free, and provides lengthy, water-resistant protection from sun rays and blue light. What more could we ask for from a mineral-based sunscreen brand?

For your next pool day, grab Pacifica Beauty's hydrating, water-resistant mineral sunscreen.

Pacifica Sunscreen

Headquartered in: Carpinteria

To enjoy complete protection during an action-packed day on the water, look no further than Pacifica Beauty’s Mineral Sunscreen Coconut Probiotic SPF 30. The water-resistant zinc sunscreen is designed to apply evenly while delivering complete hydration. Plus, the coconut scent will transport your senses straight to the tropics. 

You’ll love this mineral-based sun protection if you’re looking for something that's easy to apply, reef-safe, vegan, free of UV absorbers, and provides broad-spectrum protection. To add to its benefits, this mineral sunblock is the perfect size product to take along on California adventures, as it’s easy to throw in your backpack and reapply quickly throughout the day.

Juice Beauty SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen

Headquartered in: San Rafael

Made specifically for outdoor recreation, Juice Beauty’s SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen is suitable for all skin types, making it an ideal choice for those with sensitive, acne-prone skin. On top of providing sun protection, this natural beauty product also includes vitamins C and E, organic coconut, aloe, and jojoba for antioxidant hydration—it’s thoroughly nourishing for your skin!

You can comfortably apply this mineral sunblock head to toe because it blends and absorbs quickly—it’s formulated with rich organic jojoba, soothing aloe, antioxidants, and vitamins for the ultimate daily protection. Your skin will thank you for choosing this mineral-based sunscreen brand.

This organic sunscreen spray is hydrating and nourishing for all skin types.

Coola Mineral Body Sunscreen Spray SPF 30

Headquartered in: Carlsbad

Coola’s Mineral Body Sunscreen Spray SPF 30 features 70-percent organic ingredients that are safe for sensitive skin. This formula is crafted using antioxidants as well as plant-derived products, which help to fight free radicals and nourish the skin.

You can find a coconut-scented and fragrance-free version of this mineral-based sun protection and use it with zero guilt knowing that it is vegan, gluten-free, reef-safe, and suitable for sensitive skin. This mineral sunblock is also water-resistant for up to 80 minutes and dries completely sheer, making it a true beach essential perfect for all skin types and shades!

Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Mist SPF 30

Headquartered in: Santa Monica

Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Mist is the perfect solution for everyone who hates applying and wearing sunscreen. The easy, air-powered mist makes for extremely fast application, and the end result is surprisingly pleasant because there is seriously no oily residue left behind. If you are in a hurry, this zinc mineral sunblock formulated with California poppies is absolutely the way to go. 

Like all of our other selections from mineral-based sunscreen brands, Beautycounter’s sunblock is also reef-friendly, water-resistant, and uses non-nano zinc oxides to provide UVA and UVB protection under the sweltering California sun.

A tinted sunscreen that's also mineral-based is even kinder on your skin.

Raw Elements Face and Body Tint SPF 30

Headquartered in: Huntington Beach

Crafted with all-natural ingredients, Raw Elements’ Face and Body Tint SPF 30 sunscreen takes care of the planet as well as your skin. While the application process may be slightly different than you would expect from traditional sunscreen, this product is among the best mineral sunblocks for the face and is likely to become a new favorite. Its rich antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins are bound to keep your skin feeling good and healthy. 

If you’ve been trying to be more eco-conscious, you’ll be glad to know that the packaging used by this mineral-based sunscreen brand is plastic-free, reef-safe, and biodegradable. On top of that, the product itself is also cruelty-free, non-GMO, highly effective, and doesn’t contain soy, gluten, or nuts.

Sun Bum Mineral Sunscreen Lotion

Headquartered in: Encinitas

The award-winning Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion by Sun Bum is a cult favorite for a reason. This zinc-based mineral sunblock is lightweight yet powerful and moisturizing yet non-greasy, making it easy to go au naturel no matter where your California adventures take you. Best of all, the lotion glides on effortlessly and soaks into the skin, so you can kiss any residue that comes with mineral-based sun protection goodbye.

Sun Bum’s mineral sunblock provides broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection as well, all the while maintaining its promise of being hypoallergenic, reef-safe, vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free.

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