The Want List: Mineral Sunscreens for the Senses

Consider these reef-safe tubes for your beach bag.

A more recent lesson for humankind was learning that products we lather our bodies in can devastate marine life when we walk in the water wearing them. Sure, that sheen off your ankles is just fine in the swimming pool — but it’s a different story in the sea, where scientists found that the global backwash from bathers tallies a collective total in bleached coral. And if it’s that bad for the Great Barrier Reef, did you ever want it on you to begin with?

In 2021, the State of Hawaii forced progress with Act 104, which banned the sale of all sunscreens containing the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate — then more than 80% of those on the market at the time — in a place that draws some 10 million tourists to its beaches each year. Since then, there’s been a fresh wave of mineral-based alternatives to hit the market, and they’re far more indulgent than their earlier counterparts.

Here’s a short list of favorites:

Salt & Stone Natural Mineral Sunscreen

One of the biggest complaints about mineral sunscreen is the greasy white film typically associated with zinc oxide products — and no one wants to hit the beach looking like Ug from Salute Your Shorts. Formulated with rose hip seed, avocado oil, and Vitamin C, this water and sweat-resident product is residue-free, and it comes in a fine-looking tube to boot.

Vacation Mineral Lotion

With shea butter that negates the dry sensation of zinc, Vacation is true to its name in that it gives one to your skin. This conscious product boasts a rap sheet of being free from things you didn’t even know existed — you’ll even get a free “corporate-approved” pen with orders over $65. Come for packaging that looks like it’s from the 90s, stay because you’ll barely feel it on. Did we mention the tubes are derived from recycled materials?

Le Prunier Plumscreen

At $78 a tube, Le Prunier’s Plumscreen may have the plum job of UV protection, but it spares your skin from more than just rays. Infused with antioxidant-rich extracts, this powerful goop works hard to prevent wrinkles and guard against environmental pollutants, all thanks to its algae-derived ingredients. It’s a spa day and a beach day with every application.

Versed Total Package

More than a pretty 50% post-consumer plastic package, this well-rounded squeeze from Versed is the perfect balance of broad-spectrum sun shielding and all the moisture even the driest skin can sponge up. The secret is cupaçu butter, which packs twice the hydration of shea to replenish your hide’s natural elasticity. Grapeseed oil adds antioxidants, and the combination of all the things leaves a sensation so breezy you’ll barely feel it on you.

Grown Alchemist Natural Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen

You might know Grown Alchemist for luxe hand soaps that smell like a hike in the woods. And doesn’t any sunscreen from a really nice soap company deserve a try? This stuff isn’t perfumed with sweet orange, cedarwood, and sage, but it’s all natural and soaks into your parched skin by design, with a calming hint of rose hip oil for added chill.

Find a new place in the sun.

©2024 Corcoran Group LLC. All rights reserved. Corcoran and the Corcoran logos are trademarks of Corcoran Group LLC. The Corcoran® System is comprised of company owned offices which are owned by a subsidiary of Anywhere Real Estate Inc. and franchised offices which are independently owned and operated. The Corcoran System fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Listing information is deemed reliable, but is not guaranteed.