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Finding a top-quality sunscreen can often feel like a challenge given so many suncare products come with strong scents, greasy formulas, and pore-clogging ingredients. And then there’s the biggest offender of all: a white cast. As much as we all want to protect our skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays, we think it’s safe to assume that no one wants to look pale and washed-out as a result. That’s why, today, we’re here to chat about sunscreens that don’t leave a dreaded white cast.
Generally speaking, chemical sunscreens are less likely than mineral sunscreens to leave a white cast on the skin. That’s because mineral sunscreens are made with ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to physically block out the sun’s damaging effect. These ingredients are able to do this because, unlike chemical sunscreens (which are made with oxybenzone, avobenzone, and/or octisalate, among other ingredients, to absorb the sun’s rays), physical sunscreens sit atop it to create a barrier—hence the potential white cast.
It’s worth noting, however, that the suncare industry has come a long way since mineral sunscreens first debuted, so shoppers can reap the rewards of using a physical sunscreen without having to worry about a ghostly aftereffect. All this to say, when it comes to looking for sunscreens that don’t leave a white cast, you can look to both chemical and mineral sunscreens. Or, if you’re short on time, you can simply keep reading to uncover 10 top-rated sunscreens that will leave you looking glowing, not ghastly.
Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF 50 Moisturizer
This three-in-one sunscreen not only protects, but also hydrates and firms as it blends seamlessly into your skin. It looks natural on your skin and doesn’t leave a hint of white cast behind. It’s particularly formulated for mature and dry skin.
Avène Solaire UV Mineral Multi-Defense Sunscreen SPF 50+
When it comes to sunscreens, Avène’s Solaire UV Mineral Multi-Defense Sunscreen is highly recommended. The National Eczema Association and Skin Cancer Foundation both give this sunscreen their sign of approval. It provides a high level of protection against the sun along with a few skincare benefits. This best-seller from Avène helps to soothe and calm sensitive skin, particularly reducing redness. It’s a great option for the whole family to share because it’s safe for infants, children, and adults. Plus, there’s a tinted version that you can use as your primer or foundation this summer.
Tula Ultimate Sun Serum
Say hello to Tula’s newest sunscreen that’s next-level. Both a sunscreen and serum, we guarantee this inventive sunscreen will melt into the skin with no leftover residue. The Ultimate Sun Serum defends against UVA/UVB rays and blue light, while also smoothing skin over time. Bonus! It won’t clog pores either. One reviewer even called Tula’s sunscreen a “vacation life saver.”
Supergoop! Every. Single. Face. Watery Lotion SPF 50
Here’s another liquid SPF that’s making waves. It features a “clean chemical” formula infused with Cress Sprout Extract and Wild Butterfly Ginger Root Extract to protect skin from pollution, free radicals, and blue light. In that way, this sunscreen works just as well for avid outdoorsy types as it does for those perched in front of their screens at all hours of the night.
Tatcha The Silk Sunscreen Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 35
Tatcha has long been renowned for its Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35 PA+++. As popular as the silky-smooth cream mineral sunscreen is, the brand recently debuted its second suncare SKU, The Silk Sunscreen, which features a liquid formula and the slightest universal peach tint. In addition to blocking out the sun’s harmful rays, this physical SPF hydrates, plumps, and smoothes skin thanks to ingredients like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide.
EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
Formulated specifically for sensitive and acne-prone skin, this clear SPF 46 chemical sunscreen works to reduce redness and even tone without further irritating skin. It’s even infused with lactic acid to gently exfoliate skin during wear, lending to a smoother, brighter complexion over time.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Tinted Sunscreen For Face SPF 50
Last but not least, we have this cult-favorite tinted mineral sunscreen from La Roche-Posay. The hypoallergenic liquid formula, which works well for all skin types, sinks into skin for a dewy, even result that looks like makeup but is really a shield of armor against the sun’s rays.
Peter Thomas Roth Max Clear Invisible Priming Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 45
Part sunscreen, part primer, this gel formula by Peter Thomas Roth is applauded for its clear formula that wards off sun damage without leaving a white cast behind. Designed to dry like a blurring primer, this chemical sunscreen is a great option for those looking for a sunscreen that pairs well under makeup, as well as those who love the look of clean, clear, even skin. Point blank: Whether you wear this clear SPF on its own or under makeup, you’re sure to be shocked by its effects.
Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Sunscreen SPF 50
Glow Recipe’s SPF 50 chemical sunscreen protects skin against the sun’s harmful UV rays, but it also soothes it if it’s already been irritated by exposure. It’s formulated with soothing watermelon extract and aloe vera, as well as hydrating and plumping hyaluronic acid, all of which work together to leave skin feeling refreshed.
Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 42
You won’t be disappointed with one of Shiseido’s innovative SPFs. This liquid chemical sunscreen features a slight universal tint to help create a more even complexion while minimizing the appearance of pores, fine lines, and wrinkles. Because of its effects, this SPF is particularly great for layering under makeup, as it acts as a primer.
Dr. Jart+ Every Sun Day Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50+
This mineral sunscreen might look stark white out of the tube, but the creamy texture blends easily into skin, imparting a matte finish and a strong barrier of SPF 50+ protection. Of course, if you prefer liquid formulas, the Dr. Jart+ Every Sun Day Sun Fluid is another popular choice that won’t ever leave a white cast.
Sunday Riley Light Hearted Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Daily Face Sunscreen
This physical sunscreen is beloved by shoppers thanks to its velvety finish and the fact that it shields the skin not only from the sun’s rays but blue light, too. But that’s not all! This SPF 30 sunscreen is formulated with Turmeric Extract, which is known to reduce the appearance or redness and irritation, so this cream can lend to a more even complexion overall.
Biossance Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 PA +++
This reef-safe sunscreen is designed to hydrate and protect sensitive skin with each application. Its formula is derived from squalane which quickly absorbs into the skin while leaving a calming and cooling effect.
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