Shop Physical/Mineral Sunscreen

Whether you’ve come to physical sunscreens because of skin sensitivities, are concerned about how chemical sunscreens work, or just prefer a physical barrier on the skin - physical suncreams are becoming more and more popular. No longer the thick, heavy creams of your childhood, formulations have been developed which are easier to blend into the skin, and suitable for all skin types and tones. 

How do I know if sunscreen is physical or chemical?

Physical sunscreens will usually contain ingredients such as Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide, where chemical ingredients can be a little more complicated - oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate are all examples of this, but these expand all the time as scientists and formulators work to create thinner and less irritating chemical sunscreens. 

What is a mineral sunscreen vs physical sunscreen?

These are actually two words for the same product! The active ingredients used in physical/mineral sunscreens are commonly things like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide - which you might recognise from the ingredients section back of your mineral makeup products. These are mineral ingredients, and physical blockers - two for one! 

Is Zinc Oxide a physical or chemical sunscreen?

Zinc Oxide is considered a physical suncream because it forms a protective barrier on the top of your skin that reflects the sunlight away from your complexion. Because Zinc Oxide does not need to be absorbed into the skin, it’s often a more popular option for those with a sensitive skin type. Further, Zinc is a powerful anti-inflammatory ingredient, so those with blemish-prone or easily inflamed skin often enjoy the calming effects of sunscreens or even moisturisers that have Zinc Oxide as a key ingredient. 

What are the best physical sunscreen brands?

This is a tough question - like being asked to choose a favourite child! Some of our most popular options are Medik8 Physical Sunscreen, which uses Zinc Oxide as well as Titanium Dioxide to create a great physical barrier with SPF30. Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defense SPF30 is a new kid on the block, but has become popular for its soft matte finish and lack of white cast, and asap moisturising daily defence spf 50+ is a well-priced, and well-loved option suitable for all skin types.

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Recent reviews on Physical/Mineral Sunscreen products

Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defense SPF30 50ml
Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defense SPF30 50ml

Nice texture

Very light texture, but has a soft lavender scent.
Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defense SPF30 50ml
Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defense SPF30 50ml

No white cast - but doesn't suit my dry skin

This is actually a very good physical sunscreen. It leaves no whitecast on my skin. However, unfortunately my skin doesn't like it because I have dry skin - would suit oily skin types though!
Eco Tan Natural Rose Hip Sunscreen SPF30
Eco Tan
Eco Tan Natural Rose Hip Sunscreen SPF30

Very Thick and Heavy

This is a thick, heavy formula that leaves greasy residue on the skin. It works ok as a body sunscreen but it is too heavy for the face. I have dry skin and it is greasy on me, I imagine it would be even worse for someone with oily skin.