Physical Health, Wellness / Self-Care

Top 10 Sunscreens that won’t leave a white cast

The holy grails of sunscreens.

words by: Natasha Marsh
Jul 3, 2021

By now, you know the drill: wear SPF daily. No matter what (aka, even if you’re indoors and even if you have darker skin tone). Although we should all be religiously following this mantra, it isn’t always easy finding the right sunscreen for your skin. Especially if you have darker features and want to avoid the icky, gloppy white cast some formulations bring.


Side note: there are two different types of sunscreens — chemical, which are absorbed by the skin, and mineral or physical, which sits on top of the skin (making it a bit harder to rub in).


For the most part, mineral sunscreen has zinc oxide or titanium oxide in their formulas to protect against UV rays. Chemical sunscreens help absorb UV rays and convert them into heat, then releases it from the skin. We tend to lean more into mineral sunscreen as it’s less likely to clog pores and is gentler on sensitive skin in comparison to it’s chemical counterpart. However, if you have acne-prone skin, you might want to opt for a physical sunscreen.


Whether you are selecting a chemical or mineral sunscreen, there are plenty of options that won’t feel heavy or leave a white cast. Ahead, these are the best sunscreens to stock up on for 365 days of protection.


Neutrogena Sheer Zinc

A drugstore favorite of ours, Neutrogena Sheer Zinc is extremely lightweight and can be applied to your face and body. It’s small in size and works well as a traveling companion. This product, like all Neutrogena products, uses dry-touch technology, meaning it dries down to a non-greasy finish, and is water-resistant. Plus, it doesn’t have a scent!

Buy it from Neutrogena for $12.99.


Tatcha Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35

Formulated with Japanese roses and loquat leaf extract, the Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen will help blur pores and give your skin a nice smooth feel. Silk extract gives your skin a smooth feel.

Buy it from Tatcha for $65.


Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense

We love a sunscreen that feels hydrating without feeling greasy, and that’s exactly what you’ll get with this cruelty-free and fragrance-free formula. The SPF 30 is packed with sunflower-shoot extract, algae extract, and raspberry seed oil to help fight environmental damages and free radicals.

Buy it from Drunk Elephant for $34.


Sun Bum Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion

Scented with Sun Bum’s classic coconut smell, this one rubs in easily and is reef-safe.

Buy it from Sun Bum for $14.99.


Biossance Squalene + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen

This SPF has sugarcane-derived squalene to retain moisture and water lily to soothe and cool skin that’s been exposed to the sun. Side note: this is a great pick for oily or acne-prone skin.

Buy it from Biossance for $29.40.


Farmacy Green Defense

You’ll be protected by the sun with this zinc oxide and titanium dioxide made with black chokeberry and marigold extracts to fight external factors.

Buy it from Farmacy Beauty for $36.


Versed Guards Up Daily Mineral Sunscreen

In addition to protecting your skin from UVB and UVA protection, this formula also protects skin from blue light and moisturizes with moringa seed extract.

Buy it from Versed for $21.99.


Supergoop! Poof 100% Mineral Part and Scalp Powder SPF 45

Too many people sleep on scalp sunscreen. But, did you know the most common form of cancer, melanoma, can also start on your scalp? After all scalp is skin, so you must protect it. This one will feel like baby powder but won’t leave your hair white. Truly, it’s genius.

Buy it from Supergoop! for $34.


Coppertone Sport Mineral Sunscreen Spray

This spray sunscreen is great for outdoor activities and sports. It’s easy to rub in, sweat-resistant and fragrance-free.

Buy it from Amazon for $9.98.


Supergoop! Mineral Sheer Screen

Our all time favorite lightweight formula, Supergoop’s sheer screen feels as if you are not wearing anything but with aloe-leaf juice and squalene, it works great.

Buy it from Supergoop! for $38.


While shopping for sunscreen, here’s how to read the sunscreen bottle.


Photo via Getty