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

Clinique City Block Sheer SPF 25
Clinique City Block Sheer SPF 25

Still awesome

I’ve had this on rotation since my early teens (mum used it) and it’s still good now in my 30’s. Does have quite a tint but it works in well even on fair skin. Excellent for no makeup days (can pill under some foundations, and doesn’t work well with powder on top.)
Edible Beauty Basking Beauty Natural Sunscreen 100g
Edible Beauty
Edible Beauty Basking Beauty Natural Sunscreen 100g

Thick but smells good

Not suited to my face- especially not under makeup! Thick and quite greasy. Great for body at the beach though and does have a nice vanilla smell.
Medik8 Physical Sunscreen 90ml
Medik8 Physical Sunscreen 90ml

Does what you need it to

I was hesitant about this because of the price, but there are very few options for non-comedogenic sunscreens that also work for sensitive skin. I live in the outback, so sun protection is a must. The only thing I don't like about it is that it takes quite a while to absorb. I haven't found it possible to really rub it completely in, but if I apply it fifteen minutes before I leave the house th...