The Best Mineral Sunscreens For The Face Without Chemical Filters!

In ANTI-AGING, MY REVIEWS, SUNSCREENS by Clelia Mattana9 Comments

If you use Retin-A (Tretinoin), chemical peels like TCA peel, and harsh treatments, or want to protect yourself from the dreaded sun damage and do it in the most effective way possible, read on because you will find all the sunscreens I have tested on my skin.

Characteristics of the best sunscreens for face & sensitive skin:

Here are my favorite mineral sunscreens (Plus a colorful beach hat for extra protection!)

To be able to find the best sun creams, I first tried almost all the brands on the market, cheap and expensive ones, and I based my choice on the following criteria:

  • Efficacy of the sunscreen (SPF, presence of filters that shield both UVA and UVB, zero sunburns

  • Good INCI, possibly Bio, with added skin nutrients as a plus
  • Not irritating to the eyes. The eye contour is delicate, and the sunscreen must be flawless.
  • Waterproof (especially important for the best sunscreen to use on the beach or in very hot climates)
  • Sunscreens with physical filters,

    also known as mineral sun creams or powders (with Zinc Oxide and/or Titanium Dioxide)

  • Best Sun creams WITHOUT chemical filters are potentially harmful to the skin, in particular: Oxybenzone, Avobenzone, and Octocrylene.

Why Always Read The Sunscreen INCI + Anecdote ๐Ÿ™‚

The INCI of sun creams and cosmetics, in general, must become your holy grail to understand if a product is right for you, contains allergens or harmful substances, etc. I learned this lesson the hard way, as always! ๐Ÿ™‚

I once applied a sunscreen whose name escapes me now (I must have erased it from my memory in horror, but if I remember, I’ll add it).

This suncream not only made my eyes red and watery for a day, but it also irritated my skin so much that my eye area was full of wrinkles the next day.

I panicked at the idea of being aged overnight (I was working in the Galapagos with National Geographic, and I couldn’t show up in those conditions).

Gladly I solved the issue thanks to my trusty organic coconut oil and Connettivina Cream that I always carry with me, and after two days of use, I was back to normal. This is why I am now very strict when reading the INCI of a product, particularly sunscreen.

Use Sunscreen: A Video You Can Not Miss!

A brief introduction before we begin: Watch this spectacular video to the end. If you don’t know it, being 45 years old, I can only agree with everything it says, above all, with the supreme advice: Use sunscreen! ๐Ÿ™‚ but the rest of the advice is also so true. A beautiful video that makes you think, so even if it is not exactly related to sunscreen, I couldn’t leave it out.

Why ALWAYS Using Sunscreen is so Important:


Before listing the best sunscreen, I would like to remind you again why it is important to use sunscreen. If you’re under 30, you might take this all-important practice for your skin a little lightly, smearing it once and forgetting to re-apply it, thinking that it won’t ultimately cause a lot of damage after all.

Sun Damage and Photo-Aging (Plus Advice On The Best Self-Tanners)

Unfortunately, those over twenty years old (or even more appropriately thirty years old), perhaps coming from wild tan sessions, now know quite well what I’m talking about. The damage caused by UVA and UVB rays is cumulative and very subtle.

When you reach the age of 35/40, you almost suddenly will look at yourself in the mirror and see all the damage the sun mercilessly did to your skin: Dark spots, skin laxity, wrinkles, less elasticity, and dull skin, not to mention the always present risk of melanoma.

Is it worth risking all of this (and having to spend a lot of money to try and repair permanent damage) just to have a sun-kissed face (and body)?

In my opinion not, also because there is good news! In this case, you can have your cake and eat it too.

Face Self Tanners that I LOVE!

Do you want to show off an enviable Caribbean tan without risking damaging your skin? There are some excellent self-tanners on the market. I will tell you all about them in a separate post.

For now, however, I will not leave you empty-handed, so I’ll tell you what I use on my face to obtain a natural tan:  Arga’s Drops ‘Self-Tanning 30 ml. I find it  FA-BU-LO-US! It gives me a color that is gradual and not orange at all, but the best thing is that while I apply it, thanks to the Argan oil and Hyaluronic acid, my skin feels hydrated and smooth. Catching two birds with one stone!

There is also the Collistar 30 ml version (quite similar to my favorite, and I have tried both) Collistar’s tanning drops are excellent, but my skin prefers Argร  a bit more. I feel more hydration, even if the cost is slightly higher since there is less product.

As I always say, apart from Retin-A, the only real anti-wrinkle cream is sunscreen, applied religiously even in winter.

Below is an example of me enjoying the Mexican sea with a tanned face and body thanks to my favorite self-tanners. No one has ever noticed anything, and in the photo in question, I am super protected by at least three layers of 50+ sunscreen: D

42 years old, clearly natural light, and no filters. Don’t you think the water can be that turquoise? Check out Laguna Bacalar in Mexico and see that wonderful place for yourself!

What do I look like normally without the use of self-tanners? Here I am, with some makeup too, so I have a slight touch of blusher (no foundation), and despite this, I can easily compete with Dracula’s complexion! : P

43 years old, with makeup, no foundation, artificial frontal light (minimizes shadows and any imperfection), useful for passport photos: D without the use of filters.

The Best Face Sunscreens With Physical / Mineral & Bio Filters

To make your life easier, I will put the sunscreens in order, and for each one, I will indicate:

  • General Considerations

  • Type Of Sun Filter Used In The Sunscreen

  • Texture, Application & Aesthetic results

  • INCI and Bio Certificates where available

  • Indicative Price and Where to buy them

  • For whom that particular sunscreen is more suitable

  • Pros & Cons


1| Biarritz Sunscreen Bio SPF 30/50 For The Face

Click on the image to see the product.

A sunscreen formulated by the French Biarritz laboratories (you can find it in the “Laboratoires de Biarritz Alga Maris” line), there are several different formulations for this sunscreen, all of them of excellent quality in my opinion.

The two I have (SPF 30 and 50) were created specifically for the face. They are ultra-delicate with excellent ingredients such as Agar-Agar, algae with antioxidant powers that counteract skin aging caused by free radicals, sunflower oil, Aloe Vera and Vitamin E. So it not only protects you but also nourishes and hydrates the skin with natural ingredients. What’s not to love?

Type Of Sun Filters Used: 

I found this sunscreen brand by searching among the organic ones, containing only physical filters: Zinc Oxide and a slightly lower percentage of Titanium Dioxide (not nano). It does not contain chemical filters because, in addition to being harmful to the skin, they are the main culprits of my eye irritation (see the incident in the Galapagos above).


Texture, ease of application & aesthetic results:

This sunscreen by Biarritz has a light and non-sticky creamy / semi-liquid texture, especially the one with SPF 30, which is easy to apply, considering that it contains Zinc Oxide as its main sun filter (The best physical filter of all mineral sunscreens, the more effective but alas it is also the one that tends to leave the infamous “white coating”).

In this case, the aesthetic result is very pleasant because it leaves my skin soft and hydrated, it gets absorbed quickly, and if it’s spread well and with patience, it does not leave a noticeable white cast.

The cream with SPF 50, on the other hand, I use mainly for the beach or if I know that I will be under the direct sun for a while. The texture is thicker and, therefore, heavier but honestly is fine with me as long as it protects me from sun damage. I sometimes make exceptions for the body, using products that are easy to spread, but for the face, I only go for the best products (the ones that do their job without irritating the skin).

INCI  Biarritz Alga Maris SPF 30 Sunscreen:

Coconut Alkanes ( Coco-Caprylate/Caprate), Aqua, Caprylic / Capric Triglyceride, Zinc Oxide, Sorbitan Olivate, Titanium Dioxide, Talc, Coco-Caprylate / Caprate, Polyglyceryl-2 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Glycerin **, Parfum***, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate***, Alumina, Stearic Acid***, Magnesium Sulfate, Gelidium Sesquipedale Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder *, Propanediol, Sodium Benzoate, Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate, Potassium Sorbate, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Tocopherol 

* Ingredients from Organic Farming ** Processed from Organic Ingredients *** According to the Biodictionary, it has one or two yellow dots, indicating that it is not always clear if it is a safe ingredient.

99.6% of the total ingredients are of natural origin.
22% of the total ingredients come from organic farming

*: Natural and Organic Cosmetic certified by Ecocert Greenlife following the Ecocert guidelines 

Indicative Price and Where To Buy It:

I buy it on Amazon (if you click on the images above, you go directly to the page), and the price varies from 18 Euros for the SPF30 to 21 Euros for SPF50 for 100ml of product. A more than fair price, given the quality. And it doesn’t irritate the eyes and the delicate area around them, so it passed with flying colors for me ๐Ÿ™‚

Here is my page on Amazon, where it also says when I last bought it (and I still have some left)

2| Australian Gold Tinted Sunscreen SPF 50

I discovered this mineral sunscreen through an American Youtube channel where a 50-something young-looking beautiful lady recommended it. I got tempted and bought it, and I’m very satisfied with the purchase!

In addition to having no harmful chemical filters, it contains Wild Plum (rich in vitamin C),
eucalyptus, and red algae that form an excellent combination of antioxidant substances. Hypoallergenic, PABA-free, paraben-free, not harmful to the coral reef, vegan, dermatologically tested and pediatrically tested. Recyclable packaging. Fragrance-free.

AVAILABLE IN LIGHT, MEDIUM, AND DARK TONES, specifically formulated to adapt perfectly to different skin tones.

Type of Sun Filters:

100% MINERAL UV PROTECTION. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide provide non-chemical sun protection with a matte finish. No chemical filters that irritate the eyes and skin. So a nice thumbs up for that.

Texture, ease of application, and aesthetic results:

The aesthetic result is very nice for those who do not have very dry skin because it has a matting effect, so for the ladies over 40, I recommend avoiding the eye contour and other drier areas. If, on the other hand, you have oily skin, this is PERFECT for you!

Very light consistency, I use it when I’m in a rush, and I don’t have time to put on a normal BB cream or foundation when I have some small imperfections. The color is subtle but evens out the complexion and does not shine, or get your skin oily. Easy application. Promoted, except in dry areas where its use is not indicated.

INCI Australian Gold SPF50 Sunscreen:

Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide (4%), Zinc Oxide (4%)

Inactive Ingredients: Alumina, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Caprylyl Glycol, Cetyl PEG/โ€‹PPG-10/โ€‹1 Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Hexyl Laurate, Iron Oxides, Panthenol, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Porphyra umbilicalis (Red Algae Extract), Silica, Squalane, Stearic Acid, Terminalia Ferdinandiana (Kakadu Plum) fruit extract, Tocopheryl Acetate*, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, water, *Vitamin E

The INCI isn’t exactly organic or perfect, but it’s not awful. It contains silicones (which, however, do not block the pores for me), and Disodium EDTA is not great for the environment, but at least the container is in a recyclable tube. And until now, I haven’t found a single sunscreen with all the EcoBio features.

Indicative Price and Where To Buy It:

After several searches, I found it on Amazon at 33 Euros for the medium-colored SPF50. The price is not low, but being a tinted sunscreen without chemical filters, I say it’s quite fair. In addition, it lasts longer because I don’t use it daily!

3| Colorescience Sunforgettable

Click on the image to see the product.


If I had to choose just one mineral sunscreen, this would be my number one choice for its efficacy. IT’S TRULY PHENOMENAL! I tested this mineral powder on the delicate area of โ€‹โ€‹the neck and dรฉcolletรฉ during a day at the beach (including a 20-minute swim).

On my face, I applied a normal 50 protection sunscreen. Upon returning home, the area where I had applied Colorescience was white. The rest turned slightly red.

I also took it on my 2-month tent trip to Africa, and after a few weeks, my adventure companions tried to steal it out of my bag a couple of times, despite having their own branded sunscreen. I would say there is no better review. It speaks for itself! : D

Type of Sun Filters:

It is composed of mineral powder and contains only Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. It is perfect for ultra-sensitive skin and acts as a “face powder.”

Texture, ease of application, and aesthetic results:

The texture is a very fine powder (you hardly see it when you spread it, so you have to be careful to understand that it is coming out, I recommend using a mini mirror).

The application is easy ONLY IF YOU KNOW HOW TO DO IT. I’ve read some negative reviews online, stating that the powder doesn’t come out easily. This only happens if you do not tap the base lightly before application. Just do it, and the problem is solved.

The aesthetic result is fantastic. If you choose the right shade for you (there are 2, a light and a medium), you can’t see that you are wearing it, and it also acts as a powder without the caking effect since the particles are very small.

INCI Colorescience Sunforgettable:

Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 23.9% Zinc Oxide 24.1%

Inactive Ingredients: 

Mica Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer Lithothamnion Calcium Zinc Sulfate, Silicate, Calcareum, Extract Mannitol Methicone Dimethicone  Triethoxycaprylylsilan  Earth  Chromium Oxide Greens (CI 77288) Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499)

Indicative Price and Where To Buy It:

The only downside of this mineral sunscreen, in my opinion, is the cost. But given the quality and the perfect protection against the sun, it’s worth all the money.

It’s intended to be used only on the face and neck. One stick lasts several months. I have 6 (three are medium colors for the summer when I use a self-tanner and three of the lighter shade for the winter). I bought them two years ago, and I still have a few left, despite using them very often!

You find them on Amazon. Here is the Sunforgettable Light Shade and the one medium shade.


I have read the negative reviews on Amazon, and I had a little laugh because they are all related to the fact that they do not know how to get the powder out, but as already said, you only need to turn the brush head, slightly tap the bottom and it’s done.

The other complaint is the high cost. Given the effectiveness, I prefer to spend money on a quality product rather than be stingy and ruin all the results of the treatments and creams I regularly put on my face to keep it young. The most important product of all is sunscreen. END OF THE STORY. Spending money on liftings and “miraculous” creams is useless if you do not cover the basics!

4| Argillina Sole – Compact Powder -Must

Click on the image to see the product.

The Argillina Sole (translated: Sun clay) is a compact mineral sunscreen powder and was reported to me by a blog reader who was enthusiastic about it, so obviously, I wanted to test it, and I must say that in many ways, it convinced me and therefore I’m happy to promote it.

The only flaw of this powder is the quantity you need to use. I made a direct comparison between Colorescience and this one, and I must say that using the same amount of product, the Argillina Sole is slightly less effective in shielding the UV Rays. So you need to apply more powder and buy the product more frequently.

If you apply just a mall amount of product, you risk getting home slightly red. And for those who use Retin-A, it is not acceptable. For those who are not super strict, it could be an OK product, as long as you use it as an “emergency” sunscreen when you already have elaborate Make-up and don’t want to spend on the quality of Colorescience.

So thumbs up, yes, but to be put on the bench for those who demand total protection ๐Ÿ™‚

Type of Sun Filters:

It is completely made of powder minerals and contains only Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. So perfect for those with ultra-sensitive skin and can be used as a “face powder” as a bonus. A bit like Colorescience.

Texture, ease of application, and aesthetic results:

It comes in different colors, which is a bonus; I bought it in ivory (very light) and gold (for when I use the self-tanner).

Very convenient, also for the applicator with the mirror. I replace it with face powder after using my normal mineral sunscreen. Then I further touch it up during the day using the Colorescience powder (when I’m not using Colorescience by itself).

The aesthetic result is very good, like a common face powder that protects from the harmful sun rays.

INCI Argillina Sole:

Kaolin, Silica, Talc, Titanium Dioxide, Clay, Propanediol, Mica, Lauroyl Lysine, Zinc Oxide, Jojoba Esters, Alumina, Caprylyl Glycol, Montmorillonite, Tocopherol.

Indicative Price and Where To Buy It:

It certainly costs less than Colorescience but having to put more of it by making a quick calculation, at around 18/20 euros per pack, doesn’t cost much less considering that it also lasts less. I believe that the lesser effectiveness is due to its INCI (Titanium Dioxide is not found as the main ingredient, and I couldn’t find the%). Zinc Oxide, which is the one that best protects against UVA and UVB rays, is in ninth place, indicating a fairly low amount compared to other minerals in sunscreen.

You’ll find Argillina sole on Amazon here in its golden version and here in its neutral version.



If you want to follow me, I would be very happy! I have the main Instagram account, Keepcalmandtravelofficial, where I post photos of my travels (I was born eight years ago as a backpacker and travel blogger) and on CleliaMattana for photos and posts on beauty, wellness, products (including sun creams and much more)



  1. If you were in cancun mexico where is the best price for Retin A or tretinine ?
    How do youvfeel about generic vs original brand
    Reach out pls
    Thanks so much

    1. Author

      Hey Amanda, I lived in Playa del Carmen for three years and bought Retin A on La 5 Avenida in one of their pharmacies with no issues. I hope it helps! Generic and original are basically the same according to my 16 years of usage experience. As long as the product is from a reputable source is all good.

  2. i mean same moment. in the morning. instead of putting it at night and waiting 8 h.

  3. hello.
    really informative and nice blog!
    thx for all the beauty info!
    I am not using tretinoid at night for acne scars
    i consider maybe using the self tan a few times in summer because i cannot expose myself to the sun with tretinoid
    my hairdresser suggested me using the self tan but she suggests to apply it at bed time ( because it takes 8h to take effect)
    can i put it over the tretinoid cream? or better before it.
    thx ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Author

      Hi Sophie!
      What type of self-tan are you using? I guess it is for the face? The one I use (This or This) is best to use in the morning because it’s also quite hydrating and you can leave it on without issues. Let me know if you want more info. I only use this one for years and love it!
      As for when to put it with tretinoin, if you use it in the morning you won’t have the issue and that’s why I recommend using these products that don’t have to stay all night ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. ah ok. perfect it answers my question. yes for the face. and i prefer also to put it in the morning. ๐Ÿ™‚
        is there one for the body i can use same day?

        1. Author

          Hey Sophie, I tried so many self-tanners for the body and I’ve never been quite satisfied with the color (too orange) until I found the St Tropez mousse. I put it on at night, let it sit for at least 8 hours (before you need to scrub and hydrate!) and in the morning you have a shower to rinse off the excess. It’s amazing!

          1. Hi
            If you had to choose JUST 1 or 2 that contain mineral/zinc what would they be..
            Im now inaessed with all your writing !! It is soo informative

            1. Author

              Hey Amanda, difficult question! If your skin is young or not dry, I would go with the Colorescience or another powder, it’s super convenient to reapply and truly works wonders. If you feel like your skin is on the dry side, I would go with Alga Maris, Australian Gold or Elta MC (I need to add a few to the list!). I’m also working on a separate article to list all the best mixed mineral and chemical sunscreen (I have tons at home and tested them this summer). So if all mineral is too heavy or drying for you, stay tuned! ๐Ÿ™‚

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