Zinc Oxide Sunscreen: The 14 Best Products for Your Body - Beautyeditor

Editor's Picks: The 14 Best Zinc Oxide Sunscreens for Your Body

These are the mineral formulas you can actually trust.
Publish date:
Zinc oxide sunscreen for body

Now that I've armed you with a list of the best sunscreens for your face, here's Part Two—my top SPF picks for the rest of your body!

Once again, I'm recommending all mineral formulas here. In fact, I'd argue that it's even MORE important to choose a zinc-based sunscreen for your body, since they cover the largest surface area and you apply more product than you do to your face. As you know, there are many toxicity concerns with chemical filters, so it's much safer to use SPFs that remain on the skin surface and reflect away the light, instead of absorbing into your bloodstream.

Of course, like I keep saying, not all mineral sunscreens are made equal. Most companies are using inadequate amounts of active ingredients, which leaves you vulnerable to invisible skin damage (from lack of UVA protection) and even burning (see: The Honest Company). 

Here's what I look for in a body sunscreen:

  • High-zinc: The only filter that gives you complete UVA and UVB protection. Sunscreens should contain at least 20 percent zinc oxide, or 15 percent zinc oxide with 7.5 percent titanium dioxide or encapsulated octinoxate.
  • PUFA-free or low-PUFA: I suggest avoiding polyunsaturated oils (PUFAs) because they spontaneously oxidize in heat and light, creating free radicals and cell damage. PUFA-free sunscreens are safest, but I've listed some low-PUFA options here which shouldn't be too harmful. (By "low-PUFA," I mean products without PUFAs in the first 10 ingredients.)
  • Lotion format: Sprays may be convenient, but they make it extremely hard to tell where you've applied the product and if you used enough of it. (That might be the reason this little guy got burned, poor thing.) None of the products below are sprays.
  • AHA-free and vitamin A-free: These ingredients shouldn't be in sunscreens because they increase photosensitivity. None of the options here include them.
  • Non-whitening: Although it's more of an issue on the face, if you want the least amount of whitening, choose formulas with micronized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Yes, these would be considered "nano," but so would nearly ALL sunscreens, according to EWG (even if labels say otherwise). The good news is, they've been shown NOT to penetrate the skin regardless.

You'll notice I haven't included silicone on this list. I definitely avoid it on my face, for these reasons, but I don't think it's a big deal in a body sunscreen. While you could use any of my favourite face SPFs on your body, that might get a tad expensive, due to the smaller package sizes... 

So here are my top picks for the best high-zinc body sunscreens on the market:

Attitude Sensitive Skin 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30

✓ High-zinc ✓ PUFA-free ✓ Non-whitening

Attitude Sensitive Skin 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 is my new favourite all-over sunscreen (it was on the face list, too!). The creamy texture is great for dry limbs, and the one percent colloidal oatmeal will help soothe over-exposed skin. 

Where to buy: Well.ca • Attitude Living

Active Ingredient: Zinc oxide (20%). Other Ingredients: Aqua, caprylic/capric triglyceride, cetearyl alcohol, cetearyl glucoside, avena sativa (oat) kernel flour, glyceryl isostearate, glyceryl stearate, C10-18 triglycerides, glycerin, polyhydroxystearic acid, ethylhexylglycerin, caprylyl glycol, xanthan gum, sodium gluconate.

Attitude 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30

✓ High-zinc ✓ PUFA-free ✓ Non-whitening

I also love Attitude 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30, their original formula. This one isn't as lotion-like; it has more of a cream-gel texture, but the ingredients are just as great.

Where to buy: Well.ca • Attitude Living

Active Ingredient: Zinc oxide (20%). Other Ingredients: Aqua, caprylic/capric triglyceride, cetearyl alcohol, cetearyl glucoside, glyceryl isostearate, glyceryl stearate, C10-18 triglycerides, glycerin, polyhydroxystearic acid, ethylhexylglycerin, caprylyl glycol, xanthan gum, sodium gluconate.

Rocky Mountain Soap Company Vanilla Coconut Natural Sunscreen SPF 31

✓ High-zinc ✓ PUFA-free ✓ Non-whitening

Applying Rocky Mountain Soap Company Vanilla Coconut Natural Sunscreen SPF 31 feels like putting on a rich body butter, thanks to the thicker texture and yummy scent. It's super-hydrating and all-natural.

Where to buy: Well.ca • Rocky Mountain Soap Company

Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 20.1%. Other Ingredients: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Isostearate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Aqua, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Glycerin*, Coco-Glucoside, Arachidyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Glucoside, Natural Vanilla Flavour/Aroma, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Hectorite, Natural Coconut Flavour/Aroma, Xanthan Gum. *Organic 

Neutrogena Sheer Zinc SPF 50

✓ High-zinc ✓ PUFA-free ✓ Non-whitening

Neutrogena Sheer Zinc SPF 50 is the body version of the face formula we already talked about. Although the ingredients are similar, it does have a different texture. It's quite a bit more moisturizing, and oddly, much less whitening (although the face one also goes clear, it needs more rubbing in). This is a good choice for sports as it's water-resistant for 80 minutes.

Where to buy: Amazon.com • Ulta

Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide/Oxyde de zinc (21.6%). Other Ingredients: Water, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Octyldodecyl Citrate Crosspolymer, Phenyl Trimethicone, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Ethyl Methicone, Silica, Cetyl Dimethicone, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Phenoxyethanol, Glyceryl Behenate, Sodium Chloride, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, Chlorphenesin, Phenethyl Alcohol, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour, Caprylyl Glycol, Cetyl Dimethicone/Bis-Vinyldimethicone Crosspolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Chrysanthemum Parthenium (Feverfew) Flower/Leaf/Stem Juice

Aveeno Baby Sensitive Skin Sunscreen SPF 50

✓ High-zinc ✓ PUFA-free ✓ Non-whitening 

New Aveeno Baby Sensitive Skin Sunscreen SPF 50 is not just for babies! It's another excellent drugstore choice, with a very similar formula to the Neutrogena. It, too, is oil-free and water-resistant. It's a little more whitening, but that goes away as soon as you blend it out.

Where to buy: Amazon.com • Walmart • Target • Walgreens

Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 21.6%. Other Ingredients: Water, c12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Octydodecyl Citrate, Crosspolymer, Phenyl Trimethicone, Cetyl peg/ppg-1-/1 Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Silica, Phenethyl Alcohol, Colloidal Oatmeal, Chrysanthemum Parthenium Flower/Leaf/Stem Juice, Caprylyl Glycol, Glyceryl Behenate, Sodium Chloride, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, Cetyl Dimethicone/Bis-Vinyldimethicone Crosspolymer, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol.

Belly Buttons & Babies Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30

✓ High-zinc ✓ PUFA-free ✓ Non-whitening

Here's another baby sunscreen that's better than most "adult" formulas. If you're looking for an ultra-natural SPF with the highest level of zinc (25 percent), check out Belly Buttons & Babies Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30. It's made in Canada and the ingredients list couldn't be more minimal. 

Where to buy: Well.ca • Belly Buttons & Babies

Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 25%. Other Ingredients: certified organic: Purified Water, Candelilla Wax (Euphorbia Cerifera Wax), Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia Chinensis), Shea Butter (Butyrospermum Parkii), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract. 

Block Island Organics Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30

✓ High-zinc ✓ PUFA-free ✓ Non-whitening

Block Island Organics Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 is a great pick I discovered this year through EWG (along with their face sunscreen covered here). This formula is even better, since it features the same amount of zinc in an aloe vera base, but is free of PUFA oils. There's no reason why you couldn't use this on your face as well.

Where to buy: Amazon.com • Block Island Organics

Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 22%. Other Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe Vera Gel) Juice*, Aqua (Deionized Water), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Oil, Gluconolactone, Glycerin*, Lecithin*, Octyl Palmitate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Laurylglucosides Hydroxypropylsulfonate, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Xanthan Gum, Zemea Propanediol. (*Certified Organic)

Waxhead Zinc Oxide Vitamin D Enhanced Sunscreen SPF 35

✓ High-zinc ✓ PUFA-free 

Just like the Belly Buttons & Babies sunscreen, Waxhead Zinc Oxide Vitamin D Enhanced Sunscreen SPF 35 has 25 percent zinc and only six ingredients. One of those is vitamin D, which may offer additional protection.

Where to buy: Amazon.com • Waxhead

Active Ingredient: 25% non-nano Zinc Oxide. Other Ingredients: Eldorado Springs Artesian Water, Certified Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Certified Organic Beeswax, Vitamin E (non-GMO from sunflower seeds), Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol, 400 IU per ounce).

Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ WetForce for Sensitive Skin & Children

✓ High-zinc ✓ PUFA-free

At the department store, the only high-zinc offering available (for face and body) is Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF 50+ WetForce for Sensitive Skin & Children. Like some of the other products here, it is water-resistant for 80 minutes, but is supposed to be even more effective when wet. So I'd choose this for any swimming activities, where you really want your SPF to be locked on.

Where to buy: Nordstrom • Sephora • Saks Fifth Avenue • Ulta • Neiman Marcus • Birchbox • Bloomingdale's • Bergdorf Goodman • Shiseido

Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 9.1%, Zinc Oxide 19.3%. Other Ingredients: Dimethicone, Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Diisopropyl Sebacate, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Peg-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Bis-Butyldimethicone Polyglyceryl-3, Peg-6, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Peg-32, Peg/Ppg-14/7 Dimethyl Ether, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Thymus Serpillum Extract, Aluminum Distearate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Isostearic Acid, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Hydrated Silica, Sodium Metaphosphate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Stearic Acid, Dextrin Palmitate, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Tocopherol, Syzygium Jambos Leaf Extract.

Derma E Natural Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Body

✓ High-zinc ✓ Low-PUFA ✓ Non-whitening

I'm not quite as in love with Derma E Natural Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Body as I am with their face formula, thanks to the small amount of sunflower oil in here, but it's still a really good choice. This brand makes some of the lightest-textured sunscreens I've ever come across!

Where to buy: Well.ca • Dermstore • Derma E

Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 20% Inactive Ingredients: Purified Water, Coco-Caprylate (Coconut Derived), Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Lauryl Glucoside (Plant Derived), Polyglyceryl-2 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Glycerin (Vegetable Derived), Microcrystalline Cellulose (Plant Derived), Cellulose Gum (Plant Derived), Organic Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Panthenol (Provitamin B5), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Phytic Acid, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Benzyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tocopherol.

Juice Beauty SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen

✓ High-zinc ✓ Low-PUFA 

As its name suggests, the Juice Beauty SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen is a good one for sports. I think their Oil-Free SPF is best for face (it's PUFA-free), but this has the added benefit of 80 minutes water-resistance, which is VERY rare for a silicone-free formula!

Where to buy: SephoraAmazon.com • UltaBloomingdale'sDermstoreSkinStore • Goop • Free People • Juice Beauty

Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 20%. Other Ingredients: Organic Juices Of Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Juice)*, Pyrus Malus (Apple Juice)*, Vitis Vinifera (White Grape Juice)*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut Oil)*, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Sorbitan Stearate, Ricinus Communis (Castor Seed Oil), Hydrogenated Methyl Abietate, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Magnesium Sulfate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower Seed Oil)*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Seed Oil)*, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Citrus Limonum (Lemon Extract), Iron Oxides, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citrus Reticulata (Mandarin) & Citrus Aurantium (Petitgrain) Pure Essential Oils. *Certified Organic

Suntegrity Natural Mineral Sunscreen for Body SPF 30

✓ High-zinc ✓ Low-PUFA ✓ Non-whitening

Suntegrity Natural Mineral Sunscreen for Body SPF 30 is an elegant, non-greasy choice that still packs a lot of zinc. The antioxidants like green tea extract bump up your protection, although it would be better without the sunflower and pomegranate oils.

Where to buy: The Detox Market • Amazon.com • Credo BeautyDermstoreFollain • LeVert Beauty • Free People • Suntegrity

Active Ingredient: 20% Zinc-Oxide. Inactive Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Camellia Sinensis (Organic Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Caprylic Capric Triglycerides (Coconut Oil Extract), Cetyl Dimethicone (Mineral Based), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Sweet Orange) Essential Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Essential Oil, Citrus Reticulata Blanco (Tangerine) Essential Oil, Cucumis Sativus (Organic Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Dimethicone (Mineral Based), Ethylhexylglycerin (Plant Derived Preservative), Glyceryl Monostearate (Plant Derived), Helianthus Annuus (Organic Sunflower) Seed Oil, Hexyl Laurate (Plant Derived), Hyaluronic Acid (Plant Derived), Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt), Polyaminopropyl Biguanide (Preservative), Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate (Plant Derived), Punica Granatum (Organic Pomegranate) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Organic Jojoba) Seed Oil, Sorbitan Stearate (Plant Derived), Water (Aqua). 

Beautycounter Protect All Over Sunscreen SPF 30

✓ PUFA-free

Beautycounter Protect All Over Sunscreen SPF 30 doesn't quite meet my zinc criteria, but by only one percent, so I'm including it since it's still far better than most sunscreens out there. It gives you 40 minutes of water-resistance with no silicones.

Where to buy: Goop • Beautycounter

Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 19% (Sunscreen). Other Ingredients: 1,2-Hexanediol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Beeswax, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Nonanoate, Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Oil, Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine) Oil, Citrus Sinensis (Blood Orange) Fruit Extract, Coco-caprylate, Decylene Glycol, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Glycerin, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Isopropyl Myristate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Isostearic Acid, Lecithin, Magnesium Sulfate, Metha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Mimosa Tenuiflora Bark Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Polyglyceryl-3 Polyricinoleate, Polyglyceryl-4 Diisostearate/Polyhydroxystearate/Sebacate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Silica, Sodium Chloride, Water

MDSolarSciences Mineral Moisture Defense Body SPF 50

✓ PUFA-free ✓ Non-whitening

Finally, we have MDSolarSciences Mineral Moisture Defense Body SPF 50. Many of you have been asking me about this brand; with only 2 percent titanium, they come just short of my criteria, but I think you could get away with it for the body. (For face, I think it's worth it to use full broad-spectrum protection.) It's water-resistant for 80 minutes and has a lightweight texture, thanks to the silicones.

Where to buy: Sephora • Amazon.com • Dermstore • Birchbox

Active Ingredients: 2% Titanium Dioxide, 17% Zinc Oxide. Inactive Ingredients: Dimethicone, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Glyceryl Isostearate, Polyester-8, Polysilicone-15, Behenic Acid, Camelia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Caprooyl Phytosphingosine, Ceramide AP, Ceramide EOP, Ceramide EOS, Ceramide NP, Ceramide NS, Ceteareth-25, Cetyl Alcohol, Cholesterol, Glycerin, Iron Oxides, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Punica Granatum Extract, Silica, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Triethoxycaprylysilane, Vaccinum Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Extract.


Zinc oxide sunscreen for body

These zinc oxide sunscreens won't let you down.

So there you have it—my complete guide to all the SPFs you should know about! If you missed Part One, head over here to discover the best high-zinc formulas for your face. 

You could obviously use any of the body ones on your face, too. Just keep in mind that they're likely to be a little heavier/oilier in texture.

I hope this helps you stay sun-safe from head to toe this summer. If you discover any other amazing zinc formulas, I'd love to hear about them!

What's your favourite body sunscreen?
Have you tried any of these?