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Sunday Shopping: The best mostly natural mineral sunscreen that feels soft, not greasy, and leaves no white tint

Coola Mineral Sunscreen Unscented Matte Tinthttps://amzn.to/2MWiNuq

For those days where I don’t wear makeup, I always have to wear sunscreen, and my go-to for a long time now (bottle #5) is Coola Mineral Sunscreen Unscented Matte Tint.

If I am on my FIFTH bottle, it means this stuff is dang good.

Chemical versus Mineral sunscreens

Chemical sunscreens, absorb into your skin to fight off the UVA/UVB rays.

Mineral ones, sit ON your skin and just reflect the rays off, like a sunshield.

I am not a fan of things absorbing into my skin unless it is to do something (e.g. retinol to prevent wrinkles and reverse aging), and the chemicals that absorb into my skin have some weak indications of possible issues associated with them (see below).

Why do mineral sunscreens, except this one, suck?

I have always hated mineral sunscreen because it was just so terribly done.

Have you ever tried them on in stores?

They are sticky, they are greasy, they leave a white cast, you can’t even rub them in (I try so hard on Little Bun’s face but it is just like rubbing glue on a dry surface).

They also smell, and do not feel great. I am not a fan of almost every mineral sunscreen out there, and the eco-friendly/health beauty ones are no better.


The ONLY mineral sunscreens that worked well-ish (not as well as this one), contained nano particles, which I have mashed up to call “nanominerals”. Basically, it is the minerals in a sunscreen, shrunk down to tiny, pore-absorbing sizes, and since they are so small, they show zero white cast and apply smoothy.

You have to apply about a TEASPOON of this stuff to your face for it to work properly. Most people do not apply enough sunscreen, and it ends up being streaky on their face, which lowers the effectiveness for actual sun protection – you may as well not be wearing any sunscreen at all.

You need to really apply a healthy dollop, which is what I do, and why mineral sunscreens generally suck, as they take FOREVER to rub into your skin to remove the white cast and stickiness.

What about nanominerals?

Unless it is nanominerals (super tiny particles) where it can possibly seep into your pores and not stay on top of your skin, I have never had a good experience with minerals at all.

I don’t love the idea of nanominerals, because studies HAVE shown that it can get under and into your skin, and possibly into your bloodstream. I just want this stuff to protect my skin from the sun, and I choose mineral to have it sit on top of my skin, not get into it, otherwise I’d have gone chemical.

Why not go chemical?

Well for one thing, it burns my skin. I apply almost any chemical sunscreen and skin immediately reacts, screaming, and burning.

I even tried the makeup spray / chemical version of this brand, and that is also not great either.

Plus, chemical sunscreens other than burning my skin, have some very weak indications that in a lab they have caused cells to change in a petri dish. There are no set studies on this, but I am not going to take chances that the research is not done yet,  and then 30 years later, find out I have been spraying something on my face that disrupts my hormones or causes cancer.

If chemical sunscreens are okay for you – go for it. I personally hate my face burning, and I don’t want my eyelids to burn any more (yes, I apply sunscreen there as well, I am full-face SPF).

Lastly, I do it for the reefs. Coral reefs are damaged by chemical sunscreens (some ingredients in there), and I just want to avoid it altogether, along with health reasons (see above).

So what is so amazing about Coola?

It is amazing for these reasons:

  1. Doesn’t feel greasy at all when you apply it
  2. Doesn’t feel sticky
  3. It feels SOFT. I can’t even really properly explain it, but it is like applying a cloud on your skin.
  4. I buy the tinted version so that it acts as a bit of a skin tone evener, and blends a little better into my skin

What I don’t love about it are:

  • You have to shake the bottle to re-emulsify the oils and the minerals so that it has effective SPF protection when you squeeze out that dollop for your skin
  • It comes in a plastic squeeze tube – Sigh.. plastic.

What’s inside?

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS (SUNSCREEN):

Titanium Dioxide – 3.2%, Zinc Oxide – 1.8%

INACTIVE INGREDIENTS:

Aluminum Hydroxide, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Glycerin, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Iron Oxides, Isopropyl Myristate, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil, Mica, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Plankton Extract, Polyamide-5, Polysilicone-11, Propylene Carbonate, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Silica Silylate, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Synthetic Wax

These two cons, are minor compared to the rest of their pros, so…Coola Mineral Sunscreen Unscented Matte Tint wins!

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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6 Comments

  1. Olga

    This is what I use!
    Where do you buy it from?
    I’ve tried The Bay plus ebates.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I get it where I can – I have tried Well.ca, Sephora through Rakuten to get cashback, and in other random organic shops and boutiques. The best so far, has been Sephora during the VIB sale.

      Reply
  2. Welcome Objects

    Oooh, going to give this a try. I was JUST mentioning in a recent post on my skincare routine that I was looking for a new sunscreen. The one I use now has both chemical and physical blockers and since the longterm safety of chemical sunscreen isn’t known, I’m looking to switch.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I would highly, HIGHLY recommend this MINERAL one. DO NOT try their chemical one. It burns. O_o

      Reply
  3. Anne

    I read your earlier post on Coola mineral sunscreen and have been using it ever since. Best facial sunscreen ever! It’s like spreading silk on your face. Last summer I used their tinted lip sunscreen and was very happy with it, too. Thank you for your recommendations!
    I also tested their sports sunscreens (spray and facial) during my long runs last summer, and although the scent is nice, they leave the skin greasy, just like any other sunscreen.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I have tried sport and chemical from them and hate both, truly. The only one I like is the tinted matte one. I can even wear it like a BB cream….

      Reply

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