Wearing daily sun protection is one of the most effective ways to keep our skin healthy and glowing. With increasing awareness of the harmful effects of UV rays, mineral sunscreens have gained popularity due to their all-physical and non-irritating formulas. In celebration of the launch of our very first 100% Mineral Facial SPF, we asked Chris Haught, Ph.D., Manager of Product Formulation at Mary Kay, for expert advice on everything mineral sunscreen. We’ll explore the benefits to understand its significance in maintaining healthy skin and learn how to incorporate mineral sunscreen in a daily skin care routine. 

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Mineral sunscreen, also known as physical sunscreen, offers sun protection using chemical-free active ingredients such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to shield your skin from the sun. In our new Mary Kay® Mineral Facial Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30, the zinc oxide works by blocking both UVA and UVB rays. When you apply physical sunscreen to your skin, the mineral-based particles form a protective layer that bounces UV rays off your skin, preventing them from causing skin damage. Our new mineral sunscreen is non-comedogenic and fragrance-free making it less likely to cause irritation or allergic reactions. It is also suitable for daily use on all skin types, including acne-prone and sensitive skin. 
Image showing three diverse models with different skin tones - fair, medium, and dark. They are presented in side-by-side comparisons, each with and without the product applied to their faces. The product aims to enhance and complement the natural beauty of all skin tones, offering a before-and-after perspective on its effects.

What is zinc oxide?

Zinc oxide is a mineral that is a white powder in its natural state. It’s commonly used in mineral sunscreens as the active ingredient protecting against both UVA and UVB rays. Its ability to block out both types of sun rays make it a highly effective broad spectrum SPF option. As a bonus, zinc oxide is known to offer protection from blue light – another source of premature aging.

SPF 30 or SPF 50? What’s the difference?

The difference between SPF 30 and SPF 50 is the level of sun protection. We recommend SPF 30 for daily use to protect your skin from incidental sun exposure such as walking your dog or blue-light exposure from digital devices. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher for any extended outdoor activity. Broad spectrum sunscreens provide protection against both UVA and UVB.

To better understand levels of protection:
• SPF 15 screens about 93% of UVB rays
• SPF 30 screens about 97% of UVB rays
• SPF 50 screens about 98% of UVB rays

But remember, no sunscreen product protects against 100% of UV rays.


The main difference between mineral and chemical sunscreens is their active ingredients and the way they protect your skin.
Mineral sunscreens use natural minerals such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to create a physical barrier that bounces UV rays off your skin, preventing them from causing damage.
Chemical sunscreens contain synthetic chemicals that absorb UV rays and convert them into heat, which is then released from the skin.

Two women with diverse skin tones, one with dark skin tone, the other with medium skin tone, are standing against a bright blue background. Both women are smiling and radiating positivity.

Should I use mineral or chemical?

Both mineral and chemical sunscreens provide broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays. The choice between them is a matter of personal preference and individual skin needs. Mineral sunscreen is most often used for people with acne-prone or sensitive skin, while chemical sunscreens are great for highly active people looking for a formula that is more sweat-resistant and water-resistant. Mary Kay offers a variety of SPF products, so customers can work with their Independent Beauty Consultant to choose the right product for their individual needs.


Mineral sunscreen should be applied to your face as the last step in your skin care routine, right after moisturizer but before makeup. This ensures a seamless application and helps the sunscreen form a protective layer over your skin, sealing in the moisturizer's benefits.
Various skin care products neatly arranged on a light grey background. The image features a graphic text that reads ‘Tip! Always Moisturize

Tip! How to avoid white cast:

Mineral sunscreens have advanced to provide a natural finish that suits various skin tones and skin types. Although a slight white tint may be evident right upon application, due to the zinc oxide, this can be easily prevented by using it correctly on well-moisturized skin. As it dries, it leaves a shine-free finish. Ensuring that your skin is well-hydrated before applying mineral facial sunscreen will enhance the overall experience, regardless of your skin type.

Which Moisturizer Works Best with Mineral Sunscreen?

The best moisturizer to use with mineral sunscreen depends on which moisturizer pairs best with your skin type. For example, if you have combination to oily skin, a nongreasy formula like Clear Proof® Oil-Free Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin or the TimeWise® Antioxidant Moisturizer in combination-to-oily would work best. However, if you have normal-to-dry skin, Mary Kay® Intense Moisturizing Cream or the TimeWise® Antioxidant Moisturizer in normal-to-dry would work better for you. 
Image of a dark skin toned model gently swiping product onto their cheek, demonstrating a seamless application of the product for a flawless makeup look.

How much should I apply?

To ensure effective protection, generously apply your mineral sunscreen at least 15 minutes before sun exposure. If spending time outdoors, it is recommended to reapply every two hours.

How long should I wait before doing makeup?

Allow your sunscreen to dry down for at least two minutes before applying makeup for a seamless finish. As a plus, Mary Kay® Mineral Facial Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 wears well under foundation due to its fast-absorbing, ultralight and nontinted formula.

Did you know?

Exposure to blue light can cause negative effects on the skin such as premature aging and hyperpigmentation. That's why incorporating daily sunscreen into your routine is important to safeguard skin while you're scrolling on your phone or laptop.


It is essential to shield your skin from the damaging effects of UV rays daily by using sunscreen anywhere the skin receives exposure. The sun's harmful UV rays are present year-round, even on cloudy days and during the winter months. Consistent and daily use of sunscreen is crucial to protecting your skin from sun damage and premature aging.

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Try the new Mary Kay® Mineral Facial Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 and the rest of our skin care products with personal recommendations from your Independent Beauty Consultant. As your Beauty BFF, she's only a call, tap, or text away, providing you with a convenient try-before-you-buy service that saves you time and money.

Chris Haught, Ph.D., Manager Product Formulation at Mary Kay. Chris joined Mary Kay in June of 2018, and he has over 25 years of experience with formulation of personal care and cosmetic products. Chris holds a Bachelor of Science in microbiology and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering, both from the University of Oklahoma.

The writer, Leslie Ginter, copywriter at Mary Kay, is a beauty enthusiast who loves spending her time trying new products, spending time with her dog and playing golf. Her favourite Mary Kay® products are Mary Kay® Mineral Facial Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 and TimeWise® Antioxidant Moisturizer.