This Anti-Aging Mineral Sunscreen Is Effective, Gentle, and Doesn't Leave a White Cast

Shoppers say it's "perfect to wear every day."

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young woman applying sunscreen on face
Photo: Javier Díez / Stocksy

A good skincare routine can do more than just fight signs of aging—it can also significantly lower your risk of developing skin cancer. Every year in the United States, more than 5 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer, and overexposure to the sun is one of the leading causes. One of the easiest and most effective ways to shield your skin is to include a product with broad spectrum UV protection in your daily skincare routine, like personal care brand Versed's Guards Up zinc oxide sunscreen, which also contains powerful anti-aging ingredients.

By and large, wearing any kind of sunscreen is better than wearing none at all, however, mineral sunscreens with zinc oxide formulas are sometimes preferred to chemical options because they don't get absorbed into your skin. According to board-certified dermatologist Marisa K. Garshick, MD, "zinc oxide works as a physical blocker [from the sun], which protects the skin by physically blocking or reflecting away UV rays." Additionally, zinc oxide is one of only two common sunscreen ingredients that have enough research data to be regarded as generally safe and effective (GRASE) by the FDA. Dr. Garshick also notes that zinc oxide sunscreens are particularly beneficial for those with sensitive skin because they're not known to be irritating. "In general, [zinc oxide] is thought to be gentle," she explains.

The active ingredients in Guards Up are non-nano zinc oxide, sea fennel extract, and moringa seed extract. "Non-nano" means that the zinc oxide particles in this sunscreen are larger and won't penetrate the skin or be absorbed into the bloodstream, hence acting as a physical barrier. This ingredient is also considered reef-safe. Sea fennel is a great source of antioxidants and has been used in medicinal and cosmetic applications for years to help boost collagen production and rejuvenate the skin. Moringa seed is a nutrient-rich ingredient known to soothe skin inflammation and help fight fine lines and wrinkles. Guards Up's full ingredient list (including active and inactive) is free of parabens, sulfates, and silicones, and its gentle formula won't cause irritation to most skin types, from sensitive to acne-prone.

Versed-Daily-Mineral-Sunscreen-Product
Courtesy of Merchant

To buy: Guards Up Daily Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35, from $22; versedskin.com

Since it is meant for the face, hands, and neck, Guards Up's formula is made to feel lighter than traditional, thicker zinc oxide sunscreens. It also doesn't leave a white cast behind—a usual complaint of mineral sunscreen users—thanks to its peachy color, which is derived from the unique ingredient combination. Reviewers report that the formula blends in really well and leaves a natural finish—not greasy or dry.

Guards Up offers broad spectrum SPF 35 protection, which means it will shield your skin from both UVB rays (the ones that burn your skin) and UVA rays (the ones that age your skin), and it meets the American Academy of Dermatology's recommendation of using SPF 30 or higher for all skin types. This everyday-wear sunscreen can be applied on its own or as the final step of your skincare routine (make sure to apply your moisturizer and let it fully absorb first). If you plan to use the sunscreen under makeup, let it sit for two or three minutes post application to give it time to set.

This Versed sunscreen has cultivated a very loyal customer base because it's effective and gentle. A shopper who describes her skin as oily and acne prone started wearing Guards Up after her dermatologist recommended it and says she loves how it feels on her skin: "no icky, oily, greasy skin, nor dry." A mom who says both she and her son are allergic to chemical sunscreens describes Guards Up as "the best [sunscreen] I have found so far." Shoppers also love that it "glides on smoothly" and "sinks in quickly"—which is often challenging with zinc oxide sunscreens—and some even describe it as their "holy grail sunscreen." Another comments that this sunscreen is "super blendable, super light-weight," and "perfect to wear every day."

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, "the best sunscreen is the one you will use again and again," so give Guards Up a try and start protecting your skin with a product you'll love and want to apply consistently.

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