Ah, sunscreen. The essential skin care staple that’s often overlooked but can make all the difference in terms of keeping our skin healthy and happy.
Unfortunately, finding a sunscreen that fits our skin type, lifestyle, and budget can be tricky! The Ordinary offers some excellent affordable skincare products, including two sunscreens.
The Ordinary’s sunscreens use mineral (physical) filters to help us combat these ever-present UV rays.
I purchased both and put them to the test to see how they performed. In this The Ordinary sunscreen review, I share my experience and how they measure up…
This post contains affiliate links, and any purchases made through these links will result in a commission for me at no extra cost to you. Please read my Disclosure for additional information.
The Ordinary Sunscreen Review
The Ordinary’s two sunscreens are very similar. So similar that they share the same ingredient list.
The main difference is the concentration of the ingredients, including zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, the mineral filters that provide sunscreen protection.
Mineral UV filter comparison:
- The Ordinary Mineral UV Filters SPF 15 with Antioxidants = 3.74% titanium dioxide and 9.76% zinc oxide
- The Ordinary Mineral UV Filters SPF 30 with Antioxidants = 5.44% titanium dioxide and 14.03% zinc oxide
They are both a very light beige shade and are not waterproof. The sunscreens are formulated at a pH of 7.00 – 8.50 and are alcohol-free, gluten-free, vegan, and cruelty-free.
The Ordinary Mineral UV Filters with Antioxidants Key Ingredients (Both SPF 15 and SPF 30 Versions)
- Glycerin: A moisturizing ingredient commonly found in sunscreen formulations that helps hydrate and protect the skin from dryness.
- Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil: A plant-based oil derived from sunflower seeds, rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids that moisturize and protect the skin.
- Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract: Rosemary extract is an antioxidant-rich extract derived from the rosemary plant, which protects the skin from damage caused by free radicals.
- Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract: A natural plant extract and active ingredient that contains antioxidants and offers anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Haematococcus Pluvialis Extract: A micro algae rich in astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the skin from UV-induced damage.
- Picea Mariana Bark Extract: An extract derived from Black Spruce bark that helps protect the skin from dehydration, pollution, and UV exposure.
- Arginine, Aspartic Acid, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Isoleucine, Proline, Threonine, and Histidine: Amino acids that hydrate and nourish the skin.
- Sodium PCA, PCA, Sodium Lactate, and Urea: Found naturally in our skin as natural moisturizing factors, these actives help the skin retain water.
- Glucose, Maltose, Fructose, and Trehalose: Natural sugars and humectants with water-binding properties that help the skin stay hydrated.
- Allantoin: A soothing and moisturizing active derived from comfrey root that helps soothe and reduce inflammation.
- Sodium Hyaluronate: The sodium salt of hyaluronic acid is a hydrating ingredient that helps hydrate and plump the skin. It can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Tocopherol: A form of vitamin E that is a powerful antioxidant and protects the skin from damage caused by free radicals.
As you can see from the ingredient list, The Ordinary sunscreens contain several skin-protective antioxidants as well as hydrating and soothing ingredients.
The Ordinary Sunscreen Review
The Ordinary Mineral UV Filters SPF 30 with Antioxidants Review
The Ordinary Mineral UV Filters SPF 30 with Antioxidants is a broad-spectrum sunscreen that offers SPF 30 sun protection with its mineral sunscreen filters.
The sunscreen offers UVA and UVB coverage in the form of 14.03% zinc oxide and 5.44% titanium dioxide without nanoparticles. (See this article by the Environmental Working Group for a discussion on nanoparticles in sunscreen.)
It also contains skin-protective antioxidants plus hydration support to offset dryness.
The sunscreen is formulated for all skin types and comes in the form of a thick emulsion cream. It has a very light beige shade and dries to a matte finish.
Unfortunately, it has a thick texture that leaves a white cast on my light skin tone. It dissipates somewhat after absorption, but it has a slightly heavy, chalky feel on my skin.
Due to my light skin tone, I can offset the white cast with my foundation, but I’m not sure how easy that will be if you have a darker skin tone.
Because this sunscreen offers SPF 30 sun protection, it is my pick between The Ordinary’s SPF 15 and SPF 30 varieties. You should opt for the higher SPF to get the best sunscreen protection.
I love the inclusion of antioxidants to provide additional skin protection, but the texture and feel on my skin are not my favorite, so I tend to reach for other mineral sunscreens that have a more elegant formula, feel, and wear.
If you have a light or, better yet, fair complexion and are looking for a mineral sunscreen with a nourishing formula, The Ordinary Mineral UV Filters SPF 30 with Antioxidants could be a good option, depending on how it feels and looks on your skin tone.
If you have a medium to dark skin tone, I don’t know how this or the SPF 15 version would work with your skin tone.
The Ordinary Mineral UV Filters SPF 15 with Antioxidants Review
The Ordinary Mineral UV Filters SPF 15 with Antioxidants is a 100% mineral sunscreen with SPF 15 sun protection.
It contains 9.76% zinc oxide and 3.74% titanium dioxide.
I wish the SPF was higher because I prefer the texture and look of this SPF 15 version compared to the SPF 30 version.
It blends better than The Ordinary’s SPF 30 sunscreen and leaves you with less white cast than the SPF 30 version. It doesn’t feel as heavy on my skin, either.
The main drawback is that SPF 15 blocks about 93% of UV rays, while SPF 30 blocks about 97% of UV rays, so you’re always better off going with the SPF 30 sunscreen protection.
Unfortunately for The Ordinary sunscreens, to get that additional SPF 30 protection, you compromise on texture and skin feel. You also have to deal with more of a white cast.
I have a light skin tone and notice a bit of a white cast, so I imagine it will be even more noticeable for darker skin tones.
If only The Ordinary would tint these sunscreens darker. I think I would reach for them more often if they had a more noticeable tint to offset the white cast.
You can see in the image above how the SPF 30 version on the left is thicker. Below, you can see the more prominent white cast from the SPF 30 Mineral UV Filters.
How To Use The Ordinary Sunscreen
Shake well and apply the sunscreen liberally about 15 to 20 minutes before UV exposure. Apply sunscreen as the last step of your morning skincare routine.
The Ordinary suggests reapplying every 2 hours or after material water exposure, towel-drying, swimming, or extensive perspiration, as the sunscreens are not waterproof.
Be sure to patch test before using these sunscreens or any other new skincare product for the first time to avoid an unwanted adverse initial reaction.
The Ordinary Sunscreens Conflicts
The Ordinary sunscreens do not have any product conflicts.
Alternatives To The Ordinary Sunscreens
Just a few short years ago, there wasn’t a great selection of mineral sunscreens on the market that didn’t leave you with an unhealthy-looking white cast.
But now, there are so many great options that don’t just provide sun protection but nourish and protect your skin at the same time!
For swatches of these sunscreens and more affordable drugstore picks, please see my best drugstore mineral sunscreens post.
These are a few good ones:
Hero Cosmetics Force Shield Superlight Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30
If you have acne-prone skin, Hero Cosmetics Force Shield Superlight Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 could be the ideal mineral sunscreen for you.
It contains 17.53% non-nano zinc oxide in a fragrance-free, reef-safe base.
The sunscreen is shaded light green to balance redness. The lightweight formula leaves a natural skin-like finish that won’t clog your pores (it’s non-comedogenic).
It’s filled with plant extracts and antioxidant superfood botanicals such as green tea leaf extract and vitamin E, which protect your skin against environmental stressors.
The cream is very sheer and non-chalky. You can easily wear it with or without makeup. The shine-free formula hydrates without feeling greasy.
It’s non-irritating and even suitable for sensitive skin.
Bliss Block Star Mineral Daily Sunscreen SPF 30
Bliss Block Star Mineral Daily Sunscreen SPF 30 is a tinted mineral sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum SPF 30 UVA/UVB protection.
The sunscreen contains 11.5% zinc oxide and 4.1% titanium dioxide.
The sunscreen contains several fruit, flower, and plant extracts, including blueberry acai and green tea extract, potent antioxidants that help protect against environmental stressors.
Rosa canina fruit oil, also known as rosehip seed oil, softens and hydrates your skin while reducing the appearance of pores and controlling excess sebum.
The sunscreen has a lightweight, velvety, non-greasy texture that melts into your skin.
The tinted formula does a great job of evening out skin tone and hiding any potential white cast from the mineral filters.
Please note that Block Star has a fresh lavender scent due to the lavender oil in the formula.
Sunscreen Ingredient: Butyloctyl Salicylate
Both the Hero and Bliss sunscreens above contain butyloctyl salicylate, an active ingredient often described as a solvent.
This helper ingredient can help boost the SPF rating of a sunscreen but isn’t approved as a chemical sunscreen by the FDA.
Butyloctyl salicylate is similar in structure to octisalate (ethylhexyl salicylate), an FDA-approved chemical sunscreen in the US. So please note this if you’re allergic to salicylates.
Mineral Sunscreen and Skin Type
Mineral sunscreens, in general, are suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
But because they usually contain zinc oxide, which is an astringent, they often appeal to those with oily skin since zinc oxide can shrink the look of pores while absorbing excess oil.
As a result of zinc oxide’s astringent properties, some mineral sunscreens can be drying and aren’t the best choice for dry skin types.
If you have dry skin, look for hydrating and moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, ceramides, and fatty acids in a mineral sunscreen formula.
The Bottom Line
If you’re like me and prefer to stick with more affordable skincare options, The Ordinary Sunscreens could be worth a try IF you have a lighter skin tone.
They contain mineral instead of chemical sunscreen filters (which is a plus for me since my skin is sensitive to chemical sunscreens). And the price is certainly right.
But remember that there is a potential for white cast, and they feel a little heavier and chalky than some other mineral formulas.
Read More The Ordinary Reviews:
- The Ordinary Aloe 2% + NAG 2% Solution Review
- The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides Review
- The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane Review
- The Ordinary Amino Acids + B5 Review
- The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane Review
- The Ordinary Lactic Acid Review
- The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Review
- The Ordinary Niacinamide Review
- The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone Review
- The Ordinary Glycolipid Cream Cleanser Review
- The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + Beta Glucan Review
Thanks for reading!