The brand calls Sheerscreen the “100% mineral twin” to their ever-popular Unseen Sunscreen. Meaning: It has the same spreadable texture and undetectable payoff, but instead of chemical filters (which may come with some skin and environmental concerns), the formula relies on zinc oxide as the only SPF active.
Zinc oxide, in case you need a refresher, physically shields you from the sun’s rays by blocking UV; this is different from chemical sunscreens, which absorb the UV light and turn it into heat. Not to mention, zinc oxide protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. “Zinc oxide is a mineral that reflects light, including longer wavelength UVA, from the skin’s surface,” board-certified dermatologist Loretta Ciraldo, M.D., FAAD, tells mbg about the ingredient. It’s also the best option if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin: The mineral has been shown to have a soothing effect on the skin, and research has shown that zinc oxide is an effective treatment for zits (it’s even an ingredient in many natural spot treatments).
I could dedicate a whole article to raving about the benefits of zinc oxide (in fact, mbg already has), but let’s shed some light on some other star players: Just like the Unseen Sunscreen, the formula features a SheerMatrix technology that stretches out those dense, mineral zinc oxide actives to achieve a sheer payoff without compromising its efficacy. Holly Thaggard, founder of Supergoop!, compares it to your favorite sheer white T-shirt: “Still white, but whispery thin and perfect.” And just as versatile—you can easily wear Sheerscreen alone or layer it under makeup.
Then for a splash of moisture, you’ll find squalane and aloe leaf juice; these ingredients also help thin out the consistency and make the formula deliciously creamy, without imparting a greasy film. Antioxidant-rich bush clover extract also makes an appearance, which helps stave off free radicals from UV rays and other environmental aggressors.