I Finally Found A Mineral Sunscreen That Doesn’t Leave A White Cast
In our series Trial Run, TZR editors and writers put the buzziest new beauty products to the test and share their honest reviews. This week, our Associate Beauty News Editor tested the new Nudestix Nudescreen Daily Mineral Veil SPF 30.
I’ve always been team chemical sunscreen over mineral sunscreen. I’ve definitely heard that mineral sunscreens can be less irritating and more environmentally friendly than chemical, but I’ve just never been able to find a mineral option that doesn’t leave that ghostly white/purplish tint on my skin. I’ve also never been able to get behind tinted mineral sunscreens either as they’re always a bit too tinted and end up looking and feeling like a complexion makeup product rather than skin care. When introduced to the Nudestix Nudescreen Daily Mineral Veil SPF 30, I presumed I would have the same bad experience as with most mineral sunscreens, but instead was pleasantly surprised with the results.
If you’re unfamiliar with the brand (as I was), it was started in 2013 by founder Taylor Frankel in collaboration with her mom and sister. The beauty brand is known for multi-tasking, clean, makeup products and is just beginning to make its foray into skin care. “Our main goal in creating our mineral sunscreen was to develop a formula that delivered optimal protection for daily use, that was safe for use for all skin types and tones,” says Frankel. To achieve this, the brand created a 100% mineral SPF 30 formula, in three options (one non-tinted and two tinted) — a process that took approximately two and a half years from conception to hitting the shelves. “We were extremely thoughtful about every single detail when it came to our first ever SPF product,” says Frankel.
Read on for my experience with the new Nudestix mineral SPF.
Why Mineral vs Chemical Sunscreen?
Before we get into it, it’s important to understand what a mineral sunscreen is and how it differs from a chemical one, so you can determine if this product can fit your sun protection and skin care needs. According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Emer “chemical sunscreens use chemicals (like avobenzone, homosalate, and octinoxate) to filter out the sun's damaging UV rays, while mineral sunscreens physically block ultraviolet radiation with ingredients like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.” He recommends a mineral sunscreen for people who are concerned about long-term exposure to chemical ingredients, including children, sensitive skin types, and those with melasma, acne, eczema, or rosacea, as chemical sunscreens can worsen conditions that get irritated by heat.
- Best for: Normal to oily skin
- My rating: 3.5/5
- Brand: Nudestix
- Clean/Cruelty-Free? Yes
- What I like: little to no white cast, matte finish
- What I don't like: Not super moisturizing all-day, low SPF level
I have combination skin that leans more toward oily. As someone who used to deal with really bad acne, I do have post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, so I rely heavily on SPF to help in my efforts to get rid of dark spots. My complexion is medium dark but can definitely go up a shade or two during the summer time. When it comes to sunscreen, I tend to opt for chemical, oil-free, fragrance-free formulas so as to not trigger my acne or cause any irritation.
NudeStix Nudescreen Daily Mineral Veil SPF 30
This SPF boasts a few impressive stats. Firstly, the formula is oil-free and fragrance-free (music to my ears) and contains skin-loving ingredients including purple tea extract — an antioxidant that defends against free radicals — green algae extract — a natural source of niacinamide — and passionflower extract, which protects the skin from the effects of pollution. The SPF comes in a 1.69 fluid ounce tube, making it TSA-friendly and easy to carry on-the-go for reapplication.
Nudescreen uses the two most common ingredients in mineral sunscreens, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide — the only sunscreen ingredients generally recognized as safe and effective by the FDA so far, according to Dr. Emer. This also makes the product pregnancy-safe, “Your skin tends to be more sensitive during both pregnancy and post-partum, so it is recommended and encouraged to use mineral-based sunscreens that contain zinc oxide or titanium,” Dr. Emer explains. The zinc used in the formula is actually non-nano zinc, which means the zinc particles are larger than 100 nanometers, therefore cannot be absorbed into the skin or ingested by coral, also making this formula reef-safe.
The formula contains coconut alkanes which act as an emollient to lock in moisture and provide a blurring effect on the skin for a smooth finish.
Nudescreen comes in three shades, Cool (non tinted) Warm (a natural tan tint), and Hot (a deep tint). This was done because most mineral sunscreens tend to leave a white cast on darker skin tones so the tint in Cool and Warm works to offset that and provide an undetectable finish. For this trial I did use the untinted version, just to see how it would fare.
Right off the bat I appreciated the tube packaging and pump dispenser — I’ve used one too many sunscreens that come in jars and I hate dipping my fingers into product. This SPF, however pumps out smoothly, making it that much easier to use the two finger rule, and apply the right amount of SPF.
I initially pumped the product on to the back of my palm to test and was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t have to rub it in long, and the finish was sheer with no white cast. The product also has little to no scent which is great for those who hate that strong sunscreen smell (myself included).
I used two finger’s worth of product and set about rubbing it in on my complexion. Note: Using an adequate amount of product will make this a bit harder to rub in. The texture is on the thicker side but not overwhelmingly so. After rubbing in the product for about a minute I was starting to get a little skeptical about the leftover color, but after a few more seconds the sunscreen melted into my skin leaving little to no white cast.
A few taking a few selfies, I did see the slightest grey tint in my skin but it was very subtle and after about an hour of wearing the sunscreen it disappeared. The SPF leaves a matte finish with the slightest bit of glow. I noticed that on days where I layered hydration products and an ultra moisturizing cream before using the SPF my face did look dewier, but on its on the sunscreen doesn’t leave a very glowy finish. Wearing it all day I found that the formula also isn’t super moisturizing on its own, but again when layered on top of a few other moisturizing products my skin didn’t dry up throughout the day.
Overall I like how this SPF wears throughout the day — most of my sunscreens leave a very dewy finish so I definitely reach for this product on days where I don’t want that glazed donut effect, as it leaves more of a matte finish when worn on its own. While some may not love the slight grey tint the product can leave, I found that for me it dissipates within an hour of applying. I do wish it was a higher SPF level, as 30 is my personal minimum (15 is the FDA minimum) but especially in the summer time I like to double up on sun protection and make sure I’m wearing at least SPF 40.
For less than two ounces, the $35 price tag seems a bit up there (especially when you consider that SPF should be worn daily and often reapplied) but it still is on the more affordable end — also given the standout factors of the formula (oil-free, fragrance-free, and reef safe) $35 is definitely justifiable for a quality sunscreen like this.
If you’re wanting to make the switch from chemical sunscreens to mineral for the environmental and health benefits, and just haven’t been able to find a formula that doesn’t leave white cast, I would definitely recommend this one for light to medium skin tones. For dark to deep dark tones, there’s a good chance this will leave more of a white cast, in which case the tinted iterations (warm and hot), are the way to go.
BDG product reviews and recommendations are written and conducted by writers and editors with expertise in their fields. Testers often have specific experience with the situation or product at hand, and/or their review or recommendation is provided in consultation with experts. You can learn more about our standards here.