I am going to have to strip the best-sunblock title from Vanicream. If you insist on a mineral sunblock, then Vanicream is definitely the one, in SPF 30 or 60, but if vanity trumps health considerations, and/or you just can’t stand to have every pore sealed shut, try this combination of mineral and chemical ingredients: Elta MD UV Facial (Moisturizing Facial Sunscreen, SPF 30+). No fragrance, no paraben, protects from UVA/UVB, doesn’t seem to block pores, looks totally fine, not greasy, not sticky, not white or pink, easy to remove.
If your skin tends to break out or be oily, go with the Elta MD UV Clear (Very Light Sunscreen, SPF 46). This is on the expensive side and will flake if applied generously, but seems good if applied lightly. And if you are called upon to exert yourself, perhaps the Elta MD UV Sport (Very Water Resistant Sunscreen, SPF 50).
The chemicals involved aren’t the worst chemicals. In fact, these sunscreens get wonderful ratings on the Environmental Working Group website. They contain micronized minerals, which is fine—such particles are big enough that they shouldn’t get into your lungs, etc. It’s the nano-ized particles one might wish to steer clear of.
Emily at work was the one who told me about Elta MD. She has given me so many handy hints over the years, I went ahead and proposed marriage, in my own way. During a conversation about something else, I said, “I’ll be your roommate when you’re old, if you want.”