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Mineral Sunscreen Review: Beautycounter Countersun SPF 30

I put my heart and soul into finding the best natural mineral sunscreen over the last 10 years. My family of 6 has personally tested over 100 reef-safe sunscreen options, putting two on our bodies every time we are in the sun.
Top Recommended Safe Natural Mineral Sunscreens - Over 100 Brands Tested by One Real Family!
Our a/b tests have been stringent, and we really know what mineral sunscreens are effective, rub in well, and last a long time.Of all those well over 100 choices, we only have about a dozen that we love and this brand is one of them.If you’re looking for one of the best natural sunscreens, you’re in the right place!As you’ll read in the full review below, this zinc oxide sunscreen covers all the bases and keeps your family safe from sunburn. It uses pristine ingredients to the highest standard, goes on smooth, and actually lasts. If you’d like to see how it stacks up against other natural mineral sunscreen brands that use reef-safe zinc oxide, then head over to my ultimate guide to natural mineral sunscreens for the complete list of safe sunscreen reviews.
Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30
Overall
3.3
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant
  • Effectiveness

Details:

Price Range: $$$$

EWG rating: 2

SPF: 30

Active ingredient(s): non-nano zinc oxide 19%

Other ingredients: 1,2-Hexanediol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Cera Alba/Beeswax/Cire d’abeille, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Nonanoate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine) Fruit Extract, Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine) Peel Oil, Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange) Fruit Extract, Coco-Caprylate, Decylene Glycol, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Glycerin, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Isopropyl Myristate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Isostearic Acid, Lecithin, Raphanus Sativus (Radish) Root Ferment Filtrate, Magnesium Sulfate, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Mimosa Tenuiflora (Mimosa) Bark Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Polyglyceryl-3 Polyricinoleate, Polyglyceryl-4 Diisostearate/Polyhydroxystearate/Sebacate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Silica, Sodium Chloride, Aqua/Water/Eau.

New formulation: Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Coco-Caprylate, Cetearyl Nonanoate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Polyglyceryl-4 Diisostearate/Polyhydroxystearate/Sebacate, Glycerin, Isopropyl Myristate, Magnesium Sulfate, Beeswax, Phenoxyethanol, Silica, Sodium Chloride, Isostearic Acid, Lecithin, Polyglyceryl-3 Polyricinoleate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Decylene Glycol, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, 1,2-Hexanediol, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine) Fruit Extract, Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine) Peel Oil, Eschscholzia Californica Leaf Cell Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Mimosa Tenuiflora Bark Extract.

Antioxidants added: aloe

Where to purchase: Beautycounter

Ease of application: +

Water resistant? Rated for 40 minutes

My experience: 

2021 UPDATE: It’s been a number of years since the unmitigated disaster of my first experience with Beautycounter sunscreen. They have reformulated the product, and I had the opportunity to test it again thanks to Kelly the Kitchen Kop. Thank goodness Beautycounter seems to have made some good choices. Rather than being the side that burned the most in two different A-B tests, the Beautycounter side seems to burn less than another brand. It rubs in great and has a very nice consistency.

We tested Beautycounter during an all-day excursion at the lake one summer and two of my kids were definitely more pink on the opposing side. For my daughter, her shoulder that had Beautycounter applied was peeling a bit the next day. So it may not be perfect, but it’s better than many. On our second test with five hours in the lake, my boys got burned on their faces because they played so hard and wiped all the sunscreen off. That’s on me for forgetting to make them come out, dry off, and reapply. However, it’s possible that they burned less on the Beautycounter side. And they definitely didn’t burn at all on their arms during the same time span with the same sunscreens. Officially changing my recommendation for Beautycounter to a much more highly recommended position. I still don’t love the preservative phenoxyethanol. But other than that, Beautycounter seems to have fixed most of its problems.

In previous years I had turned down many, many offers of Beautycounter sunscreen reviews samples for 2 reasons: price and phenoxyethanol.

This brand is on the pricey side and, while not completely out of line, coupled with the ingredients not being as good as my top recommended, it didn’t make me happy.

Beautycounter’s ingredients are fairly clean, but I couldn’t say, “You could eat this if you got stranded on a desert island,” like I can about some of my favorites. Phenoxyethanol is rated a 4 at EWG but hasn’t been linked to many real health concerns. It’s just…why go there when there are already better options?

I decided to finally try a tube after reading the detailed FAQs BC provides. I would direct you specifically to those on petrochemicals, preservatives, phenoxyethanol, and dimethicone. Their commitment to detail impresses me.

When our tube arrived I became frustrated with it immediately because it didn’t even list all the ingredients on the tube itself. I feel like companies are trying to hide something when they don’t do that. I know we can find the ingredients, but why not just print them?

We flipped our opinions quickly because it rubs in incredibly well, even after it sits on the body for a bit, which can be a problem with mineral sunscreens.

Schizophrenic day continued after a few hours at the pool, however. In every side-by-side test, at least four people, Beautycounter allowed burns. I am not sure I’ve ever seen such a widespread failure. It failed on my husband’s face, and my mom’s shoulders burned like crazy even with raw elements stick on her face yielded absolutely no pink at all. Two other members of our extended family were only out half a day and also burned on their backs with Beautycounter, while other brands protected even their faces and tops of bald heads. I was so dismayed that I hid this tube from the family, never to use it again.

Pros

  • Rubs in very well

Cons

  • Contains phenoxyethanol

Wondering if this one is the very best natural sunscreen for your family?

I organized alllll the sunscreens we reviewed in each one’s recommendation category – one page, at-a-glance to find out what is safe to buy AND works! Print it or save to your phone for reference!

The guide also includes answers to questions people ask me all the time:

  • Which brand rubs in the clearest?
  • What’s the best for all day outdoor sports?
  • How do I save money on natural sunscreens?
  • What looks good on ladies’ faces?
  • Is there an option that is FAST to apply to wiggly kids?

I’ll send a copy to your email so you can see it right away and find it again later!

Have you tried this sunscreen? Was your experience similar to mine?

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.
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