Mineral Sport Sunscreen Stick SPF 50
Bare Republic’s Mineral Sport Sunscreen Stick SPF 50 has more going for it than against it, but its drawbacks are significant enough to limit its appeal for most people.
This convenient to carry, twist-up stick is relatively easy to apply, although it does feels heavy and waxy on skin. Due to this esthetic issue, we only recommend using it on small areas, such as tops of feet, hands, and ears---all spots many of us miss when we apply (and reapply) sunscreen. This isn’t well-suited for use all over the face and neck like you would a lotion-textured sunscreen.
As you might’ve guessed from the name, the sole active sunscreen ingredient (zinc oxide) is pure mineral, so broad-spectrum sun protection is assured. A major high point is this mineral sunscreen stick’s lack of an obvious white cast. You’ll see some evidence of this if you have medium to dark skin, but it’s surprisingly easy to soften by blending out.
Getting beyond the good and not-so-good aesthetic aspects, Mineral Sport Sunscreen Stick SPF 50 contains fragrance ingredients (heliotropine) that risk irritating skin. So, while the mineral sunscreen is super gentle, skin may still have a sensitized reaction to this product—and the fragrance keeps it from being a good option to use on kids.
Making matter worse, Bare Republic characterizes the scent as “natural”, but the formula contains several synthetic fragrance ingredients, including gamma-decalactone, gamma-nonalactone, and gamma-octalactone. See More Info to learn how daily use of natural or synthetic fragranced products can hurt skin.
Note that the inactive ingredients of this sunscreen are listed in alphabetical rather than descending order. Although this is permissible because sunscreens are regulated as over-the-counter drugs in the U.S., it doesn’t give the consumer a good idea of how much they’re getting of the good and the problematic ingredients. The formula contains the bad kind of alcohol, but we did not detect its scent or evaporative sensation on skin.
- Relatively easy to spread given its stick texture.
- Provides mineral-based broad spectrum protection.
- Great for extra protection on your most sunburn-prone areas.
- Does not leave an obvious white cast.
- Can feel heavy and waxy on skin.
- Contains synthetic fragrance ingredients.
Why Fragrance Is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.
This reaction in turn leads to all kinds of problems, including disrupting skin’s barrier, worsening dryness, increasing or triggering redness, depleting vital substances in skin’s surface, and generally preventing skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.
A surprising fact: Even though you can’t always see or feel the negative effects of fragrant ingredients on skin, the damage will still be taking place, even if it’s not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don’t need to see or feel the effects of irritation for your skin to be suffering. Much like the effects from cumulative sun damage, the negative impact and the visible damage from fragrance may not become apparent for a long time.
References for this information:
Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, pages 191–202
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement, pages 1–43
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798
We know what it’s like when you’re on the go and want to stay protected. That’s why we created this powerful mineral sport stick for the eco-conscious adventurer in all of us. Zinc Oxide protects physically, not chemically, and provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB coverage with 80 minutes of water resistance. A natural coconut vanilla scent and lightweight application will help you keep your cool even in the most extreme conditions. Don’t slow down. We have you covered!
An offshoot of the popular (and more expensive) COOLA brand of sunscreens, Bare Republic focuses on mineral-only sun protection catering to the entire family of outdoor enthusiasts. Based in Southern California, the name is a pun on that state’s nickname (“The Bear Republic”) and reflects the ideology of a lifestyle focused on routinely spending time in the sun.
For the most part, Bare Republic gets its sunscreens right: all its offerings focus on SPF ratings that are at least 30, and in most cases even higher. Given SPF 30 and up is recommended by medical boards around the world, clearly Bear Republic did their SPF homework—you’ll be getting reliable broad-spectrum protection.
In most cases the products are also affordable, meaning you’ll be more likely to apply these sunscreens liberally to get the most from them.
A couple of missteps occur, like the inclusion of fragrance ingredients in some of the products that mean these mineral sunscreens aren’t ideal for those with sensitive skin (and sensitive skin usually responds best to mineral sunscreens).
Speaking of those fragrances, Bare Republic claims its sunscreens are free of synthetic fragrance ingredients in an effort to be eco-friendly. While the brand does use natural fragrance sources like coconut and vanilla, it also uses synthetic fragrance ingredients like heliotropine and gamma decalactone, making this claim disingenuous.
For more information about the brand, visit https://www.gobareoutside.com/.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.